Analysis comment Exclusive

Exclusive: Forde Inquiry had NO contact with ICO before shelving report – or after – and party now moving to withhold it permanently

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.

‘Private communications’

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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  1. Well this is going to be exiting?

    ‘In 2021 we are returning to Brighton from Saturday 25 to Wednesday 29 September.

    With inspiring speeches, invaluable training and an events timetable that makes the most of every minute, it’s a real opportunity to be a part of democracy in action…….’

    Who will be allowed to attend, I wonder.

  2. For those of you who remain members of the Labour party,then you must have wondered how and why the Labour party behaves like a fiefdom surpassing anything that the momentum movement could ever aspire to when it comes to democracy.Lansman has more sense and nouse to attempt the shenanigans that the knight and his misfits have achieved under the dismay of the Labour party members..You are now entering the Social democratic party and what are you doing about that?Temporary embarrassment has destroyed the democratic socialist Labour party and replaced it with a social democratic label alongside its partner the SDLP social democrats party in NIreland.The democratic socialist party Sinn Fein are the future for Ireland with the SDLP alongside other social democrats in Europe are yesterdays politics.Where lies the future of the Labour social democratic party?

      1. The mistake of the plantation of Ulster and the partition of Ireland has been a disaster for everyone in the working-class people of North East Ulster.The British Empire must pay for that as part of the unification of the Ireland of Ireland.That means a open mind and deep pockets so get used to it.Doug.We don’t want anymore Empire builders in Ireland and thats why Sinn Fein will campaign on both sides of the farcial border and fight for a united Ireland in a democratic socialist movement that will be inclusive and non relgious and non secatarian Republic.

  3. Excellent reporting by Skwarky but lets face it its no surprise at all. Refusal to publish Forde is confirmation that there has been serious wrong doing in the Labour Party and that it was apparently endorsed by the current leadership.

    The one thing about being Leader of the Lab Party is that some bugger always wants your job. Starmer will be at his weakest on Friday morning when the PLP translate the local election results in terms of how his performance is affecting their personal majorities. It’s a nasty business so I fully expect those who do want his job will hang as much of the responsibility for the content of the Forde Report around his neck in an attempt to kill off two birds with one stone.

    Labour’s big hitters have all been unusually quite for the past few months. They have neither condemned or supported him in any meaningful way suggesting that Project Starmer has been tolerated so far to see if it could turn the tide. Thursday’s local elections are likely to confirm that he has been an absolute disaster. I don’t believe that those who aspire to the leadership are taken in at all by talk of vaccine bounce. They are far more experienced politicians than him and they can see that the guy is an inexperienced Wally who is making some very costly mistakes.

    1. The problem is that the experienced politicians waiting in the wings to replace Starmer are themselves just experienced Wallies……

    2. I was just thinking that Friday afternoon would probably be a “good time to bury bad news” and publish the Forde report, while everyone else (+/- 17% of the electorate) are on the edge of their seats about the local +++ elections.

      Great work, Swawkie, as ever!

  4. “had been so thoroughly infiltrated that a clique of administrators exercised the power to lose elections and remove the leader”.

    This hasn’t happened by accident. Somebody is behind it and I think we can have a more than educated guess as to who the front men are. What’s more sinister is who is behind them? According to Asa Winstanley, it’s a hostile foreign government.

    This has bigger implications than that of allowing members to know the truth. It suggests that a hostile foreign government is now choosing who leads the UK. If this has any basis, then the country is entitled to know.

    The Forde Report may have gone some way to answering that question and Starmer appears to be covering up the findings. He is by his actions complicit in the sell out of UK democracy.

    1. Well said Nemtona.

      It’s frightening to think, but if Asa Winstanley’s right, the “hostile foreign government” has also got an agent a Millbank Towers and LOTO – he’s there by special invitation of Starmer/Evans/Rayner and his name is Assaf Kaplan

      1. Just out of interest Jack, what did you think about signpost inventing something – ie that the guy who spotted Dominic Cummings in Barnard Castle during the first lockdown – was pursuing a ‘legal case’ against him, Cummings, and did so so that he could then discredit and smear Jeremy by comparison?

        And what did you think about Jokeefe concocting the falsehood that *I* had accused him of lying about being a councillor? Funny, isn’t it, how I’ve asked him on a number of occasions – as of when he has reiterated the falsehood – to quote what I supposedly said, but he never HAS. I wonder why not! And you yourself lied of course when you claimed that I have castigated you in respect of your criticisms of Zionism and Zionists, and did so so as to try and discredit me in the minds of readers of this blog. And just like Jokeefe, you know that I never have, and THAT of course is why you would be unable to quote me doing so.

        And WHO but shills invent stuff so as to try and discredit and smear someone!

