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Exclusive: Greenwich Labour officials quit as senior pols smear mostly-black panel – party sides with smearers

Chair and secretary of campaign body resign over smears and meddling in selections by senior politicians

Image by yisris from Japan – Greenwich Market, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The Labour party’s campaigning in the London borough of Greenwich are in ‘chaos’ after the chair and procedures secretary of the party’s ‘Local Campaign Forum’ (LCF) both quit after being put in what they describe as an ‘untenable’ position.

The resignations were reported yesterday on the site, which describes interference in the selection process and that chair Cllr Peter Brooks and secretary Julie Grimble had both resigned after pressure to select candidates loyal to the borough’s right-wing council leader culminated in Brooks being accused of lying – and that two councillors with six decades of service had been deselected, with one told they were too inexperienced after being in post since the 1990s.

But Skwawkbox can also reveal the racism at the heart of the issue – and that Labour’s London office appears to be siding with the senior politicians interfering in the selections.

According to Labour sources in the area, attempts to prevent the selection of ‘unsuitable’ candidates – those not loyal to the right-wing leader – led to smears against the mostly-black panel that was interviewing candidates and its competence, in order to create an excuse for blocking selections.

Complaints to Labour’s London regional office have so far fallen on deaf ears – a phenomenon in line with previous support by London Labour for right-wingers, even those accused of outright racism.

The make-up of councillors in Greenwich is of keen importance to council leader Danny Thorpe, whose position as leader was won by just one vote in 2018.

Court transcripts revealed that the council machine had ‘sought to protect’ Tonia Ashikodi, a Thorpe ally, from Skwawkbox’s enquiries in 2018. A Skwawkbox investigation had discovered that Cllr Ashikodi was under investigation for housing fraud, yet the council repeatedly denied that any investigation was taking place. The wording of the denial was excruciating:

if there were something that has happened, the Leader of the Council never gets involved in those issues… and I’d be surprised if the Labour Party was aware of anything that may or may not be happening.

Greenwich council press spokesperson

In July of the same year – two months after Thorpe’s election – Ashikodi was charged and ultimately convicted on two counts of fraud for failing to declare two homes she owned when she applied for council housing.

Now, according to Labour sources in Greenwich, the machine has decided to smear black people in order to block the selection of candidates who might, as councillors, end Thorpe’s fragile tenure – a machine, judging by the non-response of London Labour, that extends well up into the party structure.

One source said that the extent of the desperation to secure a ‘friendly’ council can be seen in the fact that the two officials who resigned are also on the right of the party and would normally be considered supportive of Thorpe’s leadership – and that the moves come as part of a broad assault on the positions of left councillors, with people of colour and women being especially targeted.

The area’s representative on Labour’s Regional Executive Committee was suspended and faux-demoted by Unison after her interference in the union’s general secretary election to ensure the re-election of the right-wing incumbent was condemned by a judge.

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  1. two councillors with six decades of service had been deselected, with one told they were too inexperienced after being in post since the 1990s.

    Just WHAT planet are these imbeciles on? Antisemitic Jews, ‘inexperienced’ councillors of up to 30 years standing…WTF next?

    Non-violent, truthful, honest coppers? Pffft!

    1. 2+2=5

      an award-winning Iranian short film written and directed by Babak Anvari –

      The LabourRight don’t even feel the need to pretend to be logical, fair, consistent, decent any more. Flee from these charlatans? STAY and FIGHT.

      1. qwertboi, I am sorry to disagree with you but after 30 years in the Labour Party I have cancelled my DD. I saw what I saw at the last Labour Conference.
        Once the resolution to up the need for 20% backing for the PPC to nominate for the leadership even in the event of a vacancy at the top, the Party is in their hands and it isn’t going to change no matter that we have the policies and they don’t.
        The right of the Party is not going to implement resolutions passed at Conference that they don’t like and their is nothing we can do about it.
        The only thing we achieve by carrying been members is to enable the right of the Party to continue with the purge.
        I hope that the two Cllrs that have been deselected stand as independents and start campaigning robustly to be re-selected as independent Labour.
        What a total disgrace!!

      2. Yes Maria, I fully understand why you did, (I nearly did myself!). The only thing that has stopped me was FPTP making it near-impossible for a non-Labour left party to win seats in Parliament and an emotional tie to Labour, its history and purpose.

