“It’s been silence from Keir Starmer over violence against women. Why does the Labour leader give this MP a free pass and target others?”
Right-wing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood last week lost a tribunal case brought against him by whistleblower Elaina Cohen for unfair dismissal. Ms Cohen had reported allegations that Mahmood’s staff member and alleged lover was threatening, bullying and blackmailing victims of domestic violence into committing crimes.
During the case, Ms Cohen turned down escalating offers by Mahmood’s team to settle the case before the judgment – offers that reached six figures by the time of her final rejection as she refused to be gagged and demanded an apology from the MP.
Shamefully, Keir Starmer has never acted to discipline or even investigate Mahmood, who remained on his front bench despite Ms Cohen’s repeated emails notifying him and general secretary David Evans of the allegations and demanding action – effectively covering up the allegations – and even posed for publicity pictures with the shamed MP at last week’s Commonwealth Games opening, despite the revelations.
Damningly, Mahmood’s legal team accepted without challenge the sworn witness statement of ‘Victim A’ about the horrors she and others suffered, rather than put her on the stand to talk to the tribunal panel about her experiences.
Since the defeat, Mahmood has tried to create a narrative in which he ‘won’ the case and was ‘pleased’ with the outcome and even responded to revelations about the rejected settlement offers by tweeting a claim that Cohen’s ‘friends’ had tried to gouge an ‘extortionate’ settlement out of him, while he – supposedly – resisted the pressure and wanted to see the case through to the end.
Mahmood even claimed that he could provide ‘text and email evidence’:
Ms Cohen and her friends reacted with fury to the ‘defamatory’ claim and demanded that Mahmood provide this evidence, including a direct demand for it from Cohen’s lawyers to Mahmood’s legal team to disclose it no later than 5pm tonight.
No response was provided.
Ms Cohen told Skwawkbox:
The tweet is a continuation of Mr Mahmood’s misinformation in the public domain. He has been requested to provide the evidence that he says exists and so far he has remained silent.
It’s been silence from Keir Starmer over violence against women. Why does the Labour leader give this MP a free pass and target others?
‘Victim A’ added:
I feel absolutely disgusted. First of all he claimed I was fake, then my testimony was accepted without challenge, now it’s about money. I sat next to him in court and he’s still claiming I’m fake and now that I’m stalking people for money. If I’m fake, how can I be extorting people for money?
When is it going to end? When is he going to admit he’s in the wrong? How can he be an MP?
And Majid Khan, one of Cohen’s witnesses at the tribunal, said:
It’s despicable that he’s targeting witnesses who gave spoke up in the tribunal against violence toward women, that’s what the essence of this case is. It’s shocking that someone like an MP, who should have standards in public life, is making these defamatory comments.
Khalid Mahmood was contacted for comment on why he had not provided the evidence he claims to have, but did not respond. Keir Starmer has been repeatedly contacted for comment about his inaction in a case involving allegations of criminal exploitation of domestic violence victims but has never responded.
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