The tribunal case has opened this afternoon, after repeated delays for talks among the parties and their lawyers, between plaintiff Elaina Cohen and right-wing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood. Cohen has accused Mahmood of racism, bullying, abuse and theft and has told the tribunal that she was sacked for blowing the whistle on ‘criminal abuse’ of domestic violence victims by a member of Mahmood’s staff and the staff member lying to the DVLA on Mahmood’s Commons stationery. Mahmood has denied ‘all allegations of impropriety’.
Mahmood’s legal representative has so far attempted to cast Mrs Cohen as a jealous, vindictive and insecure former employee prepared to cover up wrongdoing if she can keep her job. Ms Cohen has flatly denied the accusations and reiterated that she is here at the tribunal to stand up for whistle-blower and the wronged women whose exploitation she says Mahmood ignored.
Sources close to the plaintiff told Skwawkbox that she was always going to resist attempts to gag her by settling the case before the tribunal started and that she is keen to have her allegations on the official record despite the personal risks.
Labour leader Keir Starmer’s awareness of the issues has already been touched upon in the evidence and cross-examination. He has never taken action or responded to Skwawkbox’s requests for comment about his and general secretary David Evans’s failure to act.
The case continues and, absent any settlement, is expected to last well into next week. Whether Mr Mahmood will appear in person or by videolink after reporting ill health yesterday is not yet finalised.
Skwawkbox is in London to cover the proceedings. If you would like to help cover the costs ofthe trip, please see here.
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