Analysis Breaking

Court documents show Labour used fictitious complaint against Rothery in legal case

Party claims panel’s decision to bar left-winger was based on her saying during Zoom hustings that other candidates would shortly be arrested – but video evidence and party’s own records show this was false

Court documents published inadvertently by a law firm have revealed that the Labour party relied on false accusations to support its case in legal action brought by Anna Rothery, after Labour blocked her from standing for selection as its candidate in May’s Liverpool mayoral contest.

The party claimed that it had to bar her because she had ‘impugned’ the two other shortlisted candidates and presented a ‘risk of political damage’ – and shored up its argument by presenting details of a complaint that the shortlisting panel had considered during a re-interview:

This complaint was entirely false – Rothery had said no such thing:

Video footage of the event in question proves that the complaint’s allegation was false – and that the real quote is accurate:

The Labour party had every opportunity to inform the panel that the complaint was false, yet subsequently used the panel’s clearly incorrect decision to rely on a fictional complaint to defend itself against the wronged Rothery’s legal action.

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  1. Will they be running around trying to hide the fan now, before something hits it?

  2. Could someone with more legal knowledge than me tell me whether this document could be regarded as libellous?
    Is this a job for Mr Bindman?

    1. High court is a rich persons game and most people end up out of pocket.I know because I have been up to the High court in London more times than I wish to count.ITs soul destroying to see hundreds of thousands racked up and thrown to the bottom feeders profession Lawyers. Rothery probably into over a hundred thousand in the last no result and even the Labour party using membership money squandered on people like the knight and Bliar Lawyers.This is becoming increasingly insane with lives and carreers trampled by the establishment Labour party on behalf of …who because it is definitely not for the members,the mps or the councillors..Rothery needs to run as independent Labour and she will have the backing from inside and outside the Labour party including the Socialist party .and she will know that shes running against the tory tribute act,not the Labour party.

  3. Excellent journalism, thanks. Not only unsubstantiated, but built on a lie.

    1. I hope Liverpool does turn the page and start a new chapter and that Anna Rothery IS the elected Mayor that enables it.

      Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is the person who is ensuring it would be a non-Labour chapter.


  4. So many questions.
    The allegation which the party won its case are proven to be false.
    Can the party still force Anna to pay the costs?
    What happens next?
    Will an appeal be lodged?
    Will there be a completely new court case?

    1. If it does prove to be true, I’d imagine The Law Society, or The Solicitors Regulation Authority will be wanting a word with someone.

      The Legal Ombudsman may even shift himself, to get involved.

      These days, who knows?

    2. Backofbeyond, I am afraid that the Party has a case and the Party won. Somehow, I doubt that the Judge give Rothery a leave to appeal.
      I would argue that it was reasonable for the complainant to infer what she/he inferred from Rothery’s words this is the gist of it. No what Rothery says but what could be reasonably inferred.
      I am afraid Rothery is liable for cost, now is a question should the Party enforce seeking the cost? I would argue against it on the fact that the Party pick up voluntarily a bill a judge order to pay no other than Virendra Sharma MP. Plus the six figures compensation that was paid to former members of staff despite legal advice to the contrary.
      Do I believe the Labour Party would have acted as swiftly against Rothery has she been a Starmer favourite for the position? I don’t think so, my understanding is that the two new candidates are doing very much the same and they aren’t been pull back, are they?

  5. Is it a criminal act to provide a false statement in a civil court as it is in a criminal court?

    1. Goldbach, where is the false statement? This is about what the complainer understood the words utter by Ann Rothery to meant to him/her. They don’t have to be literally the words utter by Rothery but a reasonable inference of her words.
      In the version published here by Skwawkbox Rothery is saying:
      ” The other two candidates sat in the cabinet for much of the last 10 years (it could be inferred that they could have been involved in the corruption that took place) The unfortunate reality is that there are now a number of ongoing police and government investigation” (it could be inferred that the other two candidates could perhaps become subjects of an investigation into corruption and arrested as a result)
      Of course, what Rothery was saying is the truth, out of the three she was the only candidate that have not direct link with the past and represented a clean slate for Liverpool.
      However, due to the contract she signed not to disparage the other candidates she lost in Court. I believe that Ann Rothery could perhaps appeal against paying Labour’s legal cost. Her lawyers could argue that she sough legal remedy because the Party refused to explain to her the reasons of her withdrawal for the panel and Rothery had the right to know.

      1. The falsehood was in the claim that Rothery said that other candidates were about to be arrested. She said nothing of the sort- simply that investigations were underway.

        Are you seriously going to argue that it was grounds for removing Rothery from the shortlist that she simply referenced the legal realities of the situation? She didn’t say anything in referencing the investigations that wasn’t already public knowledge- and it was hardly unfairness or a dirty trick for Rothery simply to say what she actually did say.

