Exclusive: Byrne ‘using parliamentary staff for mayoral campaign’ after ‘half team quits’

Leaked email verified by Skwawkbox accuses Labour’s candidate of withholding wages and using publicly-funded parliamentary staff to run West Midlands mayoral campaign – no sign of action by party

Under a cloud: Labour’s West Midlands ‘metro mayor’ candidate Liam Byrne

Right-wing Labour MP and West Midlands metro mayor candidate Liam Byrne is using his publicly-funded parliamentary staff to run his mayoral campaign, according to an email sent by a former staff member to Labour’s National Executive Committee.

The email, whose authenticity Skwawkbox has verified with NEC members, was sent to the NEC on 6 March and was supposed to be discussed by the ‘officers group’ – which contains no left-wingers since a right-wing coup earlier this year – but appears to have seen no action. The message also claims that the party’s acting general secretary David Evans’s office was made aware and said in January that the matter was being investigated, but has taken no action and failed to arrange a meeting repeatedly requested over a two-month period by the former staffer’s union representative.

The former staff member told the NEC that Byrne:

  • owes the former staffer more than £11k in unpaid salary, leaving the employee working for a year below the legal minimum wage
  • played arbitration service Acas and parliamentary standards body IPSA off against each other about the matter to avoid an employment tribunal deadline
  • damaged at least one staff member’s mental health because of the stress of ‘containing’ the misuse of parliamentary resources
  • told Acas that he had instructed IPSA to make the outstanding payment, but IPSA said no such instruction had been received and that they had been told the matter was with Acas
  • made a partial payment in December but not in full, with the delay causing the deadline for tribunal action to be missed
  • said in January that he now considers the staff’s overtime hours voluntary and therefore non-payable

The staff member, who said their own wages were paid from Byrne’s parliamentary budget despite doing work that was ‘100% non-parliamentary’ and that a party contract promised by Byrne never materialised, called on Labour to select a new candidate to salvage its prospects of winning the ‘metro mayor’ election and the campaigns of other candidates in the region.

The former staffer pleaded with the party:

It is now my belief and fear that this will emerge shortly before the May elections, guaranteeing a loss in the West Midlands and hurting the party in a series of other crucial elections – particularly if it appears the Party knew all of this and did nothing. I also fear now that, as Liam intends to leave Parliament whether or not he wins or loses in the May election, with him will go any chance of reclaiming my lost wages.

One local election candidate in the area, who did not want to be named, told Skwawkbox:

Basically half his team have left and the rest are his parliamentary staff and he’s making them work full-time on the mayoral election [which is] not parliamentary work.

He could be suspended over this and damage the rest of us running for election this year – and then we won’t actually have a bloody candidate on the ballot paper!!!

Mr Byrne was contacted for comment, but had not responded by the publication deadline.

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    1. “Of all the rancid scabs and class traitors that infest the modern Labour Party, grinning idiot Liam Byrne is the worst.”

      Johnny Void is definitely not wrong. Thanks Toffee

      1. Ah, the much-missed Johnny Void. Best political blogger of the 21st Century. Whatever happened to?

  1. On the basis of the information given above this apparent lack of action is very disappointing. The NEC has shown (sometimes to the distress of members) that it can act very quickly and decisively when it wants to so what has happened (or more to the point hasn’t happened) here.
    Increasingly the NEC appears to be less and less fit for purpose and a lot of the problems appear have their roots in the NEC’s excessive secrecy which has inevitably lead to a total lack of accountability. NEC members, elected and appointed both left & right,, appear to think they can operate behind closed doors with total impunity.

    1. Another “wide boy” from the Starmer stable….I can’t begin to imagine how they expect people to trust them when they basically act like cowboy builders.Glad I never asked liam byrne to “Giz a job”

    2. Well done Sherlock Hall,you’ve just come to the conclusion that the NEC are not fit for purpose.Maybe it was the pill 💊 popping put them off their stride..PS ask Chris Williamson and any other victims of this “fit for purpose” pantomime….merrygoround…!

      1. Joseph – Why don’t you ask him and post his reply on here, whilst you are at it you could also ask CW what he thinks about Jennie Formby.

