Cllr Paul Stuart, who featured prominently in Al Jazeera’s Labour Files compiling ‘dossier’ to attack Wallasey members, is also offering the same positions to more than one Labour councillor to drum up support for bid tomorrow, say insiders
Right-wing Labour councillor Paul Stuart is offering key positions to Tories and offering the same senior positions to more than one Labour councillor to try to drum up support for a bid tomorrow to take over the leadership of Wirral Council, according to party insiders.
Stuart, who is currently the deputy leader of the council, featured prominently in the Al Jazeera ‘Labour Files’ exposé of the Labour right’s smears and sabotage, compiling a dossier of smears including the ludicrous use of a quote lifted from a review of a book about Militant to justify claims of so-called ‘entryism’ to discredit left-wing Labour members and protect woeful Wallasey MP Angela Eagle when local members refused to support her bid to replace Jeremy Corbyn as party leader:
Wallasey ‘CLP’ was ultimately suspended to prevent members voting to deselect Eagle.
Party insiders have told Skwawkbox that Stuart’s bid for the council leadership is in trouble because, after the Greens’ strong performance in last week’s local elections, he needs cross-party support for his bid to succeed – and will certainly not receive it from the Greens given his faction’s treatment of popular Green councillor Jo Bird.
Sources say that Stuart is trying to win support from Tory councillors by offering them the chairship of council committees – and that to court favour from Labour councillors he has offered them senior positions in his council team – in at least some cases, the same position to more than one councillor.
In addition, they say that while he was overseeing Labour’s selection processes and target wards in the borough, his own Seacombe ward was made a party priority because of the threat from the Greens – and that councillors were ‘whipped’ into campaigning in his ward under threat of deselection, with some councillors in fact deselected for not showing sufficient fervour. Stuart’s daughter is now also a councillor in Seacombe, while his wife was also selected but narrowly lost in Moreton West.
Skwawkbox wrote to Cllr Stuart:
URGENT MEDIA ENQUIRY:
I will be covering the backroom dealings of your bid to become leader of Wirral council, which you intend to make tomorrow. Please provide your comment on the following by return and no later than 6.30pm, as the article will be published this evening given that the meeting takes place tomorrow:
- you were largely responsible for overseeing the selection processes and target wards in this year’s elections.
- your ward colleagues in Seacombe now include his daughter. your wife only narrowly lost in Moreton West
- you were a prominent figure Al Jazeera’s Labour Files Documentary series, compiling a ‘dossier’ that included a quote lifted directly from a book about Militant that was presented as a Momentum plot
- your seat in Seacombe ward came under substantial threat from the Green Party this year due to what your critics say is your lack of activity in the ward. As a result, Labour councillors were ‘whipped’ to attend campaigning sessions to defend you and those that failed to comply were threatened with exclusion from the candidate panel – and several were, despite good reasons for not doing so
- as the election results started coming in, you immediately set about courting Labour Group members and informed them of your plan to become council leader
- in some cases, you have promised the same role to more than one person to gain their support
- worse, you are offering committee chair roles to Conservative councillors in exchange for their support, because in a hung Council you will need at least one other party and the Greens will certainly not be supporting you given the treatment of Jo Bird and others
Cllr Stuart had not responded by the time of publication.
Wirral has seen controversy recently with the deselection of disabled councillor Yvonne Nolan and her carer for not campaigning enough in Seacombe. Nolan was replaced as a Labour candidate by the husband of Labour right-winger Sheila Murphy, the ‘Tinge UK’ defector welcomed back by Keir Starmer and immediately appointed to a senior position in the Labour North-West team to oversee the party’s affairs in Liverpool.
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