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Calls for centrist MP Sharma to lose whip and face legal action after he was photographed breaking lockdown

Virendra Sharma

Beleaguered Centrist MP Virendra Sharma has been pictured attending an illegal gathering in his Ealing Southall Constituency.

A You Tube video posted on the 8 March shows an artist discussing Sharma presenting him with a prize for his work in the music business at a recording studio in Southall  in the midst of the pandemic.  The musician also described driving to Southall from his West Midlands base with two others to receive an award certificate from Sharma on 6 March – two days before the government’s phased lockdown-lifting began.

This photo shows Virendra Sharma (centre) without a mask and without social distancing in place and with three people handling the certificate frame at the same time with bare hands.

Virendra Sharma on 6 March, two days before lockdown began to ease

The artist made clear in the streamed video interview that the event took place last Saturday evening:

National lockdown rules in force at the time did not allow being outside the home except where necessary and for legally permitted reasons – which did not include award ceremonies. The police can break up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (fixed penalty notices) of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.

A local doctor has condemned Virendra Sharma pointing out that Southall is a vulnerable, economically deprived BAME community that has been ravaged by the coronavirus, with a part of the borough going into ‘super-lockdown’ after the South African variant was found there.

Last weekend when the event took place the average number of cases per 100,000 in Ealing was 188 and in Southall 400, above the London and national averages. The doctor said:

MPs should be setting an example given that they are meant to keep abreast of the pandemic on behalf of their constituents and act in their best interests.  [Sharma’s] behaviour is utterly reprehensible, gives out a signal not to take the coronavirus seriously and encourages others to jeopardise their own and others health. He should face the full force of the law as a warning to others.

SKWAWKBOX understands that Mr Sharma has now been reported to the Metropolitan Police for the breach.  London Labour Regional Executive Committee members covering for his constituency party CLP have complained about the MP bringing the Labour party into disrepute. MPs from all parties who have broken lockdown rules previously have been reprimanded or lost the party whip.

Local Anita Sandhu, commenting on Facebook about the breach, said:

This is disgusting so we abide rules [sic], Southall highest risk area. So this guy told us stay home no gatherings he had Covid. What will Labour do brush it under carpet. Not only gathering but inviting from out of London ridiculous. So you put our lives at risk.

A SKWAWKBOX representative contacted Virendra Sharma and put the allegations to him. He appeared to deny or minimise the seriousness of the issue by saying ‘No, it’s nothing’ before cutting off the call.

Sharma has previously seen local members pass a vote of no confidence against him, protest for his removal as a general election candidate and successfully ‘trigger’ a selection contest in an attempt to replace him.

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37 comments

  1. I’m not sure why you call him a Centrist; he’s a Rightist. He was very lucky to escape censor and very possibly deselection in late 2019 when the moves against him were abandoned when the GE was called. Complaints included laziness, racism and allegations he was was ‘too close’ to developers. Luckiest MP still sitting?

      1. Exactly. He famously declined to attend a Memorial event for Blair Peach, killed almost certainly by Riot police at an NF battle v anti fascists in Southall his constituency preferring instead to have lunch with Berkely Homes who have a huge housing contract in Southall. He rants against Hindu’s and ‘Young white men who intimidate elderly Asians’ by browbeating them’ (Momentum guys). He was right behind Starmer’s 2019 ‘Oh let’s have another Brexit referendum and drive the country mad for a few years’ scam that saw the Party return their ‘worst result since 1935’ (Which was actually a big advance on 1931 which is so conveniently forgotten by the Starmer-McDonald crew). I could go on!

  2. Luckiest MP still sitting?
    What about the one who thinks we should erect a statue to Nancy Astor?

    1. Or the one who crams it’s CLP with family members in all sorts of senior positions.

      The same one who’s complained very loudly about the ‘trolling’ and ‘abuse’ she’s received on social media…

      The same one who bemoaned the casual racism tweets against Diane Abbot; but who – just over eight weeks later – became mysteriously unaware as to what constitutes ‘casual racism’ when she tweeted a racist cartoon.

      Or the same one who did and said nowt about racism in any form when it’s boyfriend made frankly, disgusting, abusive and racist remarks about a black jewish woman.

      The same one that went crying to huff post, complaining that skwawkbox was ‘bullying’ it, because he dared to imply it doesn’t send the right message out to tweet about nights out at concerts – accompanied by the now toerag health secretary (Responsible for thousands of unnecessary deaths and up to his neck in corruption and sleaze allegations).

      She knows we know she knows who I’m talking about, right, greasy?