      2. But needless to say Steve, they only succeeded because the MSM gave them a platform to do so, and of course joined in the black op smear campaign themselves, whereas when it was one of their own that had been threatened – ie Alan Duncan – they came to his defence:

        Needless to say, the senior Tories that came to Duncan’s defence were NOT accused of defending an anti-semite, whereas anyone defending people in the LP who were falsely accused of A/S were then themselves attacked and vilified and accused of being part of the problem for being in denial.

    2. The hostile foreign government of Israel has infiltrated governments and institutions throughout the world and thereby has the power to shape public opinion and government actions to enable it to maintain its Zionist policy of eradicating Palestinians from their own homeland. If more LP members, particularly those such as John McDonnell, Len McCluskey and Jennie Formby had realised what was happening when the attacks upon Jeremy Corbyn first started, maybe we would have had a chance to thwart them.

      Timidity in the face of attacks by the ZIonists is exactly what they count on to further their plans. We even have the ridiculous situation of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign being terrified to point to the concept of Zionism as being the root cause of Israel’s racism and apartheid against Palestinians.

      If any of these disparate Socialist left wing groups which have formed in the wake of Starmer’s continued destruction of the Labour Party think they have a chance of being successful without weeding out Zionist infiltrators, they are being naive and will fail.

      Anyone who comments here and says ‘stop talking about Zionism’ is either a Zionist or is so uninformed that they have been duped by the myths of Zionism and fail to realise that it is THE greatest enemy of Socialism, just as Jeremy Corbyn has found to his cost and consequently to the cost of all those who stood by him.

      1. Yeah, sure Jack, if only they hadn’t been so timid the Smearers would have stopped their smears and attacks. As if!!

        Oh, right, and timidity is what the Smearers count on, and their mindset is ‘if the people we’re smearing and demonising stop being timid we won’t be able to smear and demonise them any more’.

        What complete and utter total B/S asinine and fraudulent nonsense, and fraudulent nonsense that Jack has repeated on numerous occasions on skwawkbox and JVL (and no doubt elsewhere)!

      2. As for ‘Zionism’ being the ‘greatest enemy of Socialism’, the enemies of socialism are the Capitalists and the Billionaires and their minions, and the capitalist media of course – ie the Psychopathocracy that we ALL live in and have done for thousands of years. And ALL psychopaths are inherently fascist….. they are war-mongering, hate-mongering, fear-mongering, manipulating, deceitful, devious, duplicitous and totally corrupt AND sadistic. In a word, they are evil, and evil just lurves being evil:

      3. White flag man, of course the smears would not have stopped and neither would people such as yourself have stopped telling Corbyn to ignore them.

        However if a proper campaign to combat Israel’s undermining of Corbyn and our democracy had been organised and implemented instead of following a path of appeasement, the smears could have been turned against Corbyn’s enemies and the public made aware of the plot by Israel to prevent him becoming PM.

        As for your attempt to deflect attention away from Zionism as Socialism’s greatest enemy, your motives are heavily suspect! Which country on Earth is the strongest proponent of Capitalism and which country controls that country? As soon as any ‘third world’ country has any chance of forming a Socialist government which is the first country to step in and provide the opposition with arms and assistance? Why did we illegally invade Iraq and why might there be another war against Iran?

        If you don’t know or believe that the Zionist State of Israel is at the heart of all these and other questions, you are a danger to the public, let alone Socialists!

      4. The enemies of Socialism in the 21st century are middle class Eurocommunists. They’re not really Communists at all but they have thrived under the European neoliberal model and would gladly have us become part of a European super state.
        On the other side are the Atlanticist faction. Both are prevalent in the modern Labour Party and there is overlap between them. Their economics are neoliberal/globalist and the majority of the middle class Labour party members consciously or unconsciously support that economic/foreign policy objective and will do so until their wealth is curtailed.

      5. JackT
        Certainly Israel interfering is an element but no-one saw the internal report coming, that is the quantum leap for a socialist Labour party and a lifetimes work getting rid of Red Tories
        Naivety and decency are major weaknesses and i can remember the Gang of Four
        Never again

      6. Lundiel, it sounds like you are still reading that pro Glassman Blue Labour, anti EU, little Englander site Labour Heartlands?

      7. Being the nasty little fascist shill that he is, Jack tries to smear me as being a Zionist sympathiser – ie by saying that my motives are highly suspect blah, blah, blah AND for the obvious reason.

        Jeeze, you’re so transparent Jack!