        In any case, NW Labour and Liverpool Labour have already discredited any candidate they are willing to allow on the ballot- it will be assumed by one and all in Liverpool that anyone they’d be ok with is a right wing crook- so would you at least agree that Liverpool Labour should simply not nominate a mayoral candidate this year, stop treating Rothery as someone to be stopped, and let her have a clear field as a candidate under her own banner- a banner which could be something like Authentic Liverpool Labour Left?

  6. Sorry Skwawkbox, as someone legally trained, I would argue that the indirect inference is clear; it might no have been Rothery’s intention but she was disparaging to the other two candidates. Hence, the complainer has every right to interpret Rothery’ words and state what she/he understood as meaning. Let us not forget that Joe Anderson was arrested by the police and is facing criminal charges. No wonder Ann Rothery lost her legal case, she had not much of a case to begin with.
    However, was the Labour Party right in pulling her down as candidate? I don’t think so, I am persuaded that has Ann Rothery been a right winger the whole matter would have been brushed under the carpet, because she was telling a factual truth: both the other candidates had been directly involved with the previous administration and in the future perhaps they could face charges, we simply don’t know..
    As I said in previous posts Ann Rothery appears to lack good political judgement first she strayed on the trans self id mine field by blocking Esther Giles from speaking labeling Giles a transphobe. Hence, from my point of view on the one hand it sucks that the Labour Party resort to this tactics rather than allow the members in Liverpool to chose their preferred candidates. But on the other hand, not great lost either, I don’t think Rothery has the level of skills needed to be Liverpool’s Mayor.
    Neither do the other two candidates selected after reading that one of them was found to be a bully by Liverpool Hope University and the other have file twice for bankruptcy.
    Couldn’t Labour find better candidates?

    1. Maria, in Anna’s shoes I’d find it hard to say that as someone not in office at the time of alleged corruption events I’d not be compromised/affected/judged by them WITHOUT encouraging a ‘direct inference’ that anyone who was might be. I’d remember, of course, that I’m talking to a selection panel in private and not the wider public or journalists.

      Would that be unwise of me? Should she – Anna – have omitted to mention the electoral existence of the threat to Labour and her electoral advantage/opportunity on it?

      I know you’re given a legal perspective rather than your own opinion, but your comments have helped me understand how incorrrigibility exists so easily in politics and why there are so many elephants in so many rooms.

      Maybe we just need more lawyer-free politics.

      1. qwertboi, for the article it appear that Rothery made the above statement at a public hustings, so in the wider view of members of the public and journalists.
        Was reasonable for Rothery to make the statements of fact that she made? Of course, and the complaint would have most likely be dismissed by the judge has Rothery not sign the LP’s contract.
        I am not sure the solution is to have more lawyer-free politics but ,rather to enshrine freedom of speech and not to force Labour candidates to sign contracts in which the undertake no to be critical of other candidates.
        Politics is by its nature adversarial and as members of the public we have every right to be able to make informed decisions and as such entitled to know what skeletons lie in each candidate closets.

    2. So, it is permissible to introduce into court your own interpretation of the meaning of someone’s words, and have that accepted as fact is it?. Incidentally, that was not the meaning I took from it when I read it. Truly, the Law is an ass.

      1. Stolen the words out of my mouth. I simply cannot get my head round this at all. And what a precedent it sets for any future legal action being considered from others similarly maligned and **** upon from a great height by Starmer and Co.?

    3. There’s a *very* big leap between the obvious meaning of the statement, which is: I have no links to whatever went on’ and ‘the other two are about to get arrested’

      1. Devious people can twist or stretch anything to suit their purpose!

      2. Skwawkbox no so much of a leap when you are quoting Rothery as saying: “The unfortunate reality is that there are now a number of ongoing police and government investigations”
        I believe that the complain is most likely malicious and has Rothery been a right winger nothing would have been done and it would have been the complainer who would have been suspended.
        However, with the police investigating the alleged corruption and the former Major facing criminal charges, that the other two candidates can be arrested cannot be ruled out. Hence, the inference the complainer made is from a legal point of view reasonable.
        The real culprit here isn’t the judge or the legal system but rather the Labour Party bureaucracy that forces candidates to sign contracts not to disparage against other candidates and will use the contracts against candidates that displease the Party’s political elite.
        I will argue that Rothery did nothing wrong and her statement is factually correct, plus she had a legitimate right to use the fact that she wasn’t connected with the previous alleged corruption in her campaign to get elected.
        Has Rothery not signed the Party’s contract, she would have stand very high chances of winning her Court case and make it to the ballot paper and been the next Mayor of Liverpool.
        Critisising the Judge and the legal system doesn’t help us, campaigning against the contracts imposed on Labour’s candidates would be more productive.