    2. It just shows the lamentable ignorance of some of our MPs. They think that as Astor was the first female to take her seat in parliament she is a pioneer who led the way for other women so lets erect a memorial to her. They are so uneducated and ignorant that they don’t know ( or choose to forget) that she was also a Nazi sympathiser, a rabid antisemite who if she had not been a millionaire would have been interned during the war. Also it was only because she was rich that she was able to sit in parliament something denied ordinary women who could not meet the property qualification -she did absolutely nothing to forward womens rights in this matter. She was too busy socialising with other antisemites and pro Nazis. She was a despicable excuse for a human being and it says it all about the calibre of our MPs when one ( Rachel Reeves?) wanted to put up a monument to her.

      1. Although a Scot by birth and upbringing, that awful woman, Rachel Reeves, is a mark of shame on the fine city I have adopted and am proud to call ‘home’, Leeds.

      2. She is just so ignorant Qwertboi. Also a hypocrite -Can you imagine the uproar and accusations of antisemitism, front page headlines that would have followed if Jeremy Corbyn had suggested erecting a monument to a well known Jew hater and Nazi supporter? Do you think Rachel would have stepped forward and said he had acted in innocence – I think not. I once watched her on TV squirming in her attempts to deny Jeremy credit for anything. You are right – an awful woman who would not have hesitated to put the boot in if Jeremy had called for a monument to Astor.

      3. David – You are not supposed to mentions stuff like that. 😉

      4. I don’t believe a word of it David Walsh- Neither should you given that you cannot be unaware that every word Jeremy Corbyn has ever said has been twisted, quoted out of context and misrepresented by the MSM.

      5. David Walsh, I have opened your link and I didn’t find Corbyn praising Nancy Astor at all. Corbyn is talking about increasing the number of women MPs,
        Please can you find the exact words of Corbyn rather than what the MSM edited, it is sloppy really.

      6. The website linked to gives the following as a direct quote from Jeremy Corbyn. I don’t see the ambiguity that you do.

        While Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn praised Conservative Nancy Astor’s legacy saying: “I’m really pleased the statue is going up”.

      7. He was celebrating the very first woman becoming an MP. It’s the same ‘quandary’ over Churchill; a rank Imperialist and racist with a thirst for war but also the one man perhaps who could have saved us from an Alliance with Hitler, full blooded Fascism and the destruction of Russia. It’s called taking the rough with the smooth I think. You should try it!

    3. goldbach, I wonder how Sharma and Reeves managed to be elected PPC to Labour safe seats. I will argue in view of their selection that the Labour Party lacks a rigorous process of due diligence.Both of them are an affront to Labour values and in my opinion should have never been selected as Labour candidates to start with.
      Somehow, I don’t see Reeves losing the whip but, Sharma perhaps? Sharma isn’t important enough to Starmer, so an example could be made of him to “balance the books” and take the opportunity to present Starmer as fair by withdrawing the whip from a centrist MP.and not only from left MPs.
      Come the next General Election, the next PPC for Ealing Southall would be if Starmer can have his way, someone more right wing that Sharma: Peter Mason from the JLM comes to mind.

  3. ‘Nevermind, virendra…The plebs will pay the fines of all those present, from their subscriptions….And, while they’re at it, they can pay both yours – and their – household bills.

    Fancy another shindig at your local restaurant? No worries; party funding’s got it covered.

    …You think it’s not possible? It’s just as probable as it is impossible.

    I’ll tell you what’s improbable (To the point of it NOT happening) and that’s sharma facing any sort of action.

  4. Curfew conditions, or ”lockdown’ as we’re encouraged to call them, and the breaking of them is hardly a serious sackable issue I’d say, BUT other reprobates in the the Labour party, specifically its Chinn-sponsered leader, are guilty of something much, much worse and dangerous.

    “‘A vote for Labour is a vote to support our nurses’ says Starmer as he launches Labour’s national election campaign” . this is the same lying leader of Labour who is one of only 9 british citizens to be a Member of a right-leaning neoliberal billionaires pressure group, The Trilateral Commission, and who FACILITATES corrupt corporatist practices (award of AnonyVoter contract to Labour right councillor (Henderson IT) in a manner Matt Hancock would admire.

    Labour needs rid of Sir Billionairesfriend as leader, or the coountry’s voters will soon get rid of Labour.

