Analysis Breaking

Protected right-wing councillor re-selected but loses over 1/3 of votes despite rigged ballot paper

Party responded to members voting for selection contest against controversial councillor by putting only incumbent councillor on paper and seizing control of ballot meeting

At the end of July, Cllr Ann O’Byrne was ‘triggered’ by Labour members in the Warbreck ward in the north of the city, after concerns about her links to a cash-only company from which the city council is trying to recover some £78,000 and which gave £20,000 to an organisation to employ O’Byrne’s daughter.

Despite the trigger vote, members told Skwawkbox they feared the party would rig the selection to protect the right-winger and so it turned out to be: Labour presented Warbreck members with a ‘shortlist of one’ that featured only… Ann O’Byrne.

Last night, Cllr O’Byrne was reselected to stand for Labour in Warbreck at next year’s local elections – but despite the shortlist of one, the Labour’s regional office was leaving nothing to chance. The branch’s elected secretary and chair were bypassed and the ballot meeting was controlled by a regional staffer along with former ‘Tinge’ party campaigner Sheila Murphy.

In addition, branch officers were not given the agenda for the evening until the start of the meeting – and the week’s notice required by the party’s rules was not given, even though the Ms O’Byrne had reportedly been texting members for support weeks in advance.

When the ballot began, the voting paper contained just O’Byrne’s name and a box to tick – no alternative option was on the paper, so opponents could only spoil the ballot or write ‘no’ or ‘other’ – a move described by one member present as ‘totally undemocratic’. Another called it:

A fittingly corrupt process.

When branch officers explained the irregularities to members, the regional staffer tried to shut discussion down and was reportedly ‘very rude’ to the young female branch chair. At the end of the meeting, members said they wanted to make a collective complaint about the process.

Because the only option on the ballot was O’Byrne, the only option for those who wanted an open selection was to spoil their ballot – but even if a majority of members spoiled ballots, they would presumably be counted as spoiled as opposed to a vote against, ensuring ‘victory’ for O’Byrne.

Both tellers were pro O’Byrne and the actual numbers were originally kept secret – but Skwawkbox has learned that at least nineteen ballots were spoiled out of some fifty attending.

Another local summed up:

It was a completely pointless exercise because the decision was made and there was no mechanism available to members who wanted an open selection to get one.

Democracy in the Labour party is a sick sham – and the more that comes out in Liverpool and around the country, the clearer it is that the O’Byrne example is the rule rather than the exception.

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  1. It is unfortunate but we have to grasp the reality that despite what seems a corrupted process, this candidate did secure 50 votes. Grumbling is not a short cut for winning the political arguments.

    1. ” Grumbling is not a short cut for winning the political arguments”

      But it seems as if winning both the political
      arguments AND the moral arguments does
      not get you anywhere at all.

      Thats not even considering the legal
      arguments respecting process ..

      1. Winning the political argument means winning over those who constitute the electorate in the situation in question.

      2. Winning the political argument in this case means getting hardly any votes in the ward election not the 31 that they did get.

    2. You what? That is your takeaway? The process is stiched up and the triggered incumbent is the only choice and you’re saying the argument wasn’t “won”…?

      1. I don’t like the idea but no one stood against her. If you were to listen to some folk you would expect Liverpool to be a Socialist city. Labour’s conservatives have to be challenged by Socialists not griping.

      2. 32 members voting for a Socialist would have won the seat or required even more sophisticated rigging which could quite possibly be beyond thei conservatives capacity to secure. Not a lot to ask from those Socialists in this city. What was the point of triggering without any thought for an alternative.

      3. Verity – I may be wrong but I think that this selection process came about because of boundary changes.

    3. Your lack of math is showing, 19 spoilt ballots out of 50 attending means the most she could of got was 31 votes, but even so it was obviously a rigged ballot so grumbling is the least that should happen, I am in favour of a good old riot in the meeting, the type which brings MSM interest, they will surely tarnish the rioters but at least the grumbling will be heard.

