.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Labour sink deeper into the Falkirk mire

The Times reports that Ed Miliband's hard line on the Falkirk selection controversy has been undermined once more, this time by a senior Labour official.

They say that leaked e-mails show that Ian McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, struck a special agreement with Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, about how to handle the mass recruitment of new party members in Falkirk:

Senior Unite figures undertook a recruitment drive weeks before local Labour members were due to select a new candidate, at the same time as they were pushing Karie Murphy, a friend of Mr McCluskey, to become the prospective MP in the safe seat.

In an e-mail on January 21, Ms Murphy told her team that they had received dispensation from Ian McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, to use a recruitment method causing unease among other Labour Party staff.

She wrote: “I will personally collect their direct-debit details once we have given them a reason to support the Labour Party. I will do this after the selection process, this is what Lennie [McCluskey] agreed with the Labour Party GS [Mr McNicol]”.

They add that a Labour source has insisted that members were allowed to sign up with cash at the time, and that unions were allowed to facilitate this using the “Union Join” scheme later scrapped by Mr Miliband:

The Times has been told that some senior staff raised concerns, but were ordered to process the applications by Mr McNicol and representatives of the leader’s office.

The e-mails also suggest that Emilie Oldknow, an official who oversees selections, was not helpful to Unite in Falkirk. One e-mail sent the same day by Ms Murphy refers to a “tussle” with her over membership lists.

A member of Labour’s National Executive Committee said: “If the e-mails show the general secretary taking sides, not only is this inappropriate but also raises questions about whether he should have conducted the inquiry into the matter, as well as casting doubt on his judgment.”

Ed Miliband's authority as leader is rapidly disappearing in the light of the evidence now emerging on this issue.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?