Friday, 7 August 2020

Corbyn Accuses Labour Staff of Sabotaging 2017 Campaign

Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, John Trickett, Ian Lavery and 5 senior aides have made a statement to Labour's internal investigation into the leaked report. In their submission, they accuse Labour staff of sabotaging the general election campaign in 2017, suggesting an alleged diversion of party funds could constitute fraud. They claim 860 pages of supporting evidence from the leaked report is overwhelming.

Given the accused staff are currently threatening legal action against Corbyn himself, things could be about to get rather interesting. The Labour staff claim messages in the leaked Labour report were deliberately taken out of context to falsely portray them as bullies and saboteurs. They've already been awarded 6 figure sums in compensation by the Labour Party, relating to antisemitism "whistle blowing". 

Jeremy Corbyn called this a political, rather than a legal decision, and insisted the party's legal advice was Labour would've likely won the court case, had they chosen to defend it. Corbyn clearly remains confident in this position as he is refusing to back down.

The submission states: “We believe that there is clear evidence of factional activity by senior paid employees of the party against the elected leadership of the time.”

And given the 2017 general election was so close, it says: “It’s not impossible that Jeremy Corbyn might now be in his third year as a Labour prime minister were it not for the unauthorised, unilateral action taken by a handful of senior party officials.”

As well as addressing the "toxic culture" in the Labour Party (allegedly demonstrated by leaked WhatsApp messages), the statement references a “shadow operation” - a plot to divert funds from target seats to centrist MPs who opposed Corbyn's leadership. It goes on to suggest the diversion of funds was carried out without official authorisation and may have "constituted fraudulent activity.”

The staff claim the accusations of misdirecting funds are baseless, but this should be easily provable one way or another, as any such spending must be fully accounted for. It's also been claimed the leaked WhatsApp messages were taken out of context, prompting Diane Abbott (an alleged target of abuse) to call for the messages to be published in full. This is a call I would certainly back. Full transparency is needed at this time to assure the Labour membership and public that justice will be served.

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