As revelations stemming from the leaked anti-Semitism report continue to rock the left of the Labour Party one revelation has stood out amongst the rest. Preceding and during the 2017 general election campaign senior elements within Labour Party HQ actively fought against Jeremy Corbyn, by their own admission, causing leaks and scandals to “embarrass” him.
In July 2015, during the leadership election, John Stolliday, of the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU), said in messages to Claire-Frances Lenon, then Press Officer in Internal Governance, discussing his new role “as a fixer” in candidates selection implicating wide scale right wing candidate fixing from as early as 2015 with Lennon saying, “down with voting”.
In messages from Emilie Oldknow, of the GLU, Deputy Leader Tom Watson was said to have “orchestrated” a soft decision in regard to the Ken Livingstone incident intending to “embarrass and create a crisis for Jeremy Corbyn”.
Senior staff member Patrick Heneghan described in messages how he would support the Conservatives over a Cornbyn-led government. He went on to express hopes that Labour would lose the 2017 general election and that the Lib Dems would win Manchester by-elections.
Tom Watson was frequently relied upon to leak confidential party documents to disrupt the proper functioning of the Labour Party.
On election night a message exchange between Julie Lawrence, Tracey Allen, Emilie Oldknow, Patrick Heneghan and Simon Mills makes clear the devastation of right-wing labour staffers at the shock overturning of the Tory’s majority describing the difficulty with which they were taking this perceived loss.
The implications and fallout of the report are yet to fully settle; however, these messages alone make clear far reaching self-destructive behaviour within Labour HQ. Right wing elements had been working against the party’s own interests as early as the leadership election of 2015 up to the night of the general election itself in 2017, to further their careers and to impair the proper running of disciplinary procedure. The result was that Labour lost the 2017 election, along with their anti-austerity agenda, leaving working people to suffer under a Conservative-led government to this day.