  5. Meanwhile, now that we have lost the protection of the EU the Tories are fixing to erode our right to protest.

    https://action.goodlawproject.org/civicrm/mailing/view?reset=1&id=313be17bbc1b0e52
    Silencing dissent

    High-profile protests around Brexit, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the climate crisis have been thorns in the Government’s side over the last couple of years. By and large, these protests have been peaceful and have acted as effective ways for people to express their dissatisfaction with the Government.
    However, the Home Secretary, in particular, doesn’t seem to like dissenting voices – nor does she want to engage with the root causes of these protests, preferring instead to brand protesters “so-called eco-crusaders turned criminals” and to accuse them of “hooliganism and thuggery”.
    The Government’s proposed solution? To clamp down hard on the right to protest. The Bill as it stands would give sweeping new powers to the police to restrict peaceful protests – including by giving them the powers to set conditions on the duration of protests, set maximum noise levels, and put restrictions on where protests can take place. As it seems to us, the very purpose of the right to protest is to enable people to register their profound unhappiness or strength of feeling in a way which compels the State to respond. To legislate so that right cannot have any impact is to legislate it out of meaningful existence.
    The disproportionate measures proposed in the Bill also risk undermining the freedom of assembly and association protected under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act.
    It should worry us all that the Government has chosen to attack our rights. We want to fully understand the human rights implications of this Bill, and have instructed an experienced QC and junior barrister from Matrix Chambers to provide us with written advice on this.

    1. Tjhank you for the link to Jolyon Maugham’s brilliant statement, SteveH.

      Happily, more of the left is recognising that globally even the ‘centre’ right (as well as the hard neoliberal right, like our government) are using the pandemic, as an excuse to become regressive, totalitarian-ish and promote the thought processes of a police state in an increasingly disorientated and frightened population.

      Thanks again for the link.

      1. Jolyon Maugham is a skidmark. He’s always been interested in his losses and never once in the reasons behind it.

        Wonder what the charges would be for pounding him with a baseball bat? Poor fox…

        As for the government, did anyone expect anything else? They are clamping down on the internet also. They are getting ready to track everything you do (metadata). This is more than enough to work out if you’re a lefty, or a trouble maker.

        It will be very difficult to cover your tracks, almost impossible for most computer illiterate folks.

      2. You forgot to add, and rich, to you good post.

  6. Unfortunately, shadow ministers are not allowed to sign EDMs, so the target group in restricted.
    Jolyon Maugham does some good stuff. You can get regular emails from the GLP so you don’t have to rely on someone you know sending you a link. I sent a similar request to my MP last week.

  7. Within a week, Starmer will insist its antisemitic for anyone to say that Sharma should face consequences for this.

    1. Kenburch, you are just having a laugh are you? Sharma isn’t Jew as far as I know. Should Starmer link criticism of Sharma to antisemitism, it would be Starmer than can be facing charges of antisemitism.
      Please let us not play with antisemitism it is a very serious matter than in living memory killed millions, antisemitism should never be used as the subject of a joke.

      1. Victims of actual antisemitism should never be the subject of a joke- which is bigotry towards and the repression of people who are Jewish and nothing else and which has nothing at all to do with anyone’s views about the Israel/Palestine situation- but it is perfectly legitimate to make the cynical misuse of bogus accusations of AS by the Labour Right, especially in the way those were and are used simply to intimidate the Left into silence and drive it out of the party- are fair game, however. It is fully justified to joke when right-wing politicians like Keir who have never cared about fighting any form of bigotry use false accusations to destroy people like Corbyn, a person who was ALWAYS a passionate opponent of AS. What people like Keir and Hodge and Ellman and Berger did and continue to do on this issue is nothing but disrespect to the memory of the millions who died thanks to Hitler’s barbaric- and often capitalist-supported ideology.

    2. Of course Sharma isn’t Jewish- I never claimed the man was- my point there was that the term “antisemitism”, as used by the Labour Right, no longer means anything- being on the antisocialist wing of the party, Starmer could never have actually cared about stopping bigotry against Jews he and those allied with him simply use it as a verbal bludgeon against the Left- the wing of the party that has always fought to stop AS- and a means to force everyone in the party to be not just “Zionist”- a term which has no reason to still be used, btw, because its project was completed in 1948 when the State of Israel- a state which is never going to go out of existence- was established- but Likudnik.

      I’ve been using variants of “Keir will be calling you an antisemite for that” as a bitter running joke about that.

  8. Rules for them and rules for US, move along now Sir,nothing to see here??

  9. I sit thinking about lockdown & the biggest killer cock-up in history & hear the dulcet chimes of an ice cream van & think of queues of people waiting to be served on a warm summer’s day & remember what my parents told me…..”when you hear the chimes it means he’s sold out!”

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