      2. To get back to the debate – these are very serious allegations that have been levelled at Liam Byrne. If the LP was to act consistently (yes, I know it’s a big if) his candidacy would be removed and a replacement found quickly. A similar procedure was adopted in Liverpool with what, in comparison, were lesser concerns by far.

      3. Defending the indefensible Steve Hall is not a good look just because this time its a right wing NEC.You really are making yourself look like a paid Shill.The NEC kangaroo court were and are a shambles and are basically unhinged in their anti democracy .fiefdom.

    3. SteveH: “the NEC appears to be less and less fit for purpose and a lot of the problems appear have their roots in the NEC’s excessive secrecy which has inevitably lead to a total lack of accountability.”

      Two things:

      1) The NEC is no more (not) fit for purpose today than it was yesterday or a year ago. It is the Starmer-Rayner-Evans executive party management function that is causing problems here and to suggest that a mere bureaucratic function is responsible for leadership problems is wrong and possibly an attempt to divert attention from the real culprits.

      2) Accountability to Members has never been a feature of Labour party democracy and was a key objective of the much-missed Corbyn project. It will be easier to achieve in a new party than introduce to an established organisation wich is bereft of it

      1. I get the feeling if we had a string of 50 Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party Candidates and just one Neoliberal Neolabour Party Tory, the “democratic vote” will reveal great disappointment for the 50 Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party Candidates!
        RIP UK Labour Party!
        RIP UK Labour Movement!
        RIP International Labour!
        Long Live THE PEOPLE!

      2. qwertboi -In some respects you are right, the NEC was no better when the left had control.
        Could you please just remind us all what Jeremy’s promises to democratise the party came to.

      3. Can we stop the factional niggling please. The NEC has been pretty moribund as long as I can remember. A couple of years with a left (-ish) majority (just) was never going to put right the ills of decades.

      4. steveh “remind us all what Jeremy’s promises to democratise the party came to.”

        Less than nothing. The labour right in the PLP made sure of that and even threw an election (or two) to destroy it.

        Democracy, socialism and human rights for Palestinians terrify the Labour right – almost as much as the same things inspire and galvanise the regular members in Labour.

        The only good thin to come out of ‘the new management’ is that the regular members are coming to realise that Starmer and Evans’ ‘billionaire-tolerance’ is completely irreconcilable (in fact, antagonistic) with “For the Many, not the Few”.

        And if Labour is anything, it is “For the Many, not the Few”.

  2. I mean, he’s the prick gave the toerags the excuse for the last eleven years with tmTHAT letter, the complete retard.

    And I don’t know what that picture on the header is meant to be, but it makes byrne look every bit the scruff of a TV licence goon, or a meff of a social worker coming to take away your kids to have them locked up in a home run by G4S or the other outsourced favourites but a place where they’ll be repeatedly nonced.

    Wrong’un. 😕

  3. So, Liam Byrne is the MP and is running for the West Midlands mayoral job? This seems to be a trend. Are Labour so bereft of talent, that several MPs have to double up as Mayors too?

    Dan Jarvis – Sheffield City Region (current incumbent)
    Tracey Brabin – West Yorkshire
    Liam Byrne – West Midlands

    Any more?

    1. Whether you like it or not Liam Byrne was selected as our candidate by West Midlands members.

      A Labour spokesperson said: “Out of a total of 6,948 valid votes, Liam Byrne received 3,105 first preference votes, Pete Lowe received 2,034 and Salma Yaqoob received 1,809. Five votes were recorded as invalid.
      “After the redistribution of second preferences, Liam Byrne had received 425 additional votes and Pete Lowe had received 686 additional votes. A further 698 votes were non-transferrable.
      “Therefore, after second preferences had been distributed, Liam Byrne received 56.5% of the vote and Pete Lowe received 43.5%.”

      1. Doesn’t mean that he should continue, given the seriousness of the allegations.

      2. goldbach -Where have I said that?
        If he has done wrong then he should be held accountable for his actions.

      3. bebbingtonmark – Who’s fault is it that ‘the left’ couldn’t get their vote out.

      4. I wouldn’t give that cabal the steam off my sloppiest cack, nevermind fifty english pences.

        Especially when they don’t even pay their staff.

        OUR candidate? You resident in the W. Mids now, are ya?

      5. “goldbach -Where have I said that?”
        Indeed, you haven’t said that. It was what a “Labour spokesperson” said that implied that was the case.
        Incidentally, I do wish that these folk would either identify themselves when giving statements, or not speak.

      6. Members by name, members by nature…

        All that’s missing is some bellend, sorry, member popping up in thread telling us to stay/rejoin to change things…

      7. NVLA – Still in the planning stage with the new ‘Socialist Party’ then? Is it all going as well as you’d hoped..

      8. I get the feeling that the habitual voting for the same party regardless of the candidate is coming to an end. It will disappear with the baby boomers of which I’m one.

      9. Not clear what “Really?” refers to.
        If it refers to the implication, then “Yes”. There is no point in, as Basil Fawlty said, “stating the bleedin’ obvious”, especially when it is not relevant to the matter in hand, unless one is trying to imply something.
        If it refers to my view that “spokesperson” should identify her/himself, of course, otherwise how do we know that it wasn’t just a mate of Byrne?

  4. The state of The Neolabour Party Tories, they can’t even get Neolabour Party Tories to work for them on Campaigns in a Neolabour Tory Party and a Neoliberal Britain (OR is it!?)!
    Just watched an interesting video on Jacinda Arden and the state of the New Zealand Labour Party, to my horror. it is not much different from our Neoliberal Neolabour Party mess. I am wondering if The Labour Movement has shifted entirely from The hands of The People into the hands of The Neoliberal Mainstream! Does The Labour Movement still stand for The People at all or is it now entirely a Neoliberal Mainstream Movement?
    Our only salvation lies in creating a Democratic Socialist Party entirely by The People and for The People. Then place tremendous pressure on the Government and all the other Neoliberal Parties to ensure a safe and corruption free voting system with various Open Source Agencies involved rather than one Tory linked Corp., To ensure every Person earning more than the Minimum Living Wage pays Exactly the same %age in Tax, To ensure Corporate deductions are ended, to ensure the NHS is restored to The Very Best in The World, etc, etc, etc.
    A small Democratic Socialist Party and Union with a Massive Membership will soon grow be the giant we need whether The Mainstream likes it or not, keep everything under one roof, no more fake conniving media co’s, backstabbing movements/projects and all our Laundry washed and dried indoors!
    It will be interesting to see how things pan out for The People once there are no more Democratic Socialists left in the HoC, just the fake/pretend Blairite/Starmerist ones. I worry it will cause Riots and Revolt. Something’s got to give, it is looking ugly and there is nothing more dangerous than People with Nothing Left to Loose!

    1. Skelly, you come across in all your dozens and dozens of posts each and every week as being quite well informed, so SURELY you know that there are at least THREE socialist parties – ie The Socialist Party of Great Britain, The Socialist Workers Party, and the Socialist Party. It seems HIGHLY unlikely that you are not aware of their existence, so WHY do you FOREVER keep prattling on about forming a new socialist party when several exist already!

      WHY spend so much of your time on here forever reiterating the need to form a socialist party when you could be expending your energies on helping to transform one or the other of the socialist parties that already exist into a mass movement. Or are you – like a number of other posters on this site – just gonna keep on forever repeating your call to form one!

      1. Maybe that they aren’t socialists. In which case he makes a good point.

      2. Is that really the best you could come up with! Beyond pathetic! Be real if yur gonna bother responding. Yeh, it’s so obvious isn’t it that a group calling itself the Socialist Party aren’t socialists:


  5. Why am I not surprised by the actions of this odious man just another scumbag that has joined the cult of new Labour 2.0 and has NO respect for anyone.
    Hates socialism, the laws of the land and especially Labours real ideology as they all do and is really a Tory by inclination So you have to ask why do they infest Labour like cancers and are just as Toxic?
    No Way whould I ever vote for this man and saying that about any Labour member pains me but let’s be honest he has no belief in the Labour party only how he can use the rosette for his own gain…

    1. Neoliberalism = Thatcherite = Thatcherite Neoliberalism = The Neolabour Party = Bona Fide TORIES Nothing More Nothing Less!
      Neoliberalism has nothing to do with Liberal Politics and MSM created Centrist has nothing to with Centre Politics, They all occupy the same spot as Margaret Thatcher did on the Political Spectrum and their Politics are NOT for The People!
      You’re Right DisabledGrandad, they Hate Socialism/Socialists, but with the word Centrist and WikiPedia “where they are ALL Leftists/Socialists”, but just wait until the 10/15 Democratic Socialists are Purged or Left and they have nothing to hide behind! It is going to be great watching them squirm as the try to speak ‘The People’, when they only know how to speak ‘The Mainstream’!

