domestic violence

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‘Maybe this time Starmer will understand covering up criminality is unacceptable’ – Cohen

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 13/06/2024 - 2:07am in

Whistleblower who turned down £150k gagging clause and was ignored by Starmer says she will seek judicial review and take civil action after ‘perverse’ award for wrongful dismissal

Whistleblower Elaina Cohen has said she will seek a judicial review and civil action, after a tribunal judge awarded her only a net sum of £10,423 for being wrongfully dismissed by right-wing Labour MP Khalid Mahmood.

Cohen went public with allegations that Mahmood’s lover, who worked and still works for him, was using a ‘charity’ (now defunct) for domestic violence victims to exploit and abuse vulnerable Muslim victims. She received a total award of £11,729.99, but the tribunal judge reduced the payout under the Employment Protection (Recoupment of Benefits) Regulations 1996.

During the case, one of the victims told the tribunal – in evidence that neither Mahmood nor his legal team tried to challenge – that Mahmood’s staffer:

  • blackmailed domestic violence victims into shoplifting and giving her their social security benefits
  • made victims take speeding points on their licence that they did not incur
  • sadistically abused victims
  • made the chief executive of the charity suicidal by blackmailing her and taunting her
  • targeted the victim on social media
  • revealed details of the charity’s vulnerable ‘service users’ to others
  • used her and other women from the now-defunct charity ‘for the private entertainment of important people’
  • introduced one victim to a male friend who hurt the woman, ‘but she didn’t care’
  • berated two victims for stealing the wrong jacket from a local department store
  • made victims fund meals for local Labour politicians
  • made victims ‘stalk’ Mahmood and report back on him

Cohen repeatedly informed Keir Starmer and Labour general secretary David Evans of what was happening, but the pair took no action, part of a pattern of cover-ups that saw Starmer shelter at least two alleged sex pests on his front bench – and one confirmed sex pest in a senior job – while claiming to be a ‘champion’ of women facing domestic violence.

In an email after the judgment today, copied to the West Midlands Chief Constable and to Labour general secretary Evans, Cohen told employment lawyer Julie-Rose Helling that she was ‘furious’ with the outcome and planning to appeal. to lodge a formal complaint with the judiciary and to legal action against the force and the Labour party:

As you can imagine I am furious at the judgment which I believe was personal  .

I turned down £150k which would have shackled me with an NDA.  

I am appealing the award .

However I also intend to make a formal complaint to the judiciary at the conduct  of Judge Adkin which has been biased towards me from the onset.

I am being advised and considering and likely to now pursue civil action  against the Respondent , West Midlands Police Simon Foster and Sir Keir Starmer.

I will not rest until justice has been served. This was a whistleblowing case of heinous crimes against vulnerable women which has been ignored .

“The police admitted to me that things had been covered up”

However, Cohen subsequently told Skwawkbox that she is planning to seek a full retrial, as well as threatening legal action against the local police that she says confirmed there had been a cover-up:

I will be seeking a full retrial to overturn this judgment which I have been legally told is perverse. The judge had already been found to have concluded that I was not threatened with dismissal for blowing the whistle when it was already in evidence before the tribunal. Maybe this time Keir Starmer will understand that covering up crime is unacceptable – and I don’t believe this is an isolated incident in Birmingham and elsewhere.

I turned down offers of £150,000 and then £110,000 to settle the case because they would have meant signing a non-disclosure agreement. I’m not letting this go.

The police admitted to me that things had been covered up, this is the equivalent of finding Trump innocent of 34 counts. If the West Midlands Police don’t take action, I’m going to start a civil action against them.

Ms Cohen recently resigned from the Labour party in protest at the repeated cover-ups and Starmer’s ‘protection of abusers and racists’.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Labour’s new Barking candidate confirmed bully who tried ‘undue influence’ on scrutiny chair

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 05/06/2024 - 9:00am in

Nesil Caliskan bullied a fellow councillor and tried to manipulate chair of Enfield council scrutiny committee – and more…

Nesil Caliskan, front right

Labour has announced that Enfield council leader Nesil Caliskan is imposed as the party’s candidate in Barking, the seat that has been vacated by right-winger Margaret Hodge’s retirement.

In 2019, Caliskan was found guilty of bullying a female fellow councillor – a decision upheld on appeal. Her claims that the allegations were racially-motivated smears was rejected. She was also found, in the same month, to have breached standards by attempting to unduly influence the chair of the council’s scrutiny committee, responsible for independent scrutiny of the council’s activities.

Those two, major issues, are far from the end of the issues surrounding Caliskan’s selection. She was the subject of a series of complaints and protests by local Labour members and councillors, as well as of action by the party’s Governance and Legal Unit (GLU), following a series of revelations by the SKWAWKBOX – which were picked up, without credit, by ‘mainstream’ media.

Caliskan was Labour’s local campaign forum (LCF) secretary when she oversaw an array of ‘irregular‘ selections of her allies, who promptly elected her leader of the council after last year’s local elections. The process also saw every BAME councillor in the borough deselected, to the outrage of local community groups.

As a result, half of Enfield’s cabinet demanded an investigation, while all the female Labour group officers resigned except for Caliskan herself in protest at bullying and intimidation.

The subsequent disciplinary process saw the Enfield Labour group placed into special measures – and the election process for a new cabinet delayed after Caliskan was rebuked for ignoring binding instructions issued by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). When the election finally went ahead, many of the council’s cabinet members refused to stand, saying they could not work with her.

