Tony Greenstein | 16 May 2020 | Post Views:

Crooked’ Iain McNicol, the suspension of Brighton & Hove Labour Party and the Conspiracy Against Democracy

How Brighton’s ‘Argus’ became a conduit for Every Lie that Brighton Council Leader Warren Morgan Fed It

Greg Hadfield has done the Left a great service by publishing his painstaking account REVEALED: The Labour Party activists behind the “anti-semitism” smears of the political and moral corruption of the scoundrels who ran the Labour Party and who conspired to subvert the democratic will of the majority of Labour Party members. These are the same fraudulent individuals upon whose every word BBC Panorama’s Is Labour Anti-Semitic? and its presenter John Ware hung last summer.

To recap. On a bright summer day July 9 2016 Brighton & Hove District Labour Party held its AGM. Instead of the usual few turning up 609 members came. Unfortunately the hall at Brighton City College could only hold 250 people. Obviously that was a problem but it was solved by holding 3 separate meetings and aggregating the votes.

A desperate last minute red-baiting email from Warren Morgan

Prior to the meeting there had been a monster meeting called by Brighton and Hove Momentum at the local Brighthelm Community Centre. I’ve never seen a meeting there so packed. The large hall was crowded out and people backfilled the adjacent cafe and still people were waiting outside. Change was in the air and there were forces, led by Council Leader and Progress supporter Warren Morgan who were determined that, however badly the Right fared, the result would be annulled. In this they were aided by the local Argus.

Councillors Daniel Yates, Emma Daniels and Julie Cattell, (the latter two voted out of office in May 2019) were determined to lie, lie and lie again about what happened that day. Because of the painstaking work of Greg Hadfield, a former Fleet Street journalist, their lies began to unravel almost as soon as they tweeted them.

Matt Tulley – Daniels and Morgan falsely accused him of spitting at a caretaker at City College

The main lie, spread by Warren Morgan, was that a confrontation had taken place at the entrance to City College when an innocent Labour Party member, Matt Tully, was accused of spitting at a college worker. There was no such incident and the CCTV of the incident proved this beyond a shadow of a doubt.

The lie that led to the suspension of Brighton & Hove Labour Party

What we didn’t know was what was happening at the other end of the conspiracy in Labour Party headquarters in London. Despite disqualifying thousands of Corbyn supporters from voting the previous autumn, there was a naive belief that full-time Labour Party staff would behave, if not with honesty at least with a measure of integrity. Unfortunately this was not to be the case. The right-wing of the labour movement has always been inherently corrupt and dishonest as witnessed in the recent resignation of GMB General Secretary Tim Roache surrounded by allegations of rape.

When it came to it Warren Morgan and the other liars weren’t so keen on seeing the CCTV footage

As the leaked Labour Party Report demonstrates, Labour’s senior staff were even more corrupt and dishonest than their local counterparts. It was a case of one gang of crooks ‘investigating’ another group of crooks with the aim of subverting local Labour democracy.

It is noteworthy that Keir Starmer’s first reactions to the leaked Report was not outrage over Labour’s General Secretary and senior staff campaigning for a Tory victory in the 2017 General Election. What annoyed him was the fact that the Report had been leaked. Hence why he has decided to cover up what happened with a whitewash ‘Inquiry’ which includes Baroness Wilcox, a Progress supporter. 

The NEC rejected by 18-16 the suggestion that Alf Dubbs should be on the panel. Starmer voted against. Dubbs is Jewish and a Kindertransport survivor. Instead there are 3 right-wingers including former Labour General Secretary, Lord Whitty, who came down personally to Brighton 28 years ago to prosecute me when I got suspended for editing the Friends of Brighton Labour Party newsletter!

It has to be said that Whitty is not on the hard right and when he’s off the drink he can be quite an amiable and reasonable person and is not on the hard Right. Nonetheless the Inquiry, staffed by Progress supporters and all Lords, is intended to cover up what happened. It should give a very clear indication of where Starmer stands on this. He very clearly has no problem with the behaviour of Labour staff. His only concern is that details of how they behaved was leaked. Like any rogue employer he is more interested in the whistleblower than what they revealed.

