Right-winger Shabana Mahmood to stand down as chair of NEC’s complaints committee – faction set to replace her with close ally of hardliners Spellar and Watson
The Labour right is said to be planning a move this morning to install Labour First right-winger Gurinder Singh Josan as chair of the party’s ‘disputes committee’, the body that under Labour’s latest rules has power to expel members as well as suspend them. Fellow right-winger Shabana Mahmood is set to stand down from the position.
Josan was the subject of ‘serious and unresolved’ complaints to the Unite union alleging that he had bullied a blind party member – and was reported in his local West Midlands borough of Sandwell as having worked with local Tories in an attempt to bring down a Muslim Labour councillor. Blind councillor Ahmed Bostan said at the time that the incident made him feel,
extremely vulnerable, publicly humiliated, very uncomfortable, deeply saddened and under siege
No action appears to have been taken.
Local blogger and critic of Sandwell council Julian Saunders was at one time close to the Labour right. In 2019 he was the victim of an attempt by the right-run local council tried to convict him on charges of harassing the council’s chief executive – but the case spectacularly imploded when he produced video evidence in court showing he had not done or said any of the things of which the council had accused him.
He subsequently claimed, with photos, that a local Tory had brokered meetings between him and Josan where Saunders was asked to write articles damaging the Muslim councillor and that Josan brought him ‘very neat bundles’ of documents for him to use:
Curiously this was all arranged via a Sandwell Tory whom people knew I trusted. He arranged three meetings for me to meet Josan at the Pret a Manger opposite Snow Hill Station and he came along too…
Josan himself is a well-turned out man and on each occasion he brought me very neat bundles of documents, all organised, stapled etc – pictured below – which I was told had been prepared “by the Party.” They all related to (then) Cllr ___________ and I was specifically asked to use them to help bring him down.
Saunders also alleges that Josan desperately tried to prevent the selection of fellow Sikh Preet Kaur Gill as a parliamentary candidate during another Tory-arranged meeting:
The Tory took me to see Gurinder in the office of his sister’s accountancy firm in Smethwick. We had to wait sometime as Josan was ringing all his Sikh political contacts as he was anxious to stop comrade Preet Kaur Gill… getting a parliamentary berth.
According to Labour insiders, the right intended to install Josan as the disputes chair a year ago, but the attempt ultimately did not take place after Skwawkbox published an article recalling details of the allegations.
Gurinder Singh Josan was contacted several times for comment on these issues, including at the time of the first disputes attempt. He declined to comment on the allegations, but expressed delight at the prospect of chairing the committee. It appears that a year later, after a further twelve months purging the left from the party, the right feels emboldened to grant him his wish.
Update: Josan has now been made chair and will oversee Labour’s disciplinary processes.
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