Analysis Breaking News

Right-winger Byrne suspended for bullying – but still under investigation for misuse of resources on mayoral campaign

Byrne accused of using parliamentary staff on West Midlands mayoral campaign, as Skwawkbox exclusively revealed

Blairite Labour MP Liam Byrne has been suspended from Parliament for two days for bullying a sick member of his staff. An independent panel found that Byrne’s decision to ‘ostracise’ the staffer after a falling-out at the office amounted to ‘malicious’ bullying. Labour has said it will implement the panel’s recommendations – the suspension, an apology and anti-bullying training – in full.

But Byrne, one of the founders of right-wing pressure group Progress, has also been under investigation after complaints by staff that he misused parliamentary resources by deploying publicly-funded parliamentary staff on his West Midlands mayoral campaign were exclusively revealed by Skwawkbox last summer.

One of Byrne’s staff – it is not clear whether this is the same staff member who was bullied – wrote to the party to complain that Byrne:

  • owed the former staffer more than £11k in unpaid salary, leaving the employee working for a year below the legal minimum wage
  • played arbitration service Acas and parliamentary standards body IPSA off against each other about the matter to avoid an employment tribunal deadline
  • damaged at least one staff member’s mental health because of the stress of ‘containing’ the misuse of parliamentary resources
  • told Acas that he had instructed IPSA to make the outstanding payment, but IPSA said no such instruction had been received and that they had been told the matter was with Acas
  • made a partial payment in December but not in full, with the delay causing the deadline for tribunal action to be missed
  • said in January that he now considers the staff’s overtime hours voluntary and therefore non-payable

According to a local Labour candidate, ‘half [Byrne’s] team’ had quit, leaving only parliamentary staff, who were being used full-time on the mayoral campaign. Mr Byrne did not respond to a request for comment at the time.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced in August that it was investigating Byrne, after another MP made a complaint about the allegations.

Bullying and use of parliamentary resources are not the only issues dogging Liam Byrne in recent years. The MP was publicly accused by the outgoing mayor of Sandwell borough in the West Midlands of being a ‘self-serving’ hypocrite. His mayoral selection literature also appeared to claim an endorsement by a local Labour group that the group had not given.

Byrne said he was ‘perplexed and mystified’ how the leaflet – which said in large print ‘Hall Green: “We’re voting Liam”‘ – could be read that way.

IPSA told Skwawkbox that its investigation of the allegations of misuse of parliamentary resources is still ongoing.

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  1. Yes, and another of Sir Keith Starmer’s FRONT BENCH parasites allegedly told another MP that she was “their secret weapon”. “men wanted to sleep with her.”

    Yes that’s SIR Keith’s lot. Bullying Byrne and others who think the best a woman can be is a sexual object for men.

    Everyone should consider seriously, that they PRESERVE the system, by enabling IN ANY WAY, Sir Keith Starmer’s hypocrites, self-serving careerist, indecent integrity free liars, parasites and all round bad Bad BAD news.

    If we don’t stop them now, our situation will be undoable for at least thirty years. We must vote anything: Socialist Worker Party, Communist Party, INDEPENDENTS, even Greens vote the best way to make sure we don’t get lumped with red rosette parasites.

    1. You missed out a bit of the quote. It has been widely reported that this is what was actually said –

      “BBC Wales reported the MP was described as being a “rising star” of the party at an event.
      She said that before she could reply, the shadow cabinet member had intervened to describe her as “a secret weapon” because “women want to be her friend” and men want to sleep with her.

      1. p.s. SIR Keith Rodney Starmer, ALSO had a birthday party with TWO cakes‼️

        and RAYNER was there‼️‼️

        Sir Keith’s lot r claiming their original denial was an honest mistake… hmmm.

        Keith’s front bencher’s alleged words were vulgar, not ‘sleep with.’

        That’s Mandelson & George Bush Jr’s poodle Weapons of Mass Destruction LIAR BLAIR creature’s tool, Sir Keifor you‼️‼️‼️

        People must also ask, WHY are Keith and his lot so SILENT re outrageous Covid-19 corruption / chumocracy / £MILLIONS … over two hundred million to one Peer’s firm, yet SILENCE from Keith. Why? ? ? Because as posted here EARLY O’CLOCK Sir Keith & Co’s priorities are: 1️⃣- PURGE Labour’s purpose and 2️⃣- Get their turn at SNOUTS in TROUGHS and passes for REVOLVING DOORS to vulture corporations. That is all. They will be more rapacious than the parasites opposite them.

