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Thursday 24 September 2020

Labour Fawkes Briefing Shame

The usually Labour supporting Mirror carried an item of news last night on departures among the party’s shadow PPSs: “Three Labour MPs have resigned from junior roles supporting Keir Starmer's front bench after they broke the whip to vote against a bill condemned by former leader Jeremy Corbyn. They voted against the Overseas Operations bill, which the Government says aims to shield British soldiers from prosecution. Labour MPs were ordered to abstain on the vote”. There was more.

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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Andy Foster said...

Given Fawkes' reputation for truth and integrity, why do you assume that the mention of 'a Labour spokesperson' means an official party figure?

Jonathan said...

Tim, unfortunately Sir Quiff of the Establishment, as I like to call Starmer, is going for the Gammon vote big time, why else would you do it conference speech from Doncaster, disown your predecessor, then sack RLB and others via the media instead of informing them directly.

Starmer isn't interested anymore in progressive politics and human rights, no its power for the sake of it, Sir Quiff doesn't care who he treads on to get up the greasy pole.

While Sir Quiff, might win back the Gammon vote, he will lose the very people Labour depends on to run its CLPs, fundraising, social events and door knocking.

People like me, have left Labour and now find the only party campaigning for social justice and the poor and marginalised is the SNP!

If Labour members allow Starmer to tune the party into Neo Brexit Party, then its doomed.

FriendlyDragonSpouse said...

Years of experience as a party member would suggest it's highly likely

Anonymous said...

I WARNED YOU ABOUT STARMER. (Part 1 in a running series)

A disgusting individual without a single redeeming feature.

He and his rump Quiff Gang will get even worse.

Unknown said...

I sometimes wonder if we could persuade the SNP to field candidates in northern England.

grim northerner said...

Gang of fore(lock-tugging)?

Anonymous said...

As Johnson should have said: “This is a leader of the opposition who supported a torture-condoning politician who wanted to get out of the EU, and now says absolutely nothing about it.”

Jonathan said...

Wish they would

Jonathan said...

Sir Quiff will be introducing Farage into the party v.soon, mark my words, Sir Quiff is dangerous.

idle_commenter said...

It strikes me as a tad disingenuous for her to suggest that she thought it was a conscience vote, when she knew it was a whipped vote. I know she's been in the job less than a year but that strains credulity.