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.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to without hardship, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.