Nadia Whittome MP
“Beth Winter, Nadia Whittome and Olivia Blake are understood to have been informed that if they voted against the Bill they would be resigning their roles. All three of the MPs are members of the party's left who have been vocal in their opposition to the bill”. That was first posted at 2048 hours. Ms Whittome later appeared on the ITV Peston show.
Indeed, the Mirror article was later updated to reflect this. “Shown The Mirror's story about her forced resignation Ms Whittome told ITV's Robert Peston that she hadn't resigned. She said: ‘I haven't resigned … It was a one-line whip to Abstain, I thought the Bill was a matter of conscience’ … She said concerns from veterans charities, and human rights groups led her to vote against it”. And then someone else waded into the controversy.
Christian Calgie - Fawkes sandwich monitor
That someone was the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, who have exhibited a singularly unhealthy obsession with Ms Whittome in the recent past. And what they told (the author was apprentice sandwich monitor Christian Calgie) has not impressed many on the left: "Nadia Whittome has told Peston she doesn’t consider herself resigned as it was a one-line whip, however a Labour spokesperson tells Guido all three are definitely gone as PPSs. Sacked in other words”.
Got that? A Labour spokesperson tells Guido. And, it seems, tells Guido before Ms Whittome. Now, the Fawkes massive could just be lying, which would not be exceptional behaviour. But what this looks like is, to put it as Neil Kinnock might have done, a Labour spokesperson - A Labour Spokesperson - briefing a hard-right smear outfit.
Ben Smoke was unimpressed, and was not alone in being unimpressed. “Labour briefing Guido before they’d even told [Nadia Whittome] she’d been sacked is absolutely shameful … this Guido story went up at about ten to 10 tonight. At ten past 10 she’d still not been told she’d been sacked. Briefing a far right blog before you’ve even informed someone they’ve lost their job is low, even for this lot”. And it soon got worse.
Matt Thomas found a Tweet from Keir Starmer dated May 6, featuring a photo of, er, Nadia Whittome. Its last line was “No one should be sacked for speaking out”. This morning, he leads a party which looks set to lose an awful lot of members - those people who deliver leaflets, knock on doors and have to persuade a sometimes unwilling electorate to vote for The Red Team - for dumping Ms Whittome in a plainly inexcusable manner.
And then, it seems, briefing The Great Guido on the matter. The Labour Party should not, repeat not, REPEAT NOT, be briefing Staines and his fellow Tory propagandists.
Should all those Labour members resign now, or resign later? Decisions, decisions.
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