        Jack pretends that ‘if a proper campaign to combat Israel’s undermining of Corbyn and our democracy had been organised’ blah, blah, blah, the smears could have been turned against Jeremy’s enemies. No they could NOT Jack, and you are lying through your teeth, because you know as well as I do that the fascist owned and/or controlled MSM have total and absolute control of the narrative, and YOU are the one – along with a bunch of other shills on here – who is doing the ‘deflecting’ and, as such, blaming the victims of the smears for being the victims as opposed to the perpetrators.

        So was Jeremy being ‘timid’ when he stated the actuality (the day the EHRC published its fraudulent report) that ‘the scale of the problem has been dramatically overstated by political opponents inside and outside the party and the media’? No, of course he wasn’t, but what happened as a consequence of him stating the truth! Yep, his enemies all piled in to condemn him AND he was promptly suspended from the party.

        Yeah Jack, as for my motives, I wonder what my motives are for posting this massive Big Lie by Marie van der Zyl (the president of the BoD), yet AGAIN:

        And if anyone is unaware of the fact, Jack has, in the past and so as to try and discredit me, falsely claimed that I have castigated him for criticising Zionists when he knows damn well that I never have. But THAT is what black propagandist fascist shills DO.

        And in true black propagandist fashion he finishes his ‘reply’ with the complete and utter poppycock that I ‘am a danger to the public, let alone socialists’. Yeah, sure Jack, I’m an existential threat to the public and socialists!

        What a load of complete and utter bollocks!

      8. PS As I said, in effect, in my second post Jack, psychopaths have been the dominant and controlling force on the planet for thousands of years……. LONG before Zionism and Zionists appeared on the scene!

      9. And just WHO exactly has told Jeremy to ‘ignore’ the fascist smearers Jack? No one of course. Was he ignoring them when he said that the problem has been massively overstated etc? Was the LP under his leadership ignoring them when they condemned the Panorama program? Was he ignoring them when he defended Chris Williamson and refuted the claim that Chris was an anti-semite?

        Yep, in the topsy-turvy world of black propagandists, someone pointing out the reality that the MSM have absolute control over the narrative is ‘transformed’ into telling Jeremy to ignore them. But then Jack – what with his agenda being to blame the victims for being the victims – can’t very well concede and acknowledge that if you refute the A/S claims or accuse the Israeli lobby and the MSM and the Blairites of massively overstating the problem, you are just further accused of anti-semitism and of being an anti-semite and vilified and demonised as such.

  5. The Labour movement will not allow this to go unpunished
    The Class Action is still going ahead
    Conference should concentrate on this above all else
    Why do you think he is called Temporary Embarrassment because there is no going back, this is indefensible and the consequences will last a lifetime

  6. Sterling work, Skwawky!

    I wonder if the Mike Sivier SAR ruling (Unless you can point to the individual responsible = no action to be taken) influenced the *ahem* party’s actions, in any way?

    Would an FoI regarding the party rank/job title of the complainant to the ICO be feasible, I wonder? It wouldn’t identify by name, but might narrow it down, if said title was known, and could be divulged.

  7. This is a perfectly timed reminder of why we should NOT vote Labour in next Thursday’s elections. How appropriate that today’s date is May 1st (May Day).

  8. In the immortal words of Maximus Peake
    If your not voting Labour then your a Tory
    Ownership of the party is a straight fight between Socialists and Red Tories, choose your side

    1. The whole point is under Keir Starmer Labour IS tory. Appeals for members to RaV is one thing Doug, but we cannot endorse Starmer’s strategy and enable its success by giving votes to the culprits.

      1. Withhold subscriptions Refuse to assist and enable in any form. Do not even allow anyone canvassing for them onto your premises.

        But most of all, withhold subscription fees. Starve the rodents so they end up eating each other.

        The vermin have developed resistance to any other course of (provenly ineffective) action.

        Your choice…

      2. qwertboi
        Folk who are not in the party cannot vote them out, change the rules to force them out or have them prosecuted
        If your not in the party what are you doing on here is my question

      3. I’m afraid the second referendum on was the red line for me. It was plain as day that Labour would lose the election by becoming a remain party.

    2. What are you on about. I see below you are back to your old nonsense, telling us that if we are not in the LP we shouldn’t be here, you are a prize prat at times, and a persistent one. No socialist should be voting Labour at this time unless they know the person they are voting for is an enemy of new New Labour.

      1. john thatcher
        I’m asking folk to vote Temporary Embarrassment out at next leadership election, im asking members then to be utterly ruthless in removing Red Tories
        There is no other credible way other than being a member of the party

      2. Just out of interest Doug, how many Red Tories are there in the party?

        And presumably when you say you are asking folk/members to vote Starmer out, you are obviously saying to vote him out AND replace him with a socialist, right. So I wonder what would happen in the event that that happened? More ‘stabbing in the front’ perhaps by the corporate MSM and the BBC – ie character assassination and demonisation.

