Feeble claim rightly ignored as inquiry concludes staffers were ‘deplorable’ – so why hasn’t party kicked them out instead of campaigning with them?
Right-wing Labour staff sent ‘deplorable’ and racist messages to each other and their feeble attempts to claim their messages were misrepresented don’t stand up, according to the newly-released Forde report.
The report soft-soaps much of the conduct of senior staffers and ignores evidence that closes the case on sabotage during Corbyn’s leadership – but dismisses their excuse that WhatsApp, text and email messages revealed in the leaked 2020 party report were in any way misleading or selective:
It has been put to us by a number of witnesses that the extracts of the messages quoted in the Leaked Report were cherrypicked and selectively edited, such that the quotes that appear in the Leaked Report are both unrepresentative and misleading.
Having reviewed the transcripts and considered evidence from many of those involved, we do not agree. We find that the messages on the SMT WhatsApp reveal deplorably factional and insensitive, and at times discriminatory, attitudes expressed by many of the Party’s most senior staff.
The report euphemistically describes the content of the messages as ‘at times discriminatory’, but it is clear from a reading of the comments and the outrage from black, Asian and mental health groups that the comments were racist as well as discriminating against other ‘protected characteristics’.
Yet many of those former senior staff still wield considerable influence in the party as favoured insiders – and Iain McNicol, who as then-general secretary was ultimately responsible for the conduct and messaging of his staff, was recently out campaigning for Labour alongside current general secretary David Evans. None of the former staffers have been expelled from the party as far as records show, though some were temporarily suspended and later readmitted long before the Forde inquiry was completed.
Labour under Keir Starmer has enabled racists in multiple ways since he took over. This is just one of them, but the fact that it is now formally acknowledged in the report Keir Starmer reluctantly commissioned is utterly damning and demands action – as does Forde’s confirmation of the obvious fact that the issue of antisemitism was weaponised against Jeremy Corbyn and the left.
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