Brighton and Hove District Labour Party was suspended by the Chair of the Disputes Committee, Ann Black, the elections annulled and the old Executive Committee, which had been voted out of office, were reinstated. I have written to Ann Black to ask whether she now regrets her decision to suspend Brighton Labour Party but she has chosen not to respond. Perhaps readers may have more success if they contact Ms Black at [email protected], [email protected]

Excerpt from leaked report

Kat Buckingham – Labour’s lying witchhunter

A fake inquiry was instituted and Kat Buckingham conducted it. The Report details John Stolliday, Head of the Compliance Unit describing the AGM, which he hadn’t attended, thus:

‘overturn AGM, deal with individuals. Shows what we’re up against – a bunch of SWP & Trots marching straight from a rally to invade a CLP meeting and stuff handfuls of ballot papers in boxes even when they’re not members of the Party.

To which Buckingham replied saying:

I say act now and worry about [rules and legal issues] later, so long as we don’t do something that’ll end up fucking everything else up.

JLM member Emma Daniel (who isn’t Jewish!) is certain that a security guard was spat at as is Daniel Yates who plays a gormless idiot with Matt Tully

Even Warren Morgan, Emma Daniels and their fellow liars didn’t go so far as to suggest that non-Labour Party members had invaded the meeting, stuffed votes into the ballot box and hidden their SWP cards!

Kat Buckingham’s refusal to look at evidence that proves Warren Morgan and Emma Daniels were liars

You can see here Greg Hadfield’s submission to the ‘inquiry’ held by Buckingham. Naturally it was a waste of time. The ‘investigation’ by Kat Buckingham makes the investigations by the Wehrmacht into itself seem a model of integrity by comparison.

Greg obtained the CCTV footage for Buckingham’s inquiry. Strange as it may seem, she refused to watch it as it might breach data protection and peoples’ confidentiality! An utterly absurd pretext but of course she didn’t want to be compromised into having to accept that the complainants were liars. What kind of investigator refuses to look at video of the incidents she is investigating? The corruption of the Labour Right stank to high heaven.

Naturally the overturning of a democratic vote was painted not as what it was, the defiance of the democratic will of Labour members, but as concern for the ‘safety’ of those who attended. In this they could count on the local paper, the Brighton Argus, to frame what had happened as a matter of Health & Safety rather than what it was, a conspiracy against democracy.

The Argus article duly appeared under the headline ‘Safety concerns force suspension of Brighton and Hove Labour Party’. The report told readers that ‘THE city’s Labour party has been suspended by its national bosses over safety concerns for its members in the wake of last week’s executive elections.

Although the article did report that a complaint had been made against Warren Morgan and that ‘Successful candidates voted on to the party’s executive slammed the move as an “undemocratic intervention” in response to “malevolent and unsubstantiated rumours and smears”. it is clear that the editorial judgement of the Argus that this was just us left-wingers whinging about having been caught out.

The article reported that

‘The Argus understands the complaint against Cllr Morgan was filed by a party member accused of spitting at a City College Brighton and Hove staff member during the AGM.’

The letter the Argus refused to print pointing out how they had enabled the lies of 4 years ago to take hold

Whilst the article itself was balanced, the headline was deliberately and it was this that most people would have read. It was with this in mind that 19 members and former members of the Labour Party wrote to the Argus on April 25 in respect of an Argus Report of April 14 on Labour’s leaked report.

We wrote that the article didn’t mention

‘the lies and deception used to overturn the results of the Annual General Meeting of Brighton and Hove Labour Party in July 2016.’

You might think that the Argus itself would have something to say. Unfortunately it has always had a close relationship with Warren Morgan and carried his lies about ‘anti-Semitism’. Editor (or more accurately Chief Reporter Arron Hendy, (since the Argus is effectively run from Portsmouth now) decided not to print the letter.

You might have thought that Hendy was keen to see the record put straight. Not so. The Argus has consistently amplified the accusations of ‘anti-Semitism’ that Morgan and Yates have made whilst silencing the voice of those who have said that it was merely a smokescreen to cover their support for the murderous actions of the Israeli state.

