Cruel Labour letter sent by temp on insecure contract, with no process and under orders of ‘senior’ staff member as part of vendetta – ‘rescinded’ because Labour knew it had no legal ground to stand on
On Friday, Labour sent an email to Young Labour chair Jess Barnard, warning her that she was under investigation for supposedly ‘hostile’ language – when Barnard had in fact been ‘challenging transphobia’. The party quickly wilted under legal threat from her legal representatives and ‘rescinded’ the letter with a grovelling apology, claiming it had been sent ‘in error’.
The letter had been sent to Ms Barnard, who has made no secret of the mental stress she has suffered because of a series of vicious character attacks on her and Young Labour with no hint of support for her from the party’s leadership, at 1am on Friday.
Friday was World Suicide Prevention Day.
One in a series
Rather than being an ‘error’, it appears that the email was in fact ordered by a senior staff member as part of a vendetta against Ms Barnard and others and was intended to punish her for standing up against the character assassinations and for standing in solidarity with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign – and to prevent her speaking at Labour’s conference later this month.
It also appears, as one would expect given the 1am sending, that the email was sent without any due process or sign-off and using Labour’s vague social media code of conduct as an excuse – though of course no equivalent action has ever been taken against a list of right-wing Labour MPs who have told critics to ‘f*** off’ or similar, while Ms Barnard’s language in her Twitter exchanges was far more restrained despite considerable provocation.
Moreover, it appears that the sending account of the Labour email belonged to a junior staff member recently employed on an insecure temporary contract – despite Labour throwing permanent staff into unemployment because of its disastrous financial situation. It hardly needs to be said that no staffer on an insecure contract is going to unilaterally start sending emails at 1am.
And Labour’s attempt to pass off the incident as an ‘error’ holds no water at all – because Jess Barnard is only one of a large number of Labour members, including elected ‘CLP’ officers, to receive the same or very similar letters, all on the same day – an incident that left NEC member Mish Rahman touched on in a tweet on Friday primarily referring to Ms Barnard’s case:
Some party insiders have referred to the emails being sent by a ‘rogue’ staff member, but that remains to be evidenced.
A vendetta being conducted by at least one senior staff member; astonishing callousness on a day supposed to mark the prevention of suicide; an email sent entirely without due process; and a grovelling u-turn when one target of the attack pushed back. The moral and political bankruptcy and the lack of vision and substance of Keir Starmer’s Labour laid bare.
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