Regime’s pursuit of former Corbyn staffers over ‘Labour leak’ report – instead of going after perpetrators of racism and abuse the report revealed – undermines next general election campaign, say insiders
When Labour’s report on antisemitism in the party revealed the weaponisation of antisemitism to attack the left – and a string of incidents of racism, abuse, diversion of funds and other misdeeds by right-wing party figures – leaked into the public domain, many party members were rightly outraged that Keir Starmer’s response involved going after those he blamed for the report leaking, instead of the perpetrators it exposed.
Starmer spent a six-figure sum on forensic computer specialists trying to identify those who leaked the document and then much more still on legal action to try to pin the leak on former Corbyn staff – while quietly re-admitting those implicated in the report even while the inquiry he commissioned from Martin Forde QC was ongoing.
The Forde Report agreed with the conclusions of the leaked document that antisemitism had been weaponised and that the Labour right had shown gross racism and behaved outside its powers – conclusions that have been studiously ignored both by right-wing MPs and their friends in the media, just as they subsequently did with the revelations of Al Jazeera’s detailed four-part series The Labour Files, which provided even more shocking detail about the behaviour of right-wingers in the party and the extent of the antisemitism smear campaign.
But now some of those chickens are set to come home to roost carrying a huge legal bill, after the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said it found no case against the three staffers for supposedly unlawfully obtaining and releasing data and will not be taking the matter further.
The decision is expected to cause the collapse of Starmer’s separate attempt to use the courts to pin the blame on the left-wingers – leaving Labour facing a potential ‘multi-million pound’ legal bill that insiders have told the BBC’s Iain Watson threatens the party’s ability to fight the next general election.
This is not the first time that Starmer has needlessly cost the party huge amounts of money. A reported sum of around £600,000 was paid out to supposed ‘whistleblowers’ – some of whom feature prominently in both the leaked report and in the Labour Files series – despite the advice of his own lawyers that Labour would win the case.
Nor is it the only time he has played a role in covering up abuse by the Labour right. He was warned on several occasions that the staffer and lover of a right-wing Labour MP was ‘criminally’ and ‘sadistically’ abusing and exploiting vulnerable domestic violence victims – yet did nothing. And of course, Starmer has infamously trampled on the freedom of speech and democratic rights of Labour members and overseen a war on left-wing Jews in the party.
Yet he expects the public to vote for him to run a country.
Keir Starmer is a barrister and never tires of mentioning that he once ran the Crown Prosecution Service – during the period in which it ignored accusations against Jimmy Savile while colluding in extraditions to the US. But his appalling judgment has cost the party – which under his leadership had already squandered the £13 million surplus left by Jeremy Corbyn – heavily yet again.
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