        Either way – defeating these CIA-backed pro-crony-capitalism in Labour s an important part of the democratic socialisr agenda and leaving would have felt like an eviction!

      3. Huh? Your logic and reason is lacking old chap. So according to you a totally entrenched right wing that has 95% of all MP’s and virtually the entire backroom, national and regional staff and any control is all solid right wing. So we should stay and fight?


        They won! Accept it they are in charge, all of this stay and fight I am now convinced is delusional or at worse paid shills. Trying desperately for the money to keep on coming. There here to dangle the old days, the history or any lie or deception as long as were subservient.

        Got to keep the idiots working for us electing only the correct right people read other right wing and above all got to keep the money to pay for it all coming in. Do these shills get a bonus I wonder…

        So no I won’t pay for right wing scum to take the Mickie, sneer at me and my ideology to take a massive dump on the memories of my socialist parents and grandparents who gave so much and I am glad never got to see this ultimate stab in the back.

        I will keep my vote, my help and above all my money until there is a socialist only Labour movement. With no right wing a real grass routed party. That respects the rules and obeys the same no matter member, MP or worker where the damn PLP knows it’s dam place and it sure as heck is not in charge!

        You want to stay and fight? Go ahead let me know how it goes… We tried that we was suckered and lied to, I learn by past mistakes and sure as heck don’t repeat them!

        One Blairite was enought thanks.

      4. The more accurate equation in the present context in which the LP has been totally taken over by managerialist clones would be 2+2=3 rather than 2+2=5.

        Orwell most likely sourced his use of the equation from an early Soviet era poster which used it to advertise the claim that the the targets of the five year plan had been achieved in only four years. An observation which mirrors a feature of systems in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

        The Coasian Hell in which so called modern management has hollowed out organisations in every area of life across the Western World has also resulted in an extreme reductionism in terms of undermining organisation per se to the point in which the predominant feature of any, now disorganised, system in the West is that the whole is less than the sum of the parts. Hence 2+2=3.

        An anti society cultural approach currently being taken to its logical, and Randian/Thatcherite, conclusion in an atomised identity politics which instead of bringing people together separates them out into smaller and smaller groups which aids, rather than opposes, the divide and rule hierarchy of oppression employed by the 1% being used to destroy the unity of class politics.

    2. I’ve got it….

      Opposing the government while in opposition.

      Oh, hang on….That’s been done 😕

  2. And so it goes, in trickles and floods members are leaving, yet one among us won’t countenance it. Before Jeremy Corbyn boosted the membership, the Labour party had a membership of approximately 200 thousand. Logic tells me the membership will revert to that post Corbyn, especially with a leader as unpopular as Starmer.

  3. Well if you can be a mp in Batley before youve been in the Labour party a couple of weeks then there shouldn’t be a problem.After all said and done weve a leader of the Labour party with five years of experience as a mp only and none in the CLPs or branches.ITs a free for all provided you are extreme right wing and hate socialists and the membership…Keep paying the Subs they need your money for restraunts and away days.ITs tough at the top don’t you know….just saying!

    1. To be fair Joseph, Kim Leadbetter HAD been in the Labour Party until 2016
      and she left (or let her membership lapse) after her sister was murdered. After
      that she concentrated her energies on continuing her sisters work.

      The Labour Party can make exceptions – and this IMHO was a reasonable one. As for
      her suitability – well time will tell.

      I am one who will DEFINITELY stay in the Labour Party until and unless they
      chuck me out. I am part of a decent CLP where we discuss subjects
      that are admissible – and even go beyond .. I will not explain any more as I do not
      want to attract the attention of Evans and his sidekick Starmer. I think a lot of
      members are keeping their powder dry.

      1. She maybe let her long-standing party membership lapse in 2016 when the Corbyn Project was full-flow, renovating and restoring the Labour party, reminding it of its radical reformism and its reason for being? That’s Sir Keir’s kind of member, that is.

      2. Holbyfanmw….I really do get it,the Labour party was part of our lives,unfortunately enough is enough but dont forget to grab the keys and share the copys around before leaving.the CLP office,and don’t forget to turn off the lights…Moneys too tight to mention “..regards!

      3. ‘The Labour Party can make exceptions – and this IMHO was a reasonable one. As for
        her suitability – well time will tell.’

        a seat that was likely to be lost – saved by miming the US Democratics tricks and throwing in a ‘celebrity’ waving a shroud. sickening opportunists who are only interested in the acquisition of power. shameful.

