Analysis Exclusive

Exclusive: ‘You can’t stand for Labour – you blew whistle to protect women’, Akehurst-led panel tells Cohen

Former parliamentary staffer says NEC panel told her she couldn’t stand for selection as W Mids mayoral candidate because whistleblowing would ‘bring Labour into disrepute’

On Tuesday, Keir Starmer exploited an appearance with former Spice Girl Mel Brown to – again – trumpet his supposed commitment to tackle violence against women and girls.

But just a few days earlier, former Labour parliamentary staffer Elaina Cohen says she was told by a Labour party national executive (NEC) panel led by notorious right-winger and Starmer ally Luke Akehurst that she was unsuitable to stand for selection as Labour’s candidate in the West Midlands mayoral election – because she was a whistleblower and would bring the party into disrepute.

Ms Cohen blew the whistle on alleged ‘criminal and sadistic’ abuse and exploitation by the lover of right-wing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood, of vulnerable Muslim victims of domestic abuse. The women had gone for help to the now-closed domestic violence ‘charity’ run by Mahmood’s lover – but rather than act to protect the women, Mahmood sacked Cohen from her position.

Cohen turned down a six-figure settlement offer because it would have gagged her from speaking out for the women. At the ensuring employment tribunal hearing, neither Mahmood nor his legal team disputed the evidence given by one of the victims about the abuse she had suffered. The tribunal went on to rule that Ms Cohen had been unfairly dismissed.

The email inviting Elaina Cohen to a selection interview

Ms Cohen told Skwawkbox that she was ‘blindsided’ by the party, which had told her that she was attending a standard selection interview – but that at the meeting she was ambushed and challenged about her whistleblowing and told it would make her unsuitable as a candidate and bring the party into disrepute:

They said being a whistleblower wouid hijack the campaign. You’d think it would be the a positive because it proves my commitment to one of the issues Keir Starmer is claiming he’s prioritising? I guess the truth interferes with with his fake spin.

She went on:

[Spice Girl] Mel B says that even a decade after the abuse she faced, she still suffers trauma. Keir Starmer used a fan-boy shot of himself with her at a domestic violence event to promote his commitment to tackle violence against women and girls – but his actions tell a different story.

Sir Keir Starmer covered up several warnings from me about the abuse of domestic violence victims – and is still protecting a Labour abuser of multiple women employed by a Labour MP.

I became a whistleblower begging him to help the victims and investigate their abuser, yet he did nothing.

Yesterday we saw him hiding this truth from Mel B whilst gazing into her eyes and promising to tackle violence against women and girls.

It sent shudders down my spine – and even more so when one of his leading supporters told me I was disqualified from standing as a candidate for Labour because I was a whistleblower despite having the experience for the position of Metro Mayor.

West Midlands Labour figure Majid Khan was a witness in the Cohen v Mahmood tribunal and brought the first victim to Elaina Cohen’s attention. He told Skwawkbox:

Sir Keir Starmer has facilitated criminal abuse of women in the Labour Party by ignoring the protected disclosures [whistleblowing] that he was made aware of in 2020. He is not a fit and proper person to lead a party, let alone be PM.

Khalid Mahmood has denied any wrongdoing. However, the party has never taken action against him, even to suspend him pending investigation as per its usual practice – nor when he was alleged to have stolen from a charity and to have accepted cash from Kuwaiti and Indian figures including a convicted fugitive.

Luke Akehurst is a notorious right-winger and pro-Israel advocate who recently boasted of sabotaging former party leader Jeremy Corbyn and has been despatched by the Starmer regime to fix selections, for example in Liverpool, to ensure only candidates favoured by the regime were presented to members. Mr Akehurst was contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.

Like Majid Khan, Elaina Cohen believes that Keir Starmer is unfit to lead Labour or the country – and that his concern for domestic violence victims is pure spin at odds with the reality his actions have exposed. His party’s determination to exclude her from selection because she came forward to protect vulnerable women suggests she is absolutely correct.

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