Mayor and council widely condemned for allowing event to proceed – but party is punishing councillors who voted with their conscience even for a review of whether it could be stopped
Liverpool is punishing three councillors who voted with their conscience – and the wishes of the city’s people – against Labour’s ‘whip’ not to oppose the controversial weapons fair that the city mayor and council allowed to proceed last week despite owning the venue and operating company and despite mass protests against it.
Two councillors have already been suspended for a month in what observers have called a ‘kangaroo court designed to humiliate and set them up for deselection’, while a third is facing a similar farce imminently.
Their ‘crime’? Not to cancel the event, nor to condemn the mayor for saying – apparently without grounds – that she was powerless to intervene, but simply voting for a motion by the Greens that asked the council just to arrange a review of options to see whether there was any way it could be cancelled.
This, apparently, is bringing the party into disrepute – not the decision of the mayor and her cabinet to host an event to promote weapons that have been used by regimes to oppress civilians, despite having almost six million pounds of leverage over the venue company as well as the power to remove its board any time the council wishes.
The attack comes as part of Labour’s escalating war on the left-wing city, which has seen Keir Starmer interfere in the selection of mayoral candidates – eliminating a black woman who certainly would have opposed the arms event – before writing in the despised S*n and blocking all left candidates from the selection process for three council by-elections and then appointing a new ‘Liverpool officer’ who defected from the party to join the doomed ‘Change UK’.
Well-placed sources have told Skwawkbox that the situation on the council’s Labour group is ‘horrific’ with an obvious end-game of the removal of the left from the council.
But the party is in danger of a serious miscalculation. By leaving so many councillors with nothing to lose, Labour could easily find itself losing a large enough section even to outnumber the LibDems and become the official opposition on the council.
And if the people of Liverpool see that there is a genuine and principled alternative to voting Labour, the prospect of the city becoming a Labour wasteland as happened in Scotland looms far larger.
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