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Exclusive: anger as former mayoral hopeful ‘removes left’ from Labour WhatsApp group after questions about council’s involvement in weapons fair

Liverpool City Council’s failure to stop electronic arms event has been criticised as ‘unlawful’

A Liverpool Labour councillor and former would-be mayoral candidate has been criticised for removing left-wingers from a local Labour WhatsApp group after they raised questions about the city council’s involvement in an electronic weapons fair to be held in Liverpool later this year.

Liverpool mayor Joanne Anderson has claimed that she is helpless to influence the event proceeding even though the council owns the venue, but campaigners and their legal representatives have responded that this is an ‘unlawful’ attempt to avoid accountability. Labour ‘whipped’ its majority on the city council not to oppose the exhibition, but more than sixty rebels and others published an open letter condemning the decision to allow it to proceed.

Councillor Ann O’Byrne removed several screens-worth of participants one after the other last night, perhaps not realising that WhatsApp would show her number as the admin involved:

When challenged on the group, she claimed she was not an admin, but continued to remove participants:

One Labour member affected told Skwawkbox:

Ann removed pretty much everyone on the left from the group, loads of people. Labour members were asking questions about the council’s involvement with the arms fair. It looked very surgical and pre-prepared.

Cllr O’Byrne, who during her bid to become Labour’s mayoral candidate earlier this year failed to answer questions about her involvement in controversial cash and loan transactions, is said to have ties to new mayor Joanne Anderson via their respective campaigns and supporter groups and when Anderson was first selected as a council candidate, O’Byrne commented:

She was contacted for comment about the deletions, but had not responded by the deadline for publication.

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  1. So many spiteful, vindictive people, in the Labour Party, these days. They’re not Socialists, by any stretch of the imagination.

    It’s not, just, Liverpool. This is how it is, up and down the country. When grown-ups re-take charge of the party, that’s one of the first things they need to sort out.

    Abolish the fiefdoms. They’ve become far too cosy.

  2. This arms fair is a disgrace and the councillors who are not actively opposing it should be ashamed.

    This Saturday 11th there will be big demo against it. Meet at Princes Park at 11.30am then at the Metropolitan Cathedral at 12. 30pm.

  3. Yeeeurch 🤧. The stench thrown up by this sociopathic woman reaches across the Mersey and adds to the accrid stink around Wallasey Town Hall. Can these hideous creeps be banned from mingling with normal human beings?

  4. Read and interesting piece on FB today.
    NEU says in view of the proposed arms fair (Merchants of Death Event) at the Liverpool Centre they will take this into account when planning if they will have a future conference there?
    Need more of this using our collective power and consumer boycotts like BDS against Right Wing Israel.
    After all it is argued (especially when the Black community in the USA came on board) such boycotts broke the back of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

  5. This is typical of the Labour right it obviously wasn’t ‘Broadchurch’ day. The Labour Left needs to examine how the right organises to constantly thwart the left (all right shortlists is one way) Control of Regional is another way(Shortlist shennaniganse.g.Keith Vaz ) to quote Sun Tzu ‘Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.’ If the left has strategies in place to twartthe right it might start to gain dominance of Labour.Personally I’m done with Labour but thats how the Labour Left might win

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