Tony Greenstein | 01 August 2016 | Post Views:

McNicol – Disloyal, Deceptive and Dishonest

Deliberate deception and disloyalty from Iain McNicol

One of the key
lessons that Tony Benn learnt from his time in government was the need for
Ministers to control their civil servants. 
It is elected politicians who should make political decisions not an unelected
civil service.

It is a lesson
that Jeremy Corbyn has yet to learn. 
Iain McNicol, Labour’s General Secretary, was foisted on Ed Miliband who
never trusted him, by Sir Paul Kenny of the GMB.  Previously McNicol was the GMB’s Political
John Stollard Labour’s Matthew Hopkins – Witchfinder in General
Throughout Corbyn’s
10 month leadership, McNicol has sought to undermine him every step of the
way.  The attempted purge of supporters
and members last summer was instituted by McNicol in a vain attempt to reduce
the expected vote for Corbyn.  McNicol
has promised more of the same this year in another attempt to try and fix it
for Owen Smith.  The Guardian cited
McNicol as saying that ‘Labour would
issue bans because it was not enough simply to criticise some of the aggressive
and intimidating behaviour that has soured the
contest so far
. “Words of condemnation are meaningless unless they are
backed up by action.”
The suggestion
that there is widespread ‘intimidation’
has been a regular theme of Owen Smith, Angela Eagle and the anti-Corbyn forces.  We had the affair of Angela Eagle’s broken
constituency window, the most famous window in Britain.  It later transpired that it was a window in a
stairwell of a building shared by a number of organisations.  It wasn’t her office window at all.  But the Right of the Party is using fake
allegation of ‘intimidation’ as an alibi for their expected heavy defeat.  McNicol is lending this doing his best to help
this lie despite there being no evidence whatsoever of intimidation.  It is a thoroughly bogus issue yet McNicol is
happy to help out.
The Labour Party is not big enough for both Jeremy and McNicol
When Michael
Foster, the Zionist funder, brought an action in the High Court to prevent Corbyn
from standing, Corbyn was so distrustful of any defence mounted by McNicol that
he applied to the Court to become a co-defendant.  He feared that McNicol might do a sweetheart
deal with Foster and effectively agree to the action, thus sinking Corbyn’s
An article in
last Monday 25th July’s Telegraph, Labour
leadership contest: Legal documents reveal depth of split between Jeremy Corbyn
and party’s general secretary
has gone largely unremarked but it was based
on the legal papers submitted in the Foster case.  The Telegraph’s Political Correspondent, Ben
Riley Smith, reported that
‘Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters have accused the head of
the Labour Party of “subverting” internal rules and keeping legal advice
hidden” to effectively block him running for the leadership, legal papers have
revealed.’  Documents asserted that Iain
McNicol went to “great lengths” to
keep secret a crucial party board meeting about his future. The Telegraph
reported that McNicol tried to “manufacture
a situation whereby Jeremy Corbyn’s name will be omitted from the leadership
” despite being bound to remain impartial during the contest. 
The Telegraph drew the conclusion that
It reveals the total breakdown of trust
between Mr Corbyn’s allies and Mr McNichol, the most senior official in the
Labour Party, and details the depth of the split at the top.   The criticism also calls into question
whether Mr McNichol can retain his post should Mr Cobryn win re-election this
summer, as the bookmakers have suggested…. such is the level of distrust
between the two camps that Mr Corbyn has insisted he is placed as a
co-defendant in the case to ensure the claims are robustly challenged….
McNicol – an attempt to conceal his intentions from Corbyn and McDonnell
from solicitors acting for Jim Kennedy, a member of UNITE- accused Mr McNicol
of not telling the leadership about a crucial meeting which would decide the
rules for the contest.   It claimed McNicol had gone “to great lengths to conceal [his] intentions from the leader and the
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer”

 the demand Mr Corbyn get the backing of MPs, it said McNicol had no
grounds for “subverting the democratic
procedures of a political party in such a way or the principles of the Labour
”.   The letter also said
the meeting about rules for the contest was an attempt to “manufacture a situation whereby Jeremy Corbyn’s name will be omitted
from the leadership ballot”
Part of the letter read:
“It is clear you are acting as General
Secretary in a manner which has not been seen before in the Labour Party.”

It also said legal advice was being “kept
” from Mr Corbyn.  In his
concluding remarks, the judge said “there
was suspicion by some NEC members of an attempt to ‘stitch-up’ the Applicant
[Mr Corbyn] at the NEC meeting to prevent him being able to stand for
  He also said there was a
risk” that Mr McNicol “may well overlook points which it would be
in Mr Corbyn’s interests to make
”, however “inadvertently”.
an article Legal letter to
NEC chief over Labour leadership rules
in the Guardian of 12th July, the day of the NEC meeting which
decided Corbyn’s name should be on the ballot paper, we learnt of a quite
remarkable and pungent letter sent by solicitors Howe & Co. to McNicol.  The solicitors were acting on behalf of Jim
Kennedy of UNITE.   
was accused of ‘having gone to ‘great lengths to conceal your intentions from the Leader and
the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
call a meeting of the NEC the following day.
The solicitors bluntly told
McNicol that ‘You have an obligation as General Secretary to act in good
faith.  You personally are required by the Party rules to be transparent
and to uphold the aims and values of ‘open democracy’.  The manner
in which this special meeting has been arranged has all the hallmarks of
anything but “open democracy”
(my emphasis)
McNicol was told not to destroy, delete or conceal evidence – this is the man in overall charge of Labour’s disciplinary process!
McNicol is told that he is under a duty to act
according to common law notions of fairness and that according to the Labour
Party’s constitution the election of officers, shall be conducted in a‘fair,
 open and transparent manner.’  
McNicol should not have needed
to be told that ‘natural justice requires you to act fairly’ but
as the experience of those suspended demonstrates, McNicol has little or no
understanding of the concept of fairness or natural justice.
Howe and Co. tell McNicol
that ‘Our clients are very concerned that the purpose
of the special meeting is to manufacture a situation whereby Jeremy Corbyn’s
name will be omitted from the ballot paper.’  
McNicol is also accused of withholding the legal
advice he has obtained to members of the NEC, despite having received the
advice of 3 barristers including Mike Mansfield QC.  McNicol is reminded that
he has a duty to preserve all documents, emails etc. with his fellow
conspirators such as Deputy Leader, the ‘fixer’ Tom Watson.   The solicitors finish off what is an extremely
strong letter with a series of questions:

Who is it  who is instructing you
to carry out the actions you intend?  Who has suggested to you that the
legal advice the Labour Party has received is to be ignored or kept
 Who is it who has suggested that the
leader be barred from the special meeting of 12 July 2016 and that the motion
be voted upon in secret?’
Under McNicol leaking information to the press is standard procedure – when details of my suspension were leaked to The Telegraph and  The Times McNicol lied when stating that it hadn’t come from LP HQ
McNicol is also told that his favourite
occupation, leaking material damaging to his political opponents is a ‘serious disciplinary offence’.  
On the basis of the allegations in this
letter the NEC has no alternative but to suspended Iain McNicol for gross
misconduct.  It is unconscionable that the General Secretary of the Labour
Party is acting at the instigation of the forces of the Right opposed to the

It is clear that there has been an  irretrievable breakdown in the relations
between McNicol and Jeremy Corbyn.  In an
employment relationship that would be reason enough to dismiss someone.  It is clear that McNicol has to go and Corbyn
should ensure that his first action after being re-elected is to send Iain
McNicol packing.

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