For example when Chanukah celebrations were planned at a Council meeting in December 2017, the Argus carried an entirely bogus story of how ‘councillors and the press were told by council officers there was a protest planned by pro-Palestinian campaigners outside the meeting.’ There was no truth in this report or their updated story Jewish candle-lighting held behind closed doors over security concerns.

The idea that Palestine activists would picket a purely Jewish festival is a malicious invention of Sussex Friends of Israel, Fiona Sharpe and Labour Against Anti-Semitism. The Argus fell for this story and failed to print letters pointing out their stupid and malicious stupidity. It was part of their campaign to portray supporters of the Palestinians as anti-Semitic.

This was the abuse that Waterstones was subjected to – Bad News for Labour was a detailed academic study on the antisemitism witchhunt – the last thing the Zionists wanted was factual evidence to undermine their malicious ‘antisemitism’ campaign 

Last September during Labour Party Conference, Waterstones was scheduled to hold a book launch for Bad News for Labour by 5 distinguished academics. Because of a volley of abusive tweets, threatening phone calls, false allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’, the venue was forced by their Head Office to cancel the book launch.  Local staff were extremely angry and their CEO later admitted, after the event, that they had been wrong to succumb to pressure after angry customers had rung them up to complain about censorship.

As one of the authors, Justin Schlosberg, a senior academic and himself Jewish said, what the Zionists had achieved with their fake allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ was the equivalent of book burning.

Arron Hendy, the Argus’s Editor spiked the story by his reporter on the forced cancellation of a book launch

You might think that the Argus or indeed any newspaper that had even a passing commitment to freedom of speech, would cover the story. And indeed one of their reporters, Jody Doherty-Cove, did write an article covering what happened, including the fact that a group of local activists had hired the Rialto Theatre as a Free Speech Centre for 2 days determined that the Zionists would not be able to destroy free speech over Israel and Palestine in Brighton and Hove just as they do in Israel. Arron Hendy was not happy with an article which portrayed his racist friends in an unfavourable light.

This is the Argus’s idea of Balance – 12 people, half of whom were from outside Brighton, are equivalent to 200 people

The Argus’s attitude had been made clear the previous August when after 3 successful Zionist attempts to intimidate different venues, we nonetheless succeeded in holding a meeting with Chris Williamson in Brighton’s Regency Square. Some 200 people gathered at almost no notice, as the Friends Meeting House had cancelled the same day. By way of contrast the Zionists, who claim to speak on behalf of Brighton and Hove’s Jewish community of 2,000 held a ‘demonstration’ of a dozen people outside Brighton town hall. The Argus decided to print a picture equating 12 people with 200 people. That is bourgeois balance for you!

The reason for the Argus’s slanted coverage is that it has always been in bed with the corrupt right-wing of Labour locally and before that the Tories when they ran Brighton prior to the 1990’s.

Greg’s article is a must read because it describes, often in excruciating detail, all that happened. It covers the injustice of his first suspension from the Labour Party when the complainant, Malcolm Powers, Labour’s Southern Organiser made a false complaint of harassment against Greg. And who was delegated to investigate the complaint? Why Malcolm Powers!

Greg describes how the candidate selection for the Council elections, was fixed in Moulsecoomb, which had all of 14 members but was a safe seat, so that Dan Yates could stand. He also describes how in a meeting of 10 people there were two recounts which produced remarkably different results. It seems even over things like counting a result when only the Right is standing Warren Morgan’s supporters would fiddle the result. These people simply can’t be trusted since they have contempt for ordinary people. Again it’s not something that the Argus will report.

In the second election to find a candidate in Moulsecoomb there were just 2 electors, one of whom abstained. So Daniel Yates was the only person who voted for Daniel Yates but that was enough!

Greg describes an abusive “Twitter storm” against Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion and her husband, Richard Savage. It was alleged that Richard had been abusive when challenging Labour canvassers. Of course nothing of the sort happened but it was typical of the behaviour of people like then Councillor Julie Cattell, whose period as a councillor was marked by a heavy defeat last May when she demonstrated that she had no personal vote in Preston ward which she represented.