      4. Holby fanMw
        The late Jo Cox, Leadbeater’s sister was anti Corbyn. She accompanied Neil Coyle to Jeremy’s office in 2016, a year after her election to parliament, to demand he stand down as leader. Her husband Brendan Cox seemed set to follow in her footsteps until he became involved in a scandal and thereafter adopted a low profile. I think it is unlikely Kim resigned from the party because of her sisters tragic murder – much more likely it was because she shared Jo’s anti Corbyn views

  4. It’s difficult not to see certain sections of my own Party as institutionally-corrupt.
    ( …… and not even competently-corrupt)

    1. Lundiel After reading that pyromaniacs loose at southside I must change my advice and say stop feeding the fire and giving money to maniacs to run round southside with fuel cans burning down socialist.I F only the people of Britain could see that type of hatred of staff against victims of their warped ideology..

  5. I don’t understand how alienating hard working competent members and councillors furthers the interests of the LP. Unless Sir Keir Stupid has got a very large potential donor who has offered untold millions provided SKS gers rid of anyone capable of independent thought. Not seen evidence of racism (ie smearing people because of race/skin colour) yet, just getting rid of potential obstructors of full throated Starmerism. Truly SKS is as devious and ruthless as Stalin. This is a genuine purge.

    1. Yeah, factionism is every bit as disgusting for a Labour party as (institutional) racism would be – but, as you so incisively said, there more than a touch of Stalin about Sir Keir Deceit and Betrayal Starmer, so of course the party he leads is dysfunctional and worse,

    2. If his ‘very large potential donor’ can’t deliver votes, as well, they’re wasting their money

      1. Not if they’re looking at the bigger picture of keeping mildly left of centre politics out of the picture completely. In which case it’s money well spent.

  6. Lets examine some facts rather than this fantasy that only staying in the Labour straight jacket can possibly win seats lets ignore that little nasty lie.

    Scotland gone no Labour left. England 95% of all MP’s right wing and sure as hell that number will be lowering to ZERO soon! Then what will you do stay and fight yad yada I know. But at what point do you see as the rest of us life long members did that there was no future in the Labour party for anything not right wing…

    Did I want to leave? Hell NO, I had to for my sanity. Seeing more and more hate, lies and deceptions week on week. The PLP being eaten by the right wing cancer and not 1 shred of socialism left in the so called Labour party.

    Even the sodding unions will rather go full right wing and shit all over there members ideology and needs. Yes there a few left wing good unions left but unless we get them the hell out of Labour and working for socialism I worry they will fall soon.

    The only bright spot Wales that wonderful country that believes in socialism and I hope the Welsh Labour party splits from the United Kingdom BS version and stays left wing.

    Here is what I bet will happen Torys will lose more support it will snowball and the press will use the Red Torys as a safety value. This pack will give them one term that to all extent and purpose will be Torys MK2 Red rosette branch and for this support Murdoc and fellow scum will demand all remaining left MP’s are removed.

    As we know thanks to there BS power games at conference and the useless NEC any rules will only benefit the right wing from now on will be past or followed.

    So extrapolating the above and lets re examine your stay and fight mantra? l have to ask to achieve what and for who?

  7. It is an offence to tell the truth in today’s Labour party, I was just looking back to the interview Angela Rayner gave to News night where she said “I believe the statement around the small numbers and to suggest that it is a small number in the Labour party, whilst that might be TRUE” blah blah blah. By the way, Corbyn had every right to comment on the EHRC report and they encouraged everyone to do so, apparently it is a hanging offence if you tell the truth, after all Rayner agreed with Corbyn that only small numbers were involved. By that yardstick Angela [we will expel thousands] Rayner is a denialist.

  8. ‘according to Labour sources in Greenwich the machine has decided to smear black people’. Source? Is this the standard of journalism on the left? when does personal beliefs,.comment & opinion become fact?

    1. It’s what it looks like to them. You’re welcome to deny it. They claim the support of two right wingers substantiates their argument. Who knows? But it’s pretty blinkered to deny it outright.

      1. Well said m’am!

        Source(s) are often asked for by people for no other reason than to denigrate or decry them, e,g, 99.8 percent and 0.002 – 0.004 percent and the non-virulence of SARS-CoV2: It doesn’t matter to covidians or truth-haters that those numbers are provided by the WHO Covid Dashboard (first was survival rate, second the range of infection-to-fatality).