    4. Since when did relating and explaining what Starmer’s Stasi troops did amount to ‘grumbling’ Verity?

    5. Verity,
      Rigging isn’t about winning arguments (moral or political), it’s about fraudulently manipulating votes.

      Grumbling isn’t an attempt to console oneself, it’s about voicing a complaint or a protest and is totally justified.

      1. Isn’t it about time that we stopped grumbling about grumbling. If we don’t people will begin to grumble about it.

      2. If we try to deter people from grumbling wobbly they’ll only grumble about it.

  2. Does anyone know who else was on ‘the panel’ of approved candidates and their political leanings. Why despite an open invitation to stand did nobody step forward?

    1. Is it an assumption that nobody else “stepped forward”?
      Or did some other(s) do so and find that they didn’t appear on the shortlist?
      I don’t know the answer to these questions. It would appear that you do, given your comment.
      Where did you find that information?

      1. goldbach – I am taking the info provided in a previous Skwawkbox article on this subject. I also posed the same question on that article, nobody could answer it there either.
        “There will be all-out elections in May 2023 under new ward boundaries. As you know Warbreck will be made up of 3 single Cllr wards and you still need to select the candidate for Orrell Park which is an All Woman Shortlist. All women who are on the panel have been invited to express an interest and at this time Cllr Ann O’Byrne has expressed her interest.

      2. Thanks. So it isn’t clear whether nobody else applied or whether they did and were barred.
        The question to be asked is, therefore, not “Why despite an open invitation to stand did nobody step forward?” but, rather, is “Did anyone else put themselves forward or not?” I suppose an answer could only come from those running the selection process, or from anyone put herself forward (if anyone did). Unless these people read this website there is no prospect of an answer.

      3. goldbach – You may well be right but given the complete absence of any evidence to the contrary (for now) I’m quite happy to stick with my presumption. Be sure to let us know if you hear any different.

      4. I shall, in the unlikely event that someone tells me.
        Having re-read your comments, however, I can’t find out what is your presumption.

      5. goldbach – “Having re-read your comments, however, I can’t find out what is your presumption.”

        Really? 🤔

      6. Yes, really.
        Nowhere do you state what your presumption is.
        My guess, which is very slightly less than a presumption, is based on the history of chicanery over the past few months, and it is that other(s) did put themselves forward.
        Is that your presumption?

      7. goldbach – I thought it was already obvious. (see below)
        My guess is that nobody else stepped forward.
        Which brings us back to my original question Does anyone know who else was on ‘the panel’ of approved candidates and their political leanings. Why despite an open invitation to stand did nobody step forward?
        As for the rest of your presumption (guess) that is entirely yours and nothing to do with me.

      8. Thank you. So you were guessing and, in doing so, you were hoping to set a hare running.
        Rien ne change.

      9. goldbach – Given the absence of any evidence to the contrary it’s a logical conclusion that has FA to do with hares. The surprising thing to me is that non of you appears to have a clue what did or didn’t go on.

      1. contentiousadmin – Can you explain why it is disingenuous to ask this?
        Aren’t you also curious to know the answer?
        (or perhaps your real problem is that you do know the answer)

      2. Do you know the answer? The comment above could be interpreted to imply that you do.

      3. Andrew – On the contrary, this whole site and its contributors is dedicated to obsessing about the Labour Party.

  3. Those complaining are getting what they deserve… Shouldn’t have spoiled their votes.
    That simple.

    If they don’t like it, sack the party off and campaign for another candidate in the ward. Not as if it wasn’t already made clear to them what smarmerist labour’s about.

  4. I repeat what I said opn here yesterday. Why ANYONE remains a member of a corrupt Labour party astonishes me. It’s gone. The self-serving PLP has total control. Join another party or start a proper Labour Party and don’t allow a single Starmerite/Blairite anywhere near!