  7. Whatever the veracity of the details of this; yet another fiasco, incident of continued in-fighting shows Labour to be unable to organise a piss-up in a brewery and therefore in no position to be trusted as Opposition yet let alone in government. 0/10

  8. Maria, could you clarify what you wrote please. You seem to be saying that, if someone states that an individual said something that they didn’t actually say, then this is simply an interpretation rather that a false statement. [If I say I don’t like Sushi and someone says I said I don’t like the Japanese, is it just his interpretation?]

    1. Goldbach, I have already addressed the issue in another post but in your example you aren’t comparing like to like (Sushi with Japanese)
      Rothery made several statements of fact that happen to be factually correct:
      1 the other two candidates were in cabinet on and off for the last 10 years
      2-their is a number of open investigations into alleged corruption in Liverpool by the police and other governmental bodies.
      We know too, that the former Mayor of Liverpool have been arrested and is facing criminal charges. Therefore, it is reasonable to infer that Rothery was pointing out to the real possibility that the other two candidates could have maybe been involved in the alleged corruption and than depending on what evidence the ongoing investigations find they could be arrested.
      I accept that most possibly the complaint was made in bad faith in order to get ride of Rothery as candidate as it look that she was going to win and would have become the official Labour candidate for the position of Mayor of Liverpool. The right of the Party grasped at straws to stop her.
      It doesn’t matter what Rothery intended but what the complainer understood. Rothery was fighting her corner and informing the people of Liverpool why she should be the next Major, because she represented a clean break for the past. Pity that Rothery inadvertently scored an open goal.
      You don’t have to agree with the decision to understand that the judge didn’t have much of a choice that to find in favour of the Labour Party.

      1. Your last sentence seems spot on to the layman (at least to this one) given the evidence that seems to have been presented to the court. My query is why, if the inadvertently published document is genuine, it would not be considered to be defamatory and, if it had been presented to the court as part of the LPs submission, it would not be considered that the LP had made a false statement to the court.
        Sorry to take up your time but you do seem pretty good at responding.

      2. I have spoken to a friend who, during his working life, was involved in the preparation of submissions to courts on behalf of a major UK university. His opinion (and it’s always opinion until tested in court when it comes to any of us) is that, if the inadvertently published document formed part of the LPs submission to court, the fact that it stated something was said, when it wasn’t said, could constitute contempt of court, and that, if AR was to take the case back to court, the judge would require an explanation from the LP”s solicitor. If the judge ruled that it was contempt s/he would have a number of options including a short jail sentence. The other point he made was that AR could, separately or additionally, make a complaint to the bar association and/or the bar council for professional misconduct on the part of the LP lawyers, as it could be seen that they had failed to check their facts before presenting their case.
        In his view it would all hinge on whether the document in question, or a document which contained the same statement, or an oral submission that contained the statement, was presented to the court.

      3. Goldbach, Rothery’s statements of fact weren’t defamatory but rather disparaging of the other two candidates. The problem lies with the contract the Labour Party forces on candidates. Has Rothery not signed the contract the most likely scenario is that she would have won her case and her name would be in the ballot.
        I hope that all the just indignation of the membership on Rothery’s behalf translate into a Conference motion against the Party imposing this wretched contract on candidates ever again.
        Criticising the Court, the judge or the legal system would achieve nothing. Ensuring that the Labour Party cannot longer impose this type of contract on Labour candidates would protect the Ann Rotherys of the future.

  9. Does the statement constitute perjury?
    The Labour party economical with the truth-surely not with an eminent member of the bar at its head.

    1. If evidence is given under oath then yes to lie amounts to perjury which is punishable by up to 7(?) years in jail

      1. Smartboy, you are absolutely right but, somehow after reading the article I don’t believe this to be the case. I seriously doubt that the Labour Party would have call the complainer as witness. For once it wasn’t on Labour’s advantage as once you call a witness he/she can be cross examined.
        The likely scenario is that the Party presented the complaint received by the Party, explained that the complainer has made a reasonable inference from Rothery’s words.
        Therefore, Rothery has breached her contract with the Labaour Party by disparaging the other two candidates to the point that Rothery’s words seriously damaged the reputations of the other two candidates and the Party didn’t have any other choice but to withdraw them as candidates.
        The cynic in me, believes that the Party machine realised that its favourite candidate wasn’t going to win, that a socialist woman was going the be the next major of Liverpool and decided to cut its loses and find a replacement candidate by deselecting the three previous candidates.

  10. Does the statement constitute perjury?

    No point asking keith – he doesn’t know his own arse from your elbow.