        We would be criminal to enable them. Find Socialist Worker Party, Independents, new parties … even Greens tactically. But DONT let Sir Keith & Co take us for gullible foot-soldiers.

    2. Caribbean Branch’s “Mandy” operated tool SIR KEITH STARMER’s Shadow Cabinet collaborator told a Labour MP that she is

      “a secret weapon”



      That’s the type, like BYRNE, with whom Mandelson controlled Weapons of Mass Destruction deployable in Forty Five Minutes LIAR BLAIR, Campbell, Lammy, Straw, Kinnocks, Blankett, Beckett and the rest of theLabour destroying pests, nests and plot.

    3. p.s. of course, vote 4 Socialist in Local & General Election.
      Their hearts r in the right place. They never “woke up everyday thinking of new ways to undermine Jeremy” as Mandelson boasted, with coup plotters WMD Iraq invader Blair & Sir Keith Starmer with their TWO choreographed coups undermining true Labour.

      NB the first Sir Keith Starmer coup was within TWELVE months of Jeremy’s tenure. Don’t let them take all of us for dimwitted fools who “have nowhere else to go” as Mandelson gloated.

      We are better than that.

  2. Byrne is a disgrace. His CLP should make as much noise as possible to get him deselected or endorse a different candidate at the next GE. He will probably get kicked upstairs to the Lords which will pander to his giant ego.

    1. Liam Byrne is indeed “a disgrace”. So is Sir Keith Starmer. Durham police have questions to answer. Why did they fail to charge Keith for his lock down party? It is alleged that a Durham police officer was at Sir Keith’s party. You read it right. DURHAM POLICE OFFICER.

      It may be that exactly as Dame Dick’s corrupt bunch WATCHED as SUITCASES of booze were wheeled in to Downing Street EVERY FRIDAY afternoon during Covid-19 lock down, and they failed to stop law breaking, Durham police were being similarly loose with the law with Sir Keith’s get together while others were wished a “GREASY NIGHT” by one of Sir Keith Starmer’s lot.

      One rule for “the few” like Sir Keith Max Headroom Starmer. Another rule for us “the many”.

      1. How many Senior Police Officers regularly attended Jimmy Saville’s weekend drinking binges, especially South Yorkshire Police. It was another open secret that Sir Keir Starmer knew nothing about & did nothing to investigate.

      2. No. 10 Downing Street; perhaps the most heavily policed address in the world & now, 2 years later, they’re handing out Fixed Penalty Notices. Sic Joke police force. Good job nobody was sunbathing in a public park, getting their vitamin D.

    2. When Labour left office Byrne left a message for his Tory successor “”There’s no more money”. This has been used endlessly by the Tories. A gift that keeps on giving.
      Surely he must have known that would happen. What was he playing at?

      1. Arwyn Thomas, Byrne happily left that msg 4 his Tory chum, because WE r INVISIBLE, except at elections. They see themselves as two houses / chapters / groups in tbe SAME public school / private club.

        WE who know society should be different to be decent, r OUTSIDE their cosy self-serving CHOICE of club.

        NVLA is also spot on re:

        a FACADE = the police

        the police = Establishment protectors.

    3. @signpost

      Plod are simply here to protect the establishment. Everything else is a facade.

    1. McDonnell has moved seamlessly from US Republican anti-Chinese cold war warmongering to Democrat anti-Russia war drive.

  3. Well I now read in the mail that the police have been forced to pursue the labour partytime party after pictures that we saw on Squawkbox of our keef swigging out of a bottle and games and entertainment have now been mentiond.Partygate is not just for Bozzo but the whole group of lawmakers who think and probably with good reason “Laws are for the little people
    .And mr Byrne just another thug who is looking for a free ride on the back of the British people.

