The Murdoch Sunday Times has joined the attack on the Labour Party today, over allegations of anti-Semitism. There is even a video in circulation, which featured during an interview with Emily Thornberry on The Andy Marr Show™. This features an ostensibly plausible man called Tim Dexter, although what the ST has not told is that his concerns about racism and other forms of discrimination may not be wholly consistent..
The ST is behind a paywall, but the Jewish Chronicle has lifted the story (see how that works, Rupe?) and has told readers “A Labour whistleblower who left the party just three months ago has said an ally of Jeremy Corbyn seized control of ‘all’ complaints over antisemitism. [Dexter] … a former complaints officer at Labour HQ, told the Sunday Times Thomas Gardiner was given personal sign off of all complaints involving [anti-Semitism]”.
There was more. “The senior Corbyn ally also said it was ‘ridiculous’ for the party to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to antisemitism, Mr Dexter said … In further damning revelations, Mr Dexter told the said Karie Murphy, Labour's chief of staff, spied on employees demanding details of their computer searches”.
However, and here was encounter a significantly sized however, correspondence which has been passed to Zelo Street on condition of anonymity suggests that Dexter’s attention to detail may have been, shall we say, variable in the past. Here are extracts from a Labour member’s complaints on the grounds of discrimination.
“Further to my letter hand-delivered to you by me personally on [Redacted] 2018 upon your visit to [Redacted], I was pleased to have received a response in the post and to see the commencement of an internal investigation by Mr Tim Dexter. However, over a month later, I am very disappointed at the lack of visible progress of the investigation and I'm deeply concerned my serious grievance isn't being treated with the urgency it warrants”.
There was more. “To my knowledge, none of the witnesses and victims of [MP’s name redacted] racism and bullying whose details I gave to Mr Dexter have been contacted and when I raised with Tim Dexter the fraudulent adoption of delegates from the [Redacted] Labour Club to [Redacted] CLP, I was disappointed at the action he chose to pursue”.
The member signed off with this plea to the senior party official to whom the letter was addressed: “Whilst I appreciate the volume of issues you are presiding over, I renew my plea to you personally [Redacted] for your help and kindly request your immediate intervention to investigate the terrible treatment I have endured and to please appreciate how the lack of response I have been given thus far has made me ever more concerned, upset and uncertain as to when I will be able to return to local activism in my CLP as I feel unsafe to do so at present”. Dexter seemed less keen on this occasion.
It is not an isolated case. Later last year, that Labour member emailed Dexter “Dear Tim … I made it absolutely beyond doubt in my previous email to you, I have no confidence in you personally investigating my complaints as you have frequently shown your inability to recognise disability discrimination, its severity and the impact it has had on me personally and my request for my complaint to be escalated to your departmental head has been ignored by you”. Another instance where Dexter seemed less keen to act.
There was more. “I feel the steps you have taken to apparently try to address my complaints have been deficient at best and counterproductive at worst … This is accurately demonstrated by you contacting [Redacted] my CLP Secretary concerning accessibility … Subsequent to your actions, [Redacted] publicly humiliated me in front of delegates at a meeting of the [Redacted] General Committee after he had intentionally sent me a letter in the post regarding accessibility he knew very well I would not be able to read and then berated me publicly for not replying”.
And this from his letter to that senior Labour official is deeply disturbing: “I was given hope when you pledged to stand by victims of racism and after witnessing the swift action you took rightly against perpetrators of Anti-Semitism in the party, I felt confident, if I were to speak out over the terrible bullying, harassment and utter degradation I had received at the hands of my local MP [Redacted], action would be taken”. It wasn’t.
The identities of all those redacted names are known to me. What is also known is that there are several more instances of members being less than happy at the response they received from Dexter. What he has said to the Murdoch press may be true, but then, there are a lot of quote marks having to be employed in relaying his account.
That it has taken less than 24 hours from the ST going to press for this information to come to light - with the clear suggestion that there is more to come - suggests that, for Tim Dexter, some forms of discrimination are less equal than others.
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