    I’d imagine it will be, if the lies statement(s) have been made under oath. And if labour’s solicitor knew this was the case, he/she’s deliberately misled the court and ought to be struck off for dishonesty.

    It doesn’t augur well for the firm ‘party’. Let’s put it that way.

    ..Mind you, what does, these days?


  11. Statements made in court which are not correct and are used to defame someone are false statements and need investigating for perverting the court of Justice.

  12. I’m not doubting you Maria Vazquez but it is very dispiriting that the ordinary reasonable persons interpretation of A. Rothery’s straightforward words could be so different in the hands of lawyers.

    1. Yes, it makes me think that the lawyers were called in by Sir KeirBystander-o-the-billionaires simply to find a reason to bin AR’s electoral hopes. Their response? “Inference”! They used it to hear what their paymaster wanted them to hear. Lawyers are a bit like that sometimes.

  13. So the cult of new Labour 2.0 LIED in court to kick her off the mayoral shortlist and then used a lie to defend themselves in court!!!!

    Well, I hope she appeals and takes this bunch of scum to the cleaners. I used to be a strong Labour supporter how the hell can you support a cult that routinely lies and decides just to hang on to power?

    Ever since this cult has taken over Labour has gone from socialist mostly to lies filled Tory-lite hellhole! So whould you vote for them now? I won’t be until this bunch is gone…

    1. More enablers of fascism, like the Social Democrats in Weimar Germany.

      1. And lets get on with “The Court case” as the Lawyers are hungry and need to to be fed .Good luck and pray the judge as not had the liquid lunch..!

      2. Ah yes, the SPD- the ones who are down to 17% in the polls and will probably finish THIRD in September’s Bundestag elections- and after that, will once again happily serve as junior partners in an austerity coalition with the CDU- while STILL refusing to work with Die Linke and, after 101 years, still refusing to apologise for their roles in the killings or Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, and their agreement to arm the Freikorps which developed into the earliest Nazi militias, let alone their decisions to back the German military class on the “Great War” and to say nothing when huge numbers of people who were supposedly their comrades were arrested for refusing to back that imperial charade.

        If they had joined with the Sparticists rather than help crush them, the rise of Hitler would likely never have happened- and if they hadn’t helped cause the Russification of the KPD when they did that, there’s a good chance the world would never have been saddled with Stalin and his bloodsoaked imitators.

        But doing those things would have meant not being “respectable”- and “respectability” was far more important than actually changing life.

    2. bedroc56, as someone that lived under fascism, sadly I have to agree with you. However, a strong legal system is the best protection against fascist’s abuses.
      Instead of criticising the judge and the Courts (Rothery signed a contract) I suggest that CLPs under still left control pass motions demanding that this wretched contract is scrap and never used on Labour candidates as a pre-condition on them standing as candidates.

    1. Quite, no doubt he will be waiting for the official line before commenting. I say once again whilst I’m on the subject, if everybody ignored the creep completely he would soon disappear.

      1. Amen to that. I don’t comment here very often, but every time someone responds to the person in question, it turns into a tedious diatribe which totally puts me off reading the rest of the comments (which is a shame because I learn a lot here) I think “just ignore” him. One or two other culprits but they at least put forward some interesting arguments!

      2. You’d hope so, John.

        But no doubt he’s been furiously briefed about the party line (Which will be: ‘Do not touch threads like this with a bargepole, and above all STFU – period’) after they’ve been caught bang to rights in a shit game of chinese whispers that should (But probably won’t) have adverse legal consequences and highlight the total ham-fistedness of someone considered by the MSM to be a great legal mind; when in fact stammer’s worse than any barrack-room amateur.

        Best gear yourself up for the moron’s eventual return, because I’m in no doubt stammer’s useless cretin’ll be sticking his head over the parapet…On another thread – Because this one’s wayyy too far beyond any hope of redemption.

    1. Maria could be his substitute- she appears to be echoing the “Starmer must be obeyed” line- I wouldn’t be surprised if she starts doing “what’s the evidence” and “it’s too soon to tell” posts on a regular basis.

      1. Kenburch no at all. I don’t agree with the result I am as disgusted as most people here are.
        I am just explaining why the judge didn’t have much of a choice: Rohery signed a contract and under the conditions of the contract she scored and open goal.
        On the contrary, I believe that Stamer should be defied. CLP’s should consider passing motions against using this sort of contract and bringing the matter to Labour Conference and passing a motion against the Party enforcing this type of contract and prevent similar cases in the future.
        Part of the reason he left of the Labour Party keeps losing, is people like Kenburch that get on a high horse and refuse to understand that the rules of the game are made by others and that their best bet at wining is to understand the rules of the game and use them to their advantage.

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