The real story of what happened with @JessicaLBarnard yesterday is incredible.

The party said she was sent a notice of investigation “in error”. That was mocked—how do you investigate someone & send them an intimidating letter at 1 am by mistake? But it was actually true. >
True in the sense that it was done completely outside the official processes in what must count as the definition of bringing the party into disrepute.
First, the context: Young Labour is a thorn in the side of the leadership, a left-wing outpost in the party. The leaderhship's plan is to revive Labour Students (traditionally a right-wing part of the party) to displace Young Labour.
There’s a concerted campaign against Young Labour and its chair Jess originating from within the party, It's the usual recipe: bureaucratic obstruction with coordinated attacks from the media and smears (alleging they want a second Holocaust—can’t get more grotesque than that).
Labour’s bureaucracy has been sabotaging Young Labour’s program for conference. Jess exposed it on Twitter. That didn’t go down well. Someone at a senior level in the party wanted to punish her for her insubordination and stop her speaking at conference.
That’s why she was sent a notice of investigation. But something was amiss. The notice was emailed at 1 am. The charges were not only baseless, they were ridiculous—under investigation for opposing transphobic abuse.
It made the party look bigoted and sent a message to trans people that they can’t be defended or protected in the Labour Party. It was a disgrace. When it was exposed the party quickly rescinded the investigation and apologised to Jess. It was highly embarrassing for them.
So what happened? From talking to several people in Labour I have a good idea. First, this wasn’t done by the disciplinary team, the Governance and Legal Unit. Any investigation would have to be carried out and signed off by GLU. This one wasn’t. It didn’t actually exist.
There was no investigation. Someone recycled an old vexatious complaint that GLU had previously dismissed. Jess was sent essentially a fake notice of investigation that bypassed the system—except it was sent from the official address in the standard format on headed paper.
Reportedly it was sent by one of the insecure & inexperienced agency staff brought in to work on complaints while the party was making permanent staff redundant—a great advert for hiring cheap labour from the party of labour.
But an agency worker didn’t spontaneously decide to do such a weird thing at 1 am. They were directed to do it. Who by?

It wasn’t David Evans. He demanded to know why a notice had been sent at 1 am. It wasn’t GLU.
It was someone else senior enough to be able to get agency staff to do their bidding in the middle of the night. Someone who has got it in for Jess. Someone with an interest in disrupting Jess’ and Young Labour’s conference. People within the organisation will know who it was.
The trouble is, they did such a shoddy job. Fine if it stays secret—Labour tells people under investigation they can’t speak about it. But once Owen Jones tweeted an email leaked from the NEC and questions were asked, Labour couldn’t answer—cos it wasn’t a real investigation.
They also had to respond to a furious letter from Jess’ very committed lawyer. So the thing fell apart immediately and they unreservedly apologised, rightly.
This all made Labour’s disciplinary system look like an amateur, shoddy, factional, petty, chaotic mess. You might say that’s what it is. But the managers of GLU must be furious.
The EHRC report last year said complaints must not only be “handled in a fair, impartial and transparent way” but must be “perceived to be” handled as such. What happened to Jess blows that apart. It showed the complaints system to be polluted.
The director of GLU and the executive director who oversees it, if they have any professionalism, will be demanding an investigation and consequences for the person who made them look so corrupted.
Someone at the top of Labour was willing to bring the whole weight of the party’s machinery down on a young, working class woman. There’s a word for that: bullying.

But what about a bureaucracy where this can happen & where no one will likely be held to account? It’s rotten.

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More from @alexnunns

22 Sep
There's a lot of nonsense being spoken by the Labour leadership & its friendly media about how Keir fixing the leadership election rules for his faction is intended to empower trade unions. It isn't, and it won't. It's just a factional power grab. Here's why. >
Even under the electoral college, trade union members have one member one vote in their section. They have minds of their own. Often, they don't vote for the candidate their union recommends (e.g. they voted for Blair). This change won't give union leaderships any more leverage.
It will, though, give Labour MPs massive power to veto candidates they don't like. In the past, they vetoed candidates who were supporters of trade unions in favour of candidates who regarded trade unions as a kind of embarrassing uncle they had to see at Christmas time.
Read 17 tweets
13 Sep
Len McCluskey's revelation about the deal with Starmer to lift Corbyn's suspension has forced a response from Starmer's office. It's contradictory, weird & accidentally damning.

Most important: they don't contest any of the direct quotes Len provides.…
For example look at this: direct quotes from Starmer, including the admission "He put me in an impossible position and I had no choice."

They don't deny he said it, they just say it doesn't mean what it means. "Labour sources denied those words were tantamount to an admission."
Similarly, Len asked Starmer "if we could reach an agreed form of words that both Jeremy and you, Keir, are happy with, then the suspension could be lifted?" Starmer said "Yes." That's unambiguous. It's an agreement. No denial it was said.
Read 17 tweets
10 Sep
The letter sent to Jess reportedly asks if she regrets "posting such comments on Facebok [sic]" when it was Twitter.

Spelling mistakes, errors, sending the email at 1am, the sheer absurdity... I'm hearing there's a story here about someone very senior in Labour HQ going rogue.
If it's true that a senior member of staff with a vendetta went outside all the usual disciplinary processes to do this, isn't that a disciplinary matter itself?
First step to resolve this: Labour must announce the notice was sent to Jess in error and there is no investigation.
Read 4 tweets
10 Sep
After @JessicaLBarnard went public to expose that Labour's leadership and bureaucracy was sabotaging @YoungLabourUK's conference, suddenly she is under investigation on the most obscene and baseless grounds I have ever seen.

They're coming for Jess; she needs our solidarity.
It is an outrage—a pure outrage—that Labour's leadership is blatantly abusing the disciplinary system for a cheap political win. It's directly against the EHRC report but they don't care how it looks, they just want to punish a young working class woman to shut her up. Depraved.
They're so committed to their petty factionalism that they're prepared to intimidate someone for OPPOSING prejudice and abuse, contrary to all their statements and graphics and rules. People talk about things being Orwellian; this is more far fetched.
Read 4 tweets
30 Jul
I remember when the press had real news values & Labour losing a single council seat brought the leader's job into question...

These days that kind of thing just isn't covered. Must be due to budget cuts, right? It can't be political because journalists & editors are objective.
Here's the May 2019 result for the council seat Labour lost last night. As you can see by contrasting the big victory in the ward under Corbyn to the heavy loss under Starmer, Labour must distance itself further from Corbyn if it wants to carry on achieving these kind of results.
It's funny to read the 2017 Guardian story about a lost council seat & see how warped news became in the Corbyn era. You get obligatory wrecking quotes from Jess Phillips & Tom Blockandstrop & that's enough to run with "casts doubt on Corbyn's leadership."…
Read 5 tweets
6 Jul
Labour unsuspended Trevor Phillips, its most high profile member investigated for alleged Islamophobia, before the NEC heard the case.

Coincidentally, Trevor Phillips started his job hosting a Sunday morning politics show, interviewing Labour frontbenchers, the following week.
"LabourList has been told that the investigations officer working on the case – the only Muslim staffer in Labour’s governance and legal unit – was not included in the process."…
The Labour Party, and the Governance and Legal Unit in particular, can be a brutal place to work, even worse if you're Muslim, working on an Islamophobia case, and suddenly find yourself being bypassed as the person under investigation is unsuspended.
Read 6 tweets

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