‘Sick note’ unsuccessful; private appearance in Birmingham had been arranged for same day, clashing with London tribunal, but event was cancelled only at the end of April
Right-wing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood’s attempt to postpone a tribunal to hear a whistle-blower allegations has been unsuccessful, after the tribunal decided the case will proceed with only a one-day delay that had already been imposed from today until tomorrow.
Skwawkbox understands that Mahmood had presented a ‘fitness for work’ note signed by an old doctor friend, reporting that stomach and kidney issues affected his attendance.
However, Skwawkbox also understands that the note was dated two days before Mahmood reported his health issue to the tribunal and that Mahmood had also been scheduled to appear this morning in Birmingham as ‘keynote speaker’ at a diversity event involving a local footballer, clashing with the tribunal hearing/ The event was postponed in late April, some time after the tribunal date had been set.
The tribunal’s decision avoids further waiting and expense both for whistleblower Elaina Cohen and her witnesses and means that Mahmood will now be required to give evidence as scheduled, presumably by video link. He is likely to miss tonight’s Commons vote on a private members’ bill for further whistleblower protections.
Ms Cohen, who used to work for Mahmood, was dismissed after alleging abuse, bullying, theft, corruption and antisemitism. Both Mahmood and party leader Keir Starmer were contacted for comment but did not respond. Mahmood denied ‘all allegations of impropriety’ when approached by Skwawkbox more than a year ago. Keir Starmer took no action against the then-frontbencher at the time, who resigned from the front bench three months later, reportedly because of policy disagreements with the ‘London-based bourgeoisie’.
Leaked emails from Cohen to Keir Starmer and David Evans proved that the pair had been made fully and repeatedly aware of Cohen’s allegations but had not acted. Starmer did not respond to requests for comment on those emails.
Skwawkbox is in London to cover the beginning of the case, which is now expected to conclude next week, along with the Claudia Webbe appeal. If you would like to help cover the costs of the trip, please see here for details.
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