        Sadly, there are bigger lies being told (that also benefit the Powers That Be) than the Jeremy Corbyn “is a F***ing anti-semite” lie of Margaret Hodge and miscelaneous pro-Isreali appartheid agents.

      2. I saw a version of unsubstantiated truth @ Hillsborough. Pretty blinkered truth-haters eh? Put your trust in Politicians & journalists?

  9. The right’s grip looks secure, but that’s merely because they have to be undemocratic. In fact, their need for authoritarianism is the measure of their weakness. The question of staying to fight or leaving is really the question of what Labour is for. It has always been social democratic. The 1945 government was relatively radical because the troops weren’t going to come home and accept the poverty of the 30s. The Labour victory was quite astonishing given Churchill’s reputation; but the common folk were in a revolutionary mood. People aren’t timid of revolution when they’ve been fighting fascists for six years. Had Attlee promised legislation to outlaw employment and make all enterprises co-ops, he would have won. Probably by a larger majority. That revolutionary sentiment endured. MacMillan said “We have to use socialistic measures.” You wouldn’t hear that from Starmer. But the right worked hard to pull Labour back to its social democratic hypocrisy; essentially the view that giving the workers a few more of the spoils of colonialism is the best that can be done. The only thing worth fighting for is a thoroughly transformed economy. That’s not to say improvements aren’t welcome, but without fundamental change, they are little more than bribes to accept the status quo. Staying while Starmer is in charge is hopeless. If he falls and someone to his left can be installed, it may be worth re-joining. These are matters of judgement. What is truly crucial is that a movement to the left of Labour coheres and sticks around. A movement for a co-operative economy must become a permanent presence. If we can stand candidates against Labour, so much the better. If they have to look over their shoulders it may force them to think twice. Don’t think, however, that Starmer is either strong or secure. He is a weak man, a non-swimmer flailing in big breakers. He is stacking up opposition, has made no significant impact with the voters and even the right know he is a dud. We must keep our nerve and think clearly. Starmer will not win the next election. He may well fall before then. When he does, we have to be ready.

  10. The conundrum for me is that the LP becomes more RW with every socialist that leaves … so how is the LP going to return to being socialist if the socialists leave? I completely understand wanting to leave.. and don’t blame anyone but under FPTP, the LP is currently the only vehicle for removing this vile and dangerous Johnson govt.. Staying in the LP gives a smidgeon of hope for changing the LP but leaving (unless/until there is a viable alternative) offers very little.

    It is clear from the dirty tricks that the RW of LP are not confident of holding onto the LP and the votes at conference indicated that the Left is still a force in the LP even if we lost the constitutional and rules votes. It is true that change can/must come from pressure from campaigning outside but whilst we live in a parliamentary system, we still need a party to oppose or put the legislation through/

    However, the imperative is for the Left to stay together and not drift off. Solidarity.

    1. Delusional. Keith and Co are destroying the Party. This was their mandate from their backers from Day 1. Nothing you say or do will avert that. If you want to continue to help them fund that then go ahead.

      The only other option is a new party.

    2. Two questions present themselves:

      1. What is the purpose of the Labour Party? Is it A means to an end or THE ends itself?

      2. What are ‘we’ fighting for? And how long are we supposed to be fighting for?

      What is problematic is that for too many the LP has become the ends rather than the means to an end. Its all about the gang being the only monopoly route to salvation – like a religious dogma. If ‘we’ are fighting to establish a particular, lets call it, ‘philosophical approach’ within the Party against a totally different philosophical approach effort is diverted to that internal battle rather than changing wider society.

      Which begs a further question.

      This internal organisational ‘fight’ has been taking place for well over a century and it seems pertinent to raise the issue as to whether ‘we’ – that is the majority – can afford to continue such an indulgence in the present context and state of play in the wider world. ‘We’ are running out of time to address many vital issues and there exists a valid argument that wasting further time in parking the effort required to address those issues whilst ‘we’ spend a further century or more of indeterminate time engaged in this sideshow whilst everything collapses around us is not a sound survival strategy.

      We need to be thinking in terms of a different systemic paradigm rather than following a dead end.

  11. It is incredibly depressing that a proudly anti-racist party has become blatantly and overtly racist. I struggle to understand how anyone from BAME communities would want to remain in the labour party!

    This also has the grubby hands of david the purger evans all over it and he is pressing ahead with the removal of any kind of democracy from within the party!

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