        Unfortunately, that is the reality, as we have ALL surely learned during the course of the past five years. Ken and his allies took control of the GLC by sleight of hand – and for the obvious reason – so what did the fascists DO. Yep, they abolished it, along with the six Metropolitan Councils, that just happened to all be being run by left-wing administrations.

      3. Allan Howard
        MSM and toilet papers are a regulatory problem
        No functioning democracy can live without a free press, how we level this particular playing field is the fun bit

      4. Yes Doug, and THAT was my point – ie that there is no functioning democracy precisely because there is no free press, only a black propaganda machine doing the ‘bidding’ the Elite, so-called.

        PS Just after I posted my ‘reply’ to you it occurred to me that I should ALSO point out that as soon as Ken replaced the leader, the MSM – and especially the right-wing press, spear-headed by the Evening Standard (the sister paper of the Daily Mail) for the obvious reason – started demonising him.

  9. This could/should be a SKWAWKBOX Analyis piece all on its own if SW is able to reach the Labour Party source of Prole Star’s allegationForde Report ‘Rewritten To Protect The Guilty? – and validate their allegation(s).

    And- if he did, would the MSM would once again ignore Steve W’s excellent jounalism, or use it but fail to credit SKWAWKBOX for fear that their readers might discover this wonderful site and learn about Labour’s, emm…, seedier side and metaphorical sex-change in the class war?

  10. In this section: “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 ICO replied:
    We refer you to our letter to the NEC in February and, in particular, this paragraph:”
    You mean ‘The Forde Inquiry replied’ NOT “Th e ICO replied”????

  11. Martin Forde’s reputation is on the line. Is he going to do a Lord Hutton re the death of David Kelly, or follow the example of Sir John Chilcot, who surprised us all with his report on the events leading up to the war on Iraq? That is the question. He has a choice.

  12. The more I read about Labour under Starmer the more I realize how rotten it has become.

  13. You say: “the party is now treating texts, emails, WhatsApp messages and phone calls as private communications exempt from its code of conduct”

    If that is the case it should apply that decision retrospectively, with appropriate apologies and offers of reinstatement

  14. It needs restating time and again that emails, texts, phone calls and Whats App conversations that ‘appear’ somehow in the public domain (including employers’ equipment) are no longer private. And abusive conversations may border on criminal offences and at least constitute grounds for dismissal. All of which is relevant in this case.

    1. That’s correct. Just, last week, Jolyon Maugham and his Good Law Project, coupled with EveryDoctor, won such a ruling in court, last week, against Hancock and the Dept. of Health, re : PPE contracts.

      Hancock and the DoH were ordered to disclose texts and WhatsApp messages between senior officials and those seeking access to the PPE VIP lane. He has until 7th May to comply with the order.

      Re : The Forde Inquiry Report – the same principles apply. Texts and WhatsApp messages can no longer be claimed to be private.

      Publish The Forde Inquiry Report – now!

  15. While we’re on the subject of Israel, we don’t actually talk much about Palestinians or Gaza any more. The conversations been rerouted to what complies with Zionist sensibilities and specifically, what doesn’t. Well, there’s been some comment on American corporate NGO HRW’s calling Israel an apartheid state lately, but back in 2012 a UN report said “The Gaza Strip will not be “a liveable place” by 2020 unless action is taken to improve basic services in the territory, according to a UN report.”……..and yet, here we are tippy toeing around wokefully for a bunch of ultra conservative nationalists

  16. When Tony Blair was asked if there was any legislation that he regretted becoming law he replied ‘the Freedom of Information Act’. Starmer, a chip off the old block; no glasnost nor perestroika here.

  17. The information provided in this article, arising from an FoI request, is that there presently exists four outstanding cases between the ICO and the Labour Party regarding GDPR.

    Should this be the case it is reasonable to surmise that an outstanding GDPR case I have had logged with the ICO for some months may be one of those cases?

    In which case it seems equally reasonable under the circumstances to publicly observe that the Labour Party, as the respondent, has missed multiple deadlines to provide a response to the ICO in regard to the case number in my name.

    As the Party is apparently citing the existence of outstanding cases with the ICO as a pretext to delay the publication of the Forde Report and its Inquiry it further seems reasonable to conclude that the reason the Party is not responding in at least the case I have with the ICO is to keep such cases outstanding and unresolved for an indefinite period with the express intention of forever delaying the Forde Report.

    In this circumstance it would seem reasonable to further conclude that the only way to make progress in both the deliberately stalled outstanding GDPR cases and the publication of the Forde Report would be legal action against the Party along with a collective public release of the evidence submitted to the Forde Inquiry by as many as possible who submitted the evidence.

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