  4. What a nasty petty man Byrne is- a malicious bully who isolated and ignored a member of staff because of a minor disagreement. Byrne’s bullying and his total lack of professionalism are now a matter of record. He clearly has brought the party into disrepute but because he is a Labour Friend of Israel and because he like Starmer received substantial sponsorship from Trevor Chinn he has not been subject to party suspension or the disciplinary procedure.
    If he had been a Socialist or non-Zionist he would have suspended long ago. Shame on Starmers Labour for ignoring and thereby condoning this bully’s disgusting behaviour.

      1. Steve H…..Did you enjoy the reception that the Royals were given by the carrabeans when the dregs of Britain turned up giving the two fingered salute from HRH now theyve taken the chains off.the Natives.?

      2. Joseph – I’m not a fan of the monarchy From a constitutional perspective they are a waste of space.

      3. Steve H Well looks like youve not been completely “brainwashed by the knight of the realm and the nonsence that goes with it maybe theres a chink of light! at the end of the tunnel.

    1. Reply to Steve H
      No I don’t know what the disagreement was about but that is totally irrelevant anyway because even if the disagreement was serious it does not give Byrne the right to bully a junior member of staff – bullying cannot be justified under any circumstances.

  5. Handed out strongly for penitence and repentance, Liam Byrne with a two day sentence?

    1. Correction – Having just listened to the song, I amend it to “penalty and repentance”.

  6. This is the moron who in 2010, having lost the election, thought it’d be amusing to leave a cheeky note in the treasury saying, ‘Dear chief secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money,’ a note subsequently brandied about by Cameron in 2015’s election as a reason NOT to vote Labour.

    Byrne states it was a meant as a joke, but he lacked the basic political sense to see what a gift it was, and how it’d be taken and presented as a literal statement by Labour’s opponents.

  7. Bang to rights on everything else but have to say the Hall Green leaflet charge looks tenuous – do the CLP believe themselves to be one and the same as the constituency?

  8. Byrne should have been kicked out of the Labour party years ago. But he’s right-wing enough, that’s all New New Labour care about.

  9. Last weekend for door knocking and its looking good for a political earthquake in the partitioned six counties of gerrymandered Ulster….maybe soon we can re attatch the missing three counties to make the nine back were they belong in a united Ireland.Lets hope that Sir knight of the realm gets a good kicking in the British local elections as none of us want to see another second rate tory tributes act.doing well although for many they will only hear about the “Labour partygate” after the elections in Britain and Ulster.The police know keef very well as former DPP leader he “Was the man to go to “for bent coppers.I knew when I voted for the leadership what the “Scumbag” was and it was a case of anyone but the knight with my vote.
    why did the membership fall for blatent lies from a relatively new MP Sir Keir starmer dragging all that baggage around ?..maybe a inquiry or inquest into the leadership elections should have happened…too late now though.quarter of a million left or thrown out of the labour party.and the labour party near bankrupt.what a disaster for the liberation of the working class in Britain and its all down to a tick on the ballot.

    1. Reply to Joseph,

      You say in your statement above, “and the labour party near bankrupt”. That’s the conventional wisdom, but is it true? Take note of points one and two below from the twitter feed of Behind Labour (check them out). Secret donation “black holes” and structures designed to enable dodgy practices.

      If you have a Labour MP it may be worth checking their declarations of interests page on the They Work for You website.

      Behind Labour
      Apr 27
      On todays episode of #BehindLabour we are talking about:
      👉🏻 The Labour Party structure appears to have purposefully been designed to enable corrupting practices.
      👉🏻 Secret donation black holes.
      👉🏻 Data Protection abuse.
      👉🏻 A #FordeReport easter egg.

      1. Thanks PW…..for a perceptive article on the changing face of Sinn Fein hopfully the first democratic socialist government in Ulster and Ireland.

  10. Thanks for that PW. What was difficult to glean was the targeting of this ad – the Brexit campaign was awash with micro-targeting that pandered to the assumed biases of those seeing particular ads – and I can imagine this doing what the author intimated in a very particular demographic but more broadly evoking not simply the perception of authoritarianism but also a shrug of indifference as both issues seem open to consideration rather than eliciting a knee-jerk response. And again, in isolation, I wouldn’t know whether this is a trait found only in Labour or if getting sub-tribes to fulminate by pressing certain buttons is now the norm in local elections rather than addressing issues that have partiocular resonance to a locality. There were several places where the broad, often contradictory messaging of Brexit was gathered together, is there any comparable for local elections?

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