“The controversial founder of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn blog Skwawkbox has left the Labour Party, multiple sources have claimed. The JC understands that Steven Walker - who founded the website in 2012 - resigned from the party several weeks ago” claimed Harpin in another story so exclusive that no-one else wants to go near it. And there was more.
“Sources also indicated that Mr Walker, a former chair of Garston and Halewood CLP in the north west of England, had been the subject of numerous complaints, including allegations of bullying, harassment and sexism. It is not clear whether the website editor quit the party ahead of any investigation into the claims”. Really? And yet more.
“The JC has been shown complaints sent to the Labour Party about Mr Walker including one which alleged ‘bullying, harassment and intimidation.’ A second source also made allegations relating to him about sexism. Another party source told the JC that Mr Walker had ‘walked’ from the party ahead of possible disciplinary action being taken”.
But, as Captain Blackadder might have noted, there was only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Walker has addressed the claims directly: “This claim is false”. And the alleged complaints? “This is also entirely false. I have received no communications of any type from the party about any such complaints”. So is he still a Labour member?
“I remain not only a member of the party, but a member in good standing and indeed only yesterday was receiving appeals from Keir Starmer for help with the local election campaign - emails the party would be forbidden to send me under data protection laws if I had quit”. And so we come to the inevitable conclusion: “The Jewish Chronicle and Mr Harpin will be hearing from my lawyers shortly to invite them to suggest how they will remedy their false claims and the harm they have caused to avoid legal consequences”.
Moreover, as the title of this post suggests, it is not just one potential legal problem the JC faces, as both Pollard and Harpin Tweeted out the claim about Walker leaving the Labour Party, thus repeating the potential libel. On top of that, former Labour councillor Adam Langleben has also Tweeted out the claim. Which he may come to regret.
Worse still for Pollard is his adding the snarky comment “Shame he left rather than being kicked out”, which may also have to be pulled and made the subject of an apology.
Perhaps the JC thought Walker would not come after them. They thought wrongly.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at