Grand Central pub in Brighton – smiling at the front is anti-Roma racist Luke Stanger – in the Lesbians 4 Labour shirt is Nicky Easton, who resigned from the Labour Party after assaulting another women and next to her is Julie Cattle

Caroline ‘Poison’ Penn

On the evening of the Labour Party AGM on July 9th there was a nasty incident in Brighton’s Grand Central Pub when two speakers at the Momentum meeting, Seema Chandwani and Michael Calderbank were abused and threatened by thugs whilst Labour Councillors like Julie Cattell were sitting by. The actual culprit was Harris Fitch, a BNP supporter and flat mate of Councillor Caroline ‘Poison’ Penn, who was forced to resign from the Council for abusing electors.

The person who instigated the abuse was Lukey Stanger, who has appeared in this blog on several occasions. He is currently suspended for racism and abuse of women but he is ‘protected’ by the Labour Right. See Luke Stanger – Why has this racist & misogynist not yet been expelled from the Labour Party?

A much beloved comrade, Riad al-Taher, expelled after war criminal Ivor Caplin fingered him

Greg covers the outrageous expulsion of the late Riad al Taher. Riad was an Iraqi exile who was elected to the Hove Labour Party Executive. Riad had been gaoled in 2011 for 10 months for breaking sanctions on Iraq. Sanctions that are estimated to have killed half a million people. Riad was a long-time campaigner against the invasion of his country and was accompanied to Iraq on one visit by Tam Dalyell MP and Tony Benn MP.

Even The Times could see the injustice of the sentence imposed on him. See Outcry over jailing of engineer who broke Iraq sanctions ‘to help West’. Not so Iain McNicol. Riad was summarily expelled. Riad died 18 months ago of cancer and his outrageous expulsion was not reversed by McNicol’s useless successor, Jennie Formby. You can visit Riad al Taher’s FB page and see his obituary here. The person who motivated the attack on Riad was the poisonous former MP for Hove and Defence Minister at the time of the Iraqi invasion, Ivor Caplin, who became Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement until they got rid of him.

Other episodes that Greg covers includes the attack on Becky Massey, another member of the Hove Executive. She too was fingered by Caplin who supplied a story to the far-Right Campaign Against Anti-Semitism. The result of this was, as was the Argus reported, the Hove AGM on Sunday Feb 3 2017 was cancelled.

Zionist community centre has no objection to advocates of rape of Palestinian women but ‘antisemitism’ i.e. anti-Zionism is not kosher

The Jewish community centre, Ralli Hall objected to Becky’s ‘anti-Semitism’. It is strange that the same hall had no objection to the same hall being used for a meeting by Sussex Friends of Israel at which Mordechai Kedar spoke. Kedar, a former colonel in the Israeli army and now a lecturer at the religious university of Bar Ilan, advocated the rape of Palestinian women in war. However the Jewish racists who run Ralli Hall have no concerns about Palestinians just their own fake victimhood. See Why Does Hove Jewish Centre, Ralli Hall Allow an Advocate of Rape to Speak but ban an Anti-Racist Critic of Israel

Hove CLP accounts – the Gowlett fund in 2016 creeps in

Greg goes into some detail to describe the financial shenanigan’s surrounding the Ben Gowlett ‘Trust’ which was administered in secret by Councillor Leslie Hamilton.

27 years ago property and money, about £100,000 was left to the Portslade Labour Party. The money was never declared to the Electoral Commission or otherwise accounted for until Greg began his investigation. Greg writes about

‘how a small group of senior party figures — including Labour councillors and officers, past and present — deliberately kept control of the funds to prevent them being “hijacked” by grassroots members exercising their democratic rights “through perfectly legitimate means”.

Through intrepid investigation Greg has uncovered the Ben Gowlett Will. Greg asks ‘How did the City Party account for the Ben Gowlett legacy? The answer is: It didn’t.’