Caliskan – whose family is close to former right-wing Labour hardliner Joan Ryan and who refuses to take queries from the SKWAWKBOX – has responded by alleging that she is the subject of a racially-motivated smear campaign. She also claimed that Labour’s ‘special measures‘ were to protect her – a claim subsequently shown to be false – and originally told members that the party’s investigation into her had been abandoned, which was also untrue.

Now she has been imposed at the last minute by Labour’s national executive for a safe Labour seat – like her fellow national executive member Luke Akehurst, who has been forced on Labour members in North Durham despite his support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza and his blocking of a Jewish would-be candidate because she had blown the whistle to protect vulnerable domestic violence victims from ‘sadistic’ abuse and exploitation by a Labour right-winger’s lover.

If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.

Akehurst banned Jewish candidate for blowing whistle on sexual abuse

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 04/06/2024 - 8:45am in

Jewish would-be candidate says Starmer’s imposed Israel-fanatic candidate for North Durham used NEC position to tell her she couldn’t stand because she would ‘bring Labour into disrepute’ because she blew the whistle on ‘sadistic and criminal’ abuse of domestic violence victims

Luke Akehurst – the fanatically pro-Israel ‘parachute’ candidate imposed by Labour’s national executive (NEC) as the party’s candidate in North Durham – told a Jewish woman last year that she couldn’t stand for the party because she blew the whistle to protect vulnerable domestic violence victims, according to whistleblower Elaina Cohen. Skwawkbox contacted Akehurst for comment on the allegations at the time, but he did not respond.

Elaina Cohen was wrongfully dismissed by right-wing MP Khalid Mahmood after she made ‘protected disclosures’ about abuse and exploitation by Mahmood’s lover of Muslim women fleeing domestic violence. One of the victims gave evidence at Cohen’s industrial tribunal about the ‘sadistic’ and ‘criminal’ abuse she had suffered at the hands of the woman, who also worked for Mahmood. Neither Mahmood nor his lawyers contested the victim’s evidence. As part of her testimony, she said:

Whilst befriending them [the lover] would find out their weaknesses and secrets and then would blackmail and exploit them for her own benefit and amusement and that of others.

She told the court via her unchallenged statement that Mahmood’s female staffer, with whom he was said to be in a relationship:

  • used a domestic violence charity she ran to blackmail domestic violence victims into shoplifting and giving her their social security benefits
  • made victims take speeding points on their licence that they did not incur
  • sadistically abused victims
  • made the chief executive of the charity suicidal by blackmailing her and taunting her
  • targeted Victim A on social media
  • revealed details of the charity’s vulnerable ‘service users’ to others
  • used her and other women from the now-defunct charity ‘for the private entertainment of important people’
  • introduced one victim to a male friend who hurt the woman, ‘but she didn’t care’
  • berated two victims for stealing the wrong jacket from a local department store
  • made victims fund meals for local Labour politicians
  • made victims ‘stalk’ Mahmood and report back on him

Cohen also repeatedly informed Starmer and Labour general secretary David Evans of what was being done to the women, but the pair took no action, part of a pattern of cover-ups that saw Starmer shelter at least two alleged sex pests on his front bench – and one confirmed sex pest in a senior job – while claiming to be a ‘champion’ of women facing domestic violence.

Akehurst’s deranged – and paid – support for Israel even in the midst of the genocide it is committing against the Palestinian people in Gaza is well known, but it is far from the only issue with him being allowed anywhere near a parliamentary seat. And his boss, who is cut from the same cloth, has no business being anywhere near power.

Khalid Mahmood has also been re-selected to stand in Birmingham Perry Barr, despite Cohen’s revelations about the victims and also her allegations of theft and taking cash from Kuwait, which he denied. Labour says it selects ‘quality candidates’.

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Exclusive: Jewish whistleblower quits Labour over Starmer’s ‘protection of abusers and racists’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 28/05/2024 - 6:45pm in

Elaina Cohen says she cannot bear to remain in party that suspends Abbott but protects wrongdoers and she will campaign against Starmer’s Labour

Jewish whistleblower Elaina Cohen, as long expected, has quit her Labour membership and will campaign against Keir Starmer’s party over Starmer’s cover-up of abuse and exploitation she says she discovered of domestic violence victims by the alleged lover of right-wing MP Khalid Mahmood.

Ms Cohen has accused Starmer of ‘brutal disregard for women’ after she informed him several times about the ‘sadistic’ mistreatment of vulnerable Muslim women.

Elaina Cohen’s ‘pinned’ tweet

Emails proved that Ms Cohen made Keir Starmer repeatedly aware of her allegations that one of his front-benchers was protecting a staff member who was involved in the abuse of domestic violence victims she exploited through a now-defunct domestic violence ‘charity’ – yet he did nothing, leaving Khalid Mahmood on his front bench until Mahmood eventually decided to step down over political differences.

During her wrongful dismissal case against right-winger Mahmood, the MP and his legal team accepted ‘Victim A’s sworn statement about the abuse she had suffered at the hands of Mahmood’s office manager and lover into evidence as truth without challenge.

The victim told the tribunal that she and others had suffered ‘sadistic’ abuse, threat and blackmail as Mahmood’s paramour tried to force her into theft and fraud and used domestic violence victims as entertainment for the rich and powerful – and the party also ignored Cohen’s formal complaint against Starmer and his sidekick David Evans for the cover-up.

The moment that evidence was accepted as fact, without challenge, in a legal proceedings Keir Starmer should have been forced by media coverage and a storm of public outrage into resigning. Yet the ‘mainstream’ media have almost entirely ignored the revelations – and actively misreported the unfolding of the case.

Her resