Freedom of Information Act request reveals no contact – and suggests right-wing staff contacted inquiry to put brakes on
In February, as Skwawkbox had predicted, the release of the Forde Inquiry’s report on its investigation into the conduct of right-wing former staff – and the WhatsApp messages and emailed revealed in a leaked Labour report last year – was delayed indefinitely. The investigation, commissioned by Keir Starmer, was due to report last summer but was repeatedly delayed amid accusations that Starmer had ordered the investigation for the sake of appearances but wanted it firmly in the long grass and even treated it with contempt on more than one occasion.
The reason given for the latest, open-ended delay was that the report might interfere with an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into complaints of personal data breaches in the leaked report – but Skwawkbox can exclusively reveal that the ICO had not had any contact with the Forde Inquiry. Not to discuss any delay – nor for any other purpose.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request to the ICO put the following questions, largely concerning any contact between the ICO and the inquiry:
The ICO’s response to confirms that it had had no contact at all with the Forde Inquiry:
From this response, it is clear that the ICO raised no concerns at all about any impact of the Forde report on its own investigation that might have triggered the delay. Instead, it seems that right-wing Labour staff – or perhaps Keir Starmer himself – contacted Forde.
The ICO reportedly received a complaint about the leaked report and supporting documents being given to the Forde Inquiry at all – but the ICO had clearly not considered the issue worth pursuing with the inquiry.
Nonetheless, current and former Labour members and Labour voters – who saw the party denied victory in the 2017 general election, at least in part because of undermining and hidden agendas by senior right-wing staff – have been denied indefinitely the results of the investigation into the actions of those staff.
Skwawkbox contacted the Forde Inquiry and asked:
An FOI request to the ICO has revealed there has been no contact between it and the Forde inquiry. On what basis did the inquiry decide publication of its report would conflict with the ICO investigation and who contacted the inquiry to initiate that process?
The inquiry press office replied:
We refer you to our letter to the NEC in February and, in particular, this paragraph:
“We have considered whether any aspect of our report can be disclosed despite the existence of the ICO’s inquiries. However, after careful consideration, we consider there is a real risk that even partial disclosure of our report and findings could have the potential to prejudice the ICO’s work. As soon as its inquiries are completed, and resolved, we will provide a report.”
The Forde Inquiry did not answer the questions about the basis for deciding there would be a conflict, nor who had contacted it to raise the issue.
Meanwhile, Labour has made a ruling about its internal activities that means the report will probably never be published.
NEC member Ann Black published a summary of the most recent meeting of Labour’s now right-dominated National Executive Committee (NEC) and pointed out that the party is now treating texts, emails, WhatsApp messages and phone calls as private communications exempt from its code of conduct:
Starmer’s Labour looks set to complete its betrayal of members and its whitewash of the behaviour of right-wingers whose own conversations suggest they worked against the Labour victory that the UK and its poor and vulnerable so desperately needed.
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