He describes how Edward Crask, a prominent right-wing Hove Labour member

‘who likes to tell anyone and everyone that he was a Labour Party organiser for 20 years’ – was the treasurer responsible for the 2016 accounts, submitted on April 28 2017. The “total current assets” for the whole of the City Party is given as only £64,206; net assets are given as £60,531, less than the £61,000 that Cllr Hamilton now says remains of the Ben Gowlett legacy.’

Greg poses 10 Questions to Les Hamilton. Suffice to say there have been no answers! Greg says that there was no personal corruption involved and I understand his reluctance to get involved in legal action. However there is no proof that there was no personal corruption by Leslie Hamilton or others in the Labour Party since there is no accounting whatsoever of what happened to the money. Until Hamilton answers the questions posed to him then one has to assume that there may well be personal corruption, both on his and others’ behalf.

Greg describes how, on Tuesday, June 6 2017 there had been a huge get-out-the-vote rally with Barry Gardiner in the Synergy Centre, Brighton from which Greg had been refused entry on the grounds that he was suspended. I remember the meeting which I attended despite also being suspended. I went for a drink with Greg afterwards. He was despondent about Labour’s election chances whereas I was of the contrary opinion. After our drink I went to put a bet on at Ladbrokes that Labour would get more than 250 seats! It was the first time I went into a betting shop!

Greg describes more chicanery when he describes how on Wednesday, September 4an email from Jennie Formby invited applications for candidates for Brighton Pavilion constituency. It gave applicants less than 48 hours to meet a deadline of 5pm on Friday, September 6;

At 9.51am an anti-Corbyn troll tweeted “It won’t be you,”. At 12.25pm, @BuxtonFletcher1 tweeted again “Come and celebrate @greghadfield not getting selected, with a host of Labour members who all love Jeremy Corbyn so much they for @CarolineLucas”.

Adam Imanpour, Labour’s PPC in Brighton Pavilion

Clearly someone with close contact with Labour Party officials had leaked the news. Greg’s suspicions were confirmed the next day when at 5.01pm on Thursday, November 7, Luke Stanger ‘a vile Hove-based anti-Corbyn troll who had been suspended for alleged racism and bullying of women’ named the successful candidate as Adam Imanpour.

Anyone who has been active in Brighton and Hove Labour Party for the past 5 years should find this a riveting read. But it is also of interest to the wider Labour Party membership. Brighton and Hove was one of two Labour parties, the other was Wallasey, suspended by the national Labour Party as a means of protecting the right-wing minority in those parties. In the case of Wallasey the purpose was also to protect sitting MP Angela Eagle who is and was vastly unpopular.

What Greg’s account proves beyond doubt is that the right-wing of the Labour Party has no morals, honesty or integrity. They have all the cunning of a fox and behave like a syphilitic rat. Until the Left realise the nature of their adversary and are prepared to react accordingly they will always come out the loser. There can never be unity with the Labour Right except on their terms. It is a mistake that generations of socialists have paid dearly for.

What the Labour Party in Brighton and Hove should have done was to refuse to accept being suspended without a fight, as we did in 1992 when we set up a shadow Labour Party, the Friends of Brighton Labour Party. We also held ward meetings in defiance of the national party.

The national and regional officials are corrupt and undemocratic. Until Labour Party members are prepared to defy them and their local surrogates they will always lose out.

I have the distinction of being the only person to have been suspended in the Kinnock witchhunt of 1992 and to have been suspended under Corbyn in Brighton. The difference is that Kinnock was of the Right whereas Corbyn was supposed to be on the Left. Unfortunately Corbyn didn’t speak out once against the suspensions of Wallasey and Brighton and Hove. And therein lies the problem. Corbyn’s ‘nicer kinder’ politics meant turning the other cheek to the Right and expelling the Left.

If lessons aren’t learn then the experience of the Left being outmanoeuvred by the Right will continue.

Do read Greg’s account of what happened in Brighton and Hove in the past 4 years. REVEALED: The Labour Party activists behind the “anti-semitism” smears

Tony Greenstein

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Tony Greenstein

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