Members kept in dark about conclusions of inquiry, but despite saying it doesn’t know who leaked the original Labour report, Starmer and Evans plan to name five supposed leakers, despite telling court it doesn’t know who did it
Keir Starmer and his sidekick David Evans are planning to accuse five former Labour staff of leaking a report on the behaviour of right-wing staffers during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – despite having told a court that they’re unable to say with any certainty who did leak it.
Starmer and his gangsters are still withholding the Forde report on the contents of the leaked document and the conduct it revealed, claiming this is because of an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation – even though the ICO said it has no problem with the report being released and had not requested any delay – keeping party members in the dark even though the Forde investigation was supposed to be released more than a year ago.
But they’re quite happy to name five people who in all likelihood had nothing to do with the leak.
The right-wing regime is accusing Seumas Milne, Karie Murphy, Georgie Robertson, Harry Hayball and Laura Murray as the leakers to try to get out of being sued by the right-wing staffers accused in the report, who are claiming their confidentiality was breached when the report containing WhatsApp messages and emails stored on the party’s computer system.
Current and former Labour members and the general public need to know whether the Labour right is racist and abused black MPs and others, whether right-wing staff sabotaged the 2017 general election, diverted election funds into their own projects and all the other allegations in the original leaked report.
Instead, as Skwawkbox predicted well over a year ago, Starmer and co are primarily pursuing the leakers – and are so desperate to divert attention that they are ready to accuse people with no proof.
The party admitted in court earlier this year – when right-winger Emilie Oldknow was trying to force it to name names – that they couldnt prove who was responsible for the leak. But now, as a statement from Carter Ruck, the legal firm acting for the wronged left-wing staff point out, they were due to make exactly that accusation in another court this afternoon – an accusation the party’s victims strenuously deny and that the party has failed even to properly describe in its documents:
In documents to be filed at the High Court during the course of today, the Labour Party will name the above-mentioned individuals as having been responsible for the leaking, in April
2020, of a Labour Party-commissioned Report entitled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019”.
All five individuals were employees of the Party at the time in question. They strenuously deny, and have consistently denied, any involvement or complicity in the leak whatsoever. They also deny having any knowledge of who was responsible. As such, the individuals will vigorously defend themselves in the proceedings and will seek full reimbursement of their costs of doing so from the Party.
To the extent that the Labour Party has explained its proposed action, it is clear that it will be naming the individuals in an attempt to deflect on to them its own liability in claims brought by a group of Claimants who are suing the Party over the leak as well as the Party bringing a related claim direct against the five.
The Party apparently admits that its case against the individuals is purely circumstantial and inferential, but has failed even to set out that case properly in correspondence, despite its obligations to do so under the relevant Court Protocol.
Earlier this year, the High Court rejected an application (by a Claimant who was intending to sue the Labour Party over the leak) for a disclosure order requiring the Party to name those the Party considered responsible (the decision is currently under appeal). In those proceedings, the Party acknowledged to the Court that there was no “smoking gun” evidence to prove who leaked the report, and the Party’s solicitor stated to the Court that the Party “does not claim to know definitively and with absolute certainty the identity of the person(s) responsible”.
Rejecting the application, the Judge noted that the Party’s position that the individuals were responsible for the leak was “highly contentious”. The Court expressed its concern that the naming of the individuals by the Party (the position of which the Judge made clear was not neutral) in the manner anticipated in the application could cause “potential injustice” and “the risk that innocent persons” would be identified.
There is nothing to suggest that the Party has any more “evidence” implicating the five individuals now, than it had in March.
A spokesperson for the five said:
The individuals entirely reject these baseless claims. They did not leak the report. They fully cooperated with the Party’s investigation by an independent external investigator, and with the inquiry led by Martin Forde QC. They understand that neither of those investigations concluded that they were responsible.
The Party has already acknowledged in court that it cannot be certain who leaked the report and that its “case” against them is circumstantial. But it is now trying to make them foot the bill for legal action brought against it.
The Party should be focussing [sic] on the deeply troubling evidence contained with the leaked report, rather than trying to wrongly scapegoat and victimise former staff who documented it, and who have not been accused by either of the independent investigations.
Starmer and Evans have already shown utter contempt for the Forde report and the members and voters waiting for it, by capitulating in an earlier case against right-wing staff named in the leaked report, against the advice of lawyers who said the party was likely to win its case.
That surrender cost the party more than £600,000 in an out of court settlement – and a right-wing member of Labour’s national executive admitted last month that Labour’s near-bankruptcy has much to do with the more than two million pounds it is paying yearly in legal fees.
The leadership went on to pour even more contempt by re-admitting some of the right-wing staff who feature in the leaked report to party membership, despite Forde’s conclusions on their conduct being unknown.
A Labour insider told Skwawkbox:
It seems [Starmer and Evans’s] appetite for spaffing money up the wall in court is endless, but it’s especially cowardly to be accusing other staff when they’ve already admitted they can’t prove anything.
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