    1. Presumably most of them have been duped by Starmer (and the MSM) and, as such, have absolutely no idea how corrupt and devious and duplicitous he and his buddies are, and the others have no problem whatsoever with the fact that they ARE.

  5. WHO exactly is this regional staffer? We really need to know the names of every single fascist at work in Starmer’s Stasi Party. I mean all that they have been doing as of since a few months after he was elected leader really isn’t all that different from what Hitler and the Nazis did in the first year or two after he/they attained power in 1933.

    The only REAL difference is that Starmer and Co didn’t have to take control of the MSM in the UK because just about ALL of it was ALREADY in the hands of fascists.

    1. Off- topic, but as grimly predicted (by yours truly on numerous occasions during lockdown/pandemic) the capos of the JCP are wilfully carrying out the ‘rags vindictiveness and punishing the weakest for being in that plight.

      Gotta recoup the money they gave to themselves and their mates through their corrupt contract tendering processes, and you’re fucked if it’s them paying it back.

      Anx once again, not a dicky-bird from serwotka and the pcs.

      Rat bastard quislings. Should be punted from the TUC.

      1. Toffee – That’s not all you need to worry about, there is more to come.

        “The Department of Work and Pensions is to tighten the rules significantly to force 114,000 existing Universal Credit claimants into work as job vacancies soar across Britain.
        She is changing the rules so far more people will have to go on what is known as an intensive work search regime where they will be monitored continually by work coaches on how many jobs they have applied for and why they didn’t get them.
        Therese Coffey has been planning to do this since January this year and consulted the Social Security Advisory Committee, chaired by the architect of Universal Credit, Stephen Brien, on January 26……………………………

      2. Under the Tory Party the DWP lack of compassion and care knows no bounds

        The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has come under fire recently for refusing “vital” cost of living payments to sanctioned claimants. Government guidance sent to the DWP told staff to refuse claims for the cost of living payment from those who’s benefits had been stopped.

    2. Surely practically every single Jew in the country (and in the rest of the world) must be familiar with the German pastor Martin Niemöller and his ‘warning’, *AND* that it begins by saying that:

      First they came for the socialists…..

      And just to think that many of them haven’t the faintest idea that THAT is in effect what the fascist forces in Britain have been doing during the course of the past nearly seven years since shortly after Jeremy was elected leader. Smearing them as bullies and thugs and anti-semites and homophobes etc, and vilifying and demonising them just as Hitler and Co did to the Jews.

      Anyway, I just came across the following:

      Meet the Youngest Person Executed for Defying the Nazis

  6. I’ll bet Ann was relieved to have won this contest. She sure put mr Nobody in his place.

  7. She sure put mr Nobody in his place

    Mr Nobody??? They said it was an all-women shortlist…

    …The sneaky buggers!!😋

    (Oh shite! I’ve probly given them an idea for their next stitch-up 😲 )

    1. I wonder if my blood pressure as hit the Richter scale reading about the fascist labour party.despite my miracle cure for blood pressure Hibiscus tea .I am suprised that theres anyone socialist left in the labour members in its little wonder nobody can be arsed “to step forward.Still the teas working and I have managed to dump the amlodopadine. medication which is dirt cheap her anyway and from India.
      .Picking the leaves off the tree in the garden and brewing the tea is relaxing and gives good karma being more in touch with the natural world of rice fields and tropical medicine.So many plants I have learnt so much from the local khmer people.who know many types of natural cures.and virtually anything grows in this climate.
      IF only a cup of tea could cure the labour party then life would be good but like the blood pressure and the heart needs to pump …I am sorry but the labour party are terminal and its now time for real change and labour are not in the running anymore….switch off the life support and stop funding parasites comrades.

