22nd January 2017
News reaches us that Paul Davies is being investigated by the Labour Party NEC this Wednesday 25th January 2017. We assume this is a disciplinary hearing and the charge appears to be as follows:
a sustained course of action that is prejudicial to the Labour Party
As soon as further information comes in, we will let you know.
Below is a copy of a letter which has come into our possession. This is from Paul Davies to Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, dated 16th January 2017 – which some readers may have seen recently on the excellent Skwawkbox blog.
On Skwawkbox, we also discovered in a letter from Mr McNicol that he has commissioned the party’s investigation officer Sam Matthews to look into concerns that the 102 page document Mr Davies wrote and the media interviews he undertook have somehow ‘exacerbated the problem and made it harder for unity to be possible’.
To Iain McNicol
Dear Mr McNicol
Re: Wallasey CLP your ref A414096
I did not respond sooner to your letter of 29th November 2016 as you have still not responded to my letter to you of 24th October (attached for your convenience) nor to the 102 page document submitted to you jointly by the officers of the CLP. I nevertheless thought I should to you write prior to the Disputes Committee meeting so that this response is at least on record.
From the contents of your letter it would appear that, once again, you have been misinformed.
The 102 page document was not released to the press. Several reporters contacted me asking for an update. I told them that we were submitting a response but that it was confidential. Most were not interested in running a story unless they could have a copy.
You state that the NEC report did not single out any person. This is not true as reference was made to the alleged actions of the CLP Secretary and despite Kathryn Buckingham knowing prior to presenting the NEC report what actually happened the actions of the Secretary were misrepresented. I refer to this on page 2 of my letter 24/1016.
Like you I regret that I had to resort to speaking to the press or attending Public Meetings at any stage during this whole sorry process but unfortunately no body from the Labour Party has ever come to the defence of Wallasey CLP or its members.
Indeed you have not even written to our members telling them they are suspended or why. We were told that they could learn about it from the Press! No one bothered to meet officers of the CLP regarding the suspension until last week.
I would remind you of the penultimate paragraph in my letter of the 24th October when I refer to the Report presented to the NEC re Wallasey CLP;
“Rather than us all individually countering the mistakes and clarifying the Report it would be preferable if the Labour Party did this for us. I believe that you owe a duty of care to all your members including both those who allege homophobia and those whose conduct has been misrepresented by the contents of your Report and the accompanying press coverage”
You have done nothing to publicly clarify that the majority of members present at the AGM did not witness the alleged Homophobia. You have done nothing to publicly clarify that the death threat referred to in the NEC Report had nothing to do with Wallasey members. You have done nothing to publicly clarify how many Wallasey members out of the total 1300 are alleged to have been involved in intimidating behaviour.
I felt I had two choices. I could either allow the misleading reports in the media to go unchallenged and allow my name, and that of other members, be associated with homophobia, threatening behaviour and intimidation or I could speak out and defend our reputation as best I could.
Edmund Burke famously said
“ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
You and the Disputes Committee will eventually draw your conclusion of whether I am a good man (I think I already have a feel for your opinion on that) but you will never be able to reach the conclusion that I am prepared to do nothing or stay silent when I see the good people in Wallasey CLP being subjected to unjustified slurs.
You state that the document insinuated that it was an official document. Not so. It went to you as a presentation by the newly elected officers. The News Programme that covered the story stated that it was from the CLP officers to the Labour Party General Secretary.
You state you are troubled that I took this course of action. I am troubled at your inaction in defending us or in bringing this matter to a conclusion and lifting the suspension of Wallasey CLP.
You state that my action, in defending our reputation and refuting the false accusations, has exacerbated the problem of disunity in Wallasey. There is no disunity. There are just a few individuals, who cannot accept the result of the AGM or that their preferred candidate did not become Labour Leader, who will do and say just about anything to prevent us from holding meetings. The vast majority of members get along quite nicely and can engage in civilised debate with differing viewpoints.
You seem to suggest that my defending our reputation against false accusations is akin to intimidation of those making the false accusations. I presume if I am attacked in the street and defend myself you would also consider that to constitute me intimidating my attacker!
There was a very serious accusation of Homophobic behaviour at the CLP. There were very serious allegations of threatening and abusive phone calls to the office of Angela Eagle. I never witnessed any such behaviour but both constitute criminal acts and I am at a loss as to why these allegations have not been referred to the Police. Had I witnessed such behaviour I would have both challenged it and reported it to the Police.
You are correct that a further Public Meeting was held in Wallasey.
At this meeting there was general consensus that once the suspension is lifted there is nothing to be gained by raking over the coals of what happened subsequent to the AGM. We have better things to do.
I think it was Barrack Obama who advised Hilary Clinton to go high when Donald Trump went low. Advice she failed to follow in my opinion.
The vast majority of Wallasey members know the truth and will go high, leaving those who want to go low and make false accusations to their own devices, and we will avoid infighting in order to get on with the much more important task of working to expose the policies of the Tories, fighting for a properly funded NHS, fighting against inequality of wealth and opportunity and campaigning for the election of a Labour Government.
The vast majority of members in Wallasey will remain united in purpose and remain comrades despite having occasional disagreements over policy issues and tactics.
The vast majority of members in Wallasey will also continue to support Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party which of course is what this was really all about from the very beginning.
As far as we at Wirral In It Together are concerned and in light of the pressure that is being applied to Paul Davies, there is a very large “elephant in the room” here – in the shape of a Labour Party member called Linda Keogh.
In late July last year, Linda Keogh attempted to have Paul Davies potentially expelled from the Labour Party by conveying an elaborate pack of lies to:
- Politics Home
- Iain McNicol (Labour Party General Secretary)
- Jeremy Corbyn (Labour Party Leader)
- Kathy Runswick (Chair, Wallasey CLP)
- Anna Hutchinson (Labour North West Regional Director)
- Katherine Buckingham (NEC Compliance Officer)
- Angela Eagle (Wallasey Labour MP)
- Ward councillors: Bernie Mooney; Thomas Usher; Janette Williamson
- Councillor Paul Stuart (Wallasey CLP Co-vice-Chair)
We wrote about this very distressing situation in three blog posts:
5th August 2016
23rd October 2016
Wallasey CLP News. Does the Malicious Behaviour of an Angela Eagle Supporter Equate to Gross Misconduct?
9th January 2017
Labour Party Member Linda Keogh tried to Frame Wallasey CLP Vice Chair Paul Davies – What Happened Next?
Through this very deliberate and calculated deception, Labour Party member Linda Keogh transmitted information she knew to be false and placed all the above officials – from the Leader himself, downwards – into potentially compromising positions.
But shockingly, despite the seriousness of the situation, Iain McNicol appears thus far to have failed to discharge his duty of care to Paul Davies and to have roundly failed in his duty as General Secretary to act upon it and have it investigated.
Despite this ongoing failure to investigate, the situation looks to have run its course. By remaining calm, acting in accordance with due process and submitting irrefutable evidence, Paul Davies proved beyond doubt that he did not post any leaflets, did not breach the terms of the CLP suspension, and the whole world can now see that Linda Keogh appears to be ‘guilty as [not yet] charged’ of attempting to have Mr Davies framed for something he did not do.
…yet still, Iain McNicol is achingly silent in the face of conduct that genuinely does look like…
a sustained course of action that is prejudicial to the Labour Party