Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Greenwich Labour Council Leader under Investigation at last after public outrage at bullying and Lab failure to act.

Allegations of bullying against Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts made on this website are being investigated by the London Labour Party, it's emerged tonight.
Roberts left a voicemail message for one of his cabinet members threatening to sack them for suggesting a decision about the staging of half-marathon Run To The Beat be taken by whatever council is elected after May 2014's election, by which time the leader has said he would stand down.
The long-serving leader said the cabinet member should "should get it into your fucking thick skull" that he would be taking the decision about the race, not any future administration. The senior councillor concerned is not being named.
The London Labour Party acted after Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander passed on concerns from her constituents, sent to her via Twitter and via email, about what was happening in her neighbouring borough.
"We were made aware of the allegations earlier today and are investigating the matter," a statement sent via Alexander says.
"Clearly these issues are taken seriously by the Party and where evidence exists we will take action."
There has been no public comment so far from any Labour figure in Greenwich borough.
Since Monday's story was published, this website has learned further details about Chris Roberts attitude to the controversial Run to the Beat race, which went ahead this year without a promised consultation with residents.
The leader has asked councillors not to copy him on in emails about complaints from residents about the issue because a council charity he set up, Greenwich Starting Blocks, benefits from sponsored runners.
Roberts claims this is because he has a conflict of interest. However, the foul-mouthed voicemail makes it clear that despite that conflict of interest, it is Chris Roberts that is making the decisions about whether the race can go ahead - and not his cabinet members or officers.
The voicemail has been heard by many inside and outside the Labour party locally, and I understand multiple copies of it exist. The London Labour Party investigation now gives the opportunity for members who have the voicemail, or other allegations of bullying, to blow the whistle on the way they have been treated.
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