      1. Yes Joseph, hibiscus tea is fantastic at reducing blood pressure in hypertensive people. It outperforms several ACE Inhibitors approved by NICE for NHS prescription ( enalapril, lisinopril, perindopril and ramipril). I hadn’t realised bp was an issue for you. Does the tea cause you temporary drowsiness, headaches? If it does, try brewing/infusing the tea for longer – overnight even. FWIW amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker – were you considered to have angina or any heart issues? If yes, use hawthorn as a tincture, garlic (macerate) or mistletoe powder as well. Your kidneys and liver will thank you and you might fix the cause of your bp instead of just ameliorating the symptoms.

      2. quertboi I have suffered high blood pressure from my mid twenties and only managed to stop the mind numbing headaces and vomiting after having proper tests on the NHS about fifteen years ago….never made the time until forced to.I am constantly learning here about agricultural living off the land and the ancient medicines from trees and plants shown to me by a one hundred year old lady whos only too eager to impart her knowledge….most people die in their sixtys here so both of us are on borrowed time although she can still climb trees and pick fruit so shes doing somthing right..I am told my heart is good but the flow and return plumbing is not as flexible.and the pipes need more flexibility.I am not a believer in long term drug use and have dropped out of medicines for that and take nothing but tea and fresh food grown on our fields.including fruits and vegetables and of course Jasmine rice.I buy meat localy from the street market flys and all, but slaughter our own chickens and geese as well as duck We also have fish and crabs including snails and frogs that miraculously appear in the rice fields in the rainy season and disappear for the many months of the dry season.but not a natural farmer as you might guess as I never saw a lot of green fields or agriculture in the Bolton of my youth but I have learnt to necessity.
        . I just think of starmer when I cut up the birds or fish..frogs etc..I never knew anything about the land until I came here and was forced to stay(covid)scam,as even my roots in West Cork are from seafaring people in passage west a beautiful village and a Ireland.Well Bolton won last night including the reserves so I now am happy despite my attachment to the dead labour party.

      3. I’m more of a surgical spirits type of bloke. You don’t care that much about your BP after a few belts of Jimmy Friendly blended.

  8. This intense factionalism seeping out across the country coming from Labour’s Mordor like HQ and the likes of Evans, risks reducing local Labour representation to a single choice of a Tory to Labour convert or some right-wing Orc who happens to be available, Anyone willing to do Sauron Starmer’s bidding.

    A party being stolen in plain sight by those more preoccupied with fighting old battles and stymieing the left.

    1. The Labour Party is being destroyed by Starmer & Co, evidence of this is the very latest set of accounts just released.

      For the year ending December 2021 the Labour Party made a loss of £5,205,000

      It lost 91,119 members during 2021 alone, and that’s a total of 1,750 members lost every week.

      From a Corbyn led Labour surplus of over £13m in 2019 to this £5m loss is quite shocking, but entirely believable.

      Starmer has bankrupted Labour.

  9. These shenanigans prove they do not represent you

    Remember, they need you more than you need them

  10. Well one question at least can be answered –
    that attendance at the selection meeting was
    rigged. The rules for announcing the meeting
    were not followed – see numerous examples
    from this and previous piece.

    Maybe the other candidates on the panel
    did not have enough notice to prepare their
    case. Another possibility is that panel members
    were disgusted that a person with the history
    of this candidate should even appear for
    selection and decided it was a “done deal”
    and it not worth their trying after the flouting
    of rules. There was a hint too at intimidation
    in the other piece so panel may have thought
    it better to wait until selection at a branch(es)
    who obeyed the rules came up.

    PS Sorry to divert discussion but there is a good
    article in “Labour List” about so-called

    1. Joseph – Would that be the same LabourList that publishes articles from right across Labour’s political spectrum, is sponsored by Unite and the FBU, and that Jeremy Corbyn has written over 200 articles for.

  11. Not sure about this. There is no trigger ballot for councillors. all are subject to re-selection. The issue is are they the only nominated candidate. this is determined at a short-listing meeting. a short-list of one can be drawn up – but only if it is the sitting councillor. Was anyone else nominated. Stories that lack any understanding of party procedure don’t help anyone.

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