Monday, 7 October 2013

Greenwich Labour Party scandle grows as Labour seek to investigate itself in further cover up. seems to have learned nothing from losding seat to SDP last time this happened.

Council bullying: Wannabe MPs pile in as whitewash feared

by Darryl
The aftermath of Greenwich Council leader Chris Roberts' bullying voicemail took a new twist over the weekend after hopefuls who want to be the next MP for Greenwich and Woolwich stepped in to demand a full investigation into the email.
Greenwich Council leader and bully Chris RobertsBut they only spoke up after a candidate for next year's council elections said she felt "profoundly let down" by the affair, which saw Roberts threaten cabinet member John Fahy with the loss of his portfolio, instructing him to "get that through your fucking thick skull".
Cherry Parker, who is standing in the marginal Blackheath Westcombe ward, wrote on her blog:
"It has become painfully clear that we aren’t doing enough to live up to our values.
"It is extraordinary that we have allowed things to get to a point where expletive-laden rows are splashed across the front of the local press.
"As a candidate in the borough’s most marginal ward, I feel profoundly let down. All of our work is now at risk. Next time our team is out on the doorstep, we will be asked to explain what is going in the Labour group and what we are doing to fix it. I don’t know what answer I can give, but I do know that silence is not an option for me, and it is no longer an option for my colleagues."
After challenging those who want to be Labour's candidate for the 2015 general election in Greenwich & Woolwich to speak up, a few used to Twitter to do just that. First up, Matt Pennycook:
There's an obvious question here - why did it take the Greenwich West councillor three years to speak out against this form of behaviour? Nevertheless, his intervention is notable, and frankly, it's important he's said something.
Other wannabe MPs also spoke up, including Lewisham councillor Kevin Bonavia, who also fancies his chances.
And "Woolwich girl" Kathy Peach:
Last night, I thought I'd ask Len Duvall:
What's certainly clear is that Cherry Parker deserves great credit for bursting a taboo and making the way Greenwich Council is run is an issue when Labour picks its candidate. If she hadn't spoken out, would anyone else have done so?
But will there be a thorough investigation? So far, the signs aren't looking good. Last Monday, I reported that Labour's chief whip, Ray Walker, had not acted on a complaint about the voicemail to Fahy. This prompted complaints to Lewisham East MP Heidi Alexander, which she passed onto the London Labour Party.
On Friday, the News Shopper reported that the issue had been passed from the London Labour Party to... Ray Walker at Greenwich. Essentially, Greenwich Labour is investigating Greenwich Labour.
Ray Walker is a close ally of Chris Roberts. It's worth remembering his comments when Blackheath Westcombe councillor Alex Grant spoke of the bullying culture in Greenwich Labour. He told the News Shopper in March: "I'm not aware of any of those descriptions that he puts on the Labour Group or the council.
"I don't know why he's had that impression. That wouldn't be a good culture to work in. We wouldn't allow a bullying culture. There's no bullying culture."
It's likely Walker will be assisted by fellow Roberts allies Janet Gillman, Radia Rabadia, Mohammed Iqbal and Labour group chair Christine May. Is Greenwich Labour fit to investigate itself? Many are fearing a whitewash.
Incidentally, it is possible for members of the public to trigger an investigation by the council's own standards committee by getting in touch with the chief executive. The old Standards Board for England was shut down last year by the coalition government, meaning councils effectively govern themselves.
Who wants to be a Greenwich & Woolwich MP? 24 candidates have put themselves forward to be Labour's candidate for the Greenwich & Woolwich seat.
This list will be whittled down over time, and local members will choose on 30 November.
Links in bold are to personal websites, others are to other scraps of info I've found: Adebayo Alaba, Waltham Forest councillor Liaquat Ali, Lewisham councillor Kevin Bonavia, current Greenwich mayor Angela Cornforth, London Assembly member Len Duvall, Jane East, Anthony Ethapemi, Barking & Dagenham councillor Sukhninder Gill, Mohammed-Abbas Hanif, Ashiq Hussain, Keran Kerai, former Greenwich councillor Annie Keys, Nizam Mamode, Ian Mason, Southwark councillor Abdul Mohamed, Martin Morris, Kusum Parashar, James Parker, Kathy Peach, Matthew Pennycook, Sally Prentice, David Prescott, Colin Uju, Damien Welfare.
Greenwich People before profit will be having a group meeting tonight to agree a party line on this issue, over weekend Nicola Walters the community activist that leads the Greenwich group, reported that numbers of Labour voters switching to PB4P so large that instead of targeting just Greenwich West ward as at present, we stand candiidates in all wards in a clean up local politics campaign, end Labour abuse of power.
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