    2. I completely agree but I see it as an inevitable result of living in a ‘managed democracy’ where politics is replaced with factional squabbling and our votes are divided between parties who differ very little. We’ve been overwhelmingly subsumed by marketing and propaganda just like every other managed democracy and before long they’ll have to make it illegal not to vote.
      This is why SteveH’s calls for us, the left, to organise ourselves are his favourite reposte….he is dimly aware that under current management there is little or nothing we can do. Just like the social democrat parties of Europe and America, we are fucked and for the foreseeable future local grassroots struggle is all we have.

      1. I also point to the fact that when on Friday the BBC replaced all programmes with wall to wall coverage of the Windsor’s, their ratings only fell by 6%. Personally I find that astounding. Those who programme us must be very happy.

  6. If they look,act and smell like Red Tories with their snouts in the trough
    We know all of this and the internal report has set it in stone
    Stop bleeting about it and work to get rid of them
    Fund one of the legal challenges
    Join a Union
    Get your CLP to affiliate with JVL

    1. *sighs*

      In four years of Corbyn they didn’t get rid of enough of the vermin, I can’t think of anyone from the right that were turfed out; IIRC they all left off their own bat.

      Byrne’s offer to duumkopf- Schmitt to ‘help improve UC’ ought to have been enough to punt the scruffy twunt into the Thames, nevermind writing THAT note and giving the rags all the ammo they needed AND more.

      1. The Toffee
        When they discovered penicillin 💊 it was a quantum leap forward in medicine
        The Labour party has nowhere else to go, it will be an uncivil war or destruction
        Win the war in 8 months or start a new party and put the movement back 100 years

      2. Doug theres a moral outlook in every story. “The discovery of penicillin was a quantum leap forward in medicine” Yes Dougie I wouldn’t be here but for penicillin.My father a marine attached to the 8th army was like many others dying from Sepsis,dysentery lack of water and no fuel for the trucks etc abandoned in the NAfrican desert.The Yanks saved my father using the drug penicillin which the British discovered and the yanks developed and used amongst their troops and the ones rescued.like my father.About fifteen years later I too needed treatment in hospital and was given penicillin and it very nearly killed me,and left me with a whole string of allergys that kill.Figure out the moral of that story about one mans cure?

      3. Joseph
        Greater good, nothing is 100% guaranteed
        Run over by a bus, you don’t ban buses
        My dog was given his Parvo jab as a puppy, week later he caught Parvo, little fucker should have died but he didnt
        I’ve made the decision to let someone else have my jabs
        My point has always been are you inside or outside the tent

  7. Thank your lucky stars that you’ve not got deliver leaflets on his behalf. I think those of us in the party in the Midlands are, shall we say, underwhelmed by his performance against Andy Street. The Conservatives are running a professional campaign compared our incompetents. He helped found Progress, so that’s all you need to know. I can’t see how he’s going to win? If he does he should immediately resign his seat and we can have a a by-election.

  8. 🙂 🙂 🙂 The sense of entitlement is as prevalent, in some sections of The Labour Party, as it is endemic, throughout the Tory Party.

    Animal Farm has nothing on that lot.

    I was a Cabinet Member, don’tcha know?

  9. Clue: DEMOCRATIC Socialism. Do you think that the HoP are going to allow Socialists into Parliament before we had a damned good run of Democratic Socialism in Nr10!?
    Concern yourself with your own business, I shall deal with mine.
    I told you before Alan, if you don’t like it, don’t read it, life is too short to try and force others into one of your prefabricated boxes! Move On!

  10. There is one grassroots campaign we on the left can get behind – the incarceration of Julian Assange who did nothing more than expose war crimes in Iraq while those who started it are walking free. If enough people convince others of the real culprits it will halt the move to psyops, fake news and propaganda.
    We in particular should be worried. Britain is reported to have sent detachments of SAS to Ukraine and Northern Ireland, something they can do without discussion or informing parliament. Assange was, through Wikileaks, one of the few means of exposing our military ambition, which as it stands, has free reign to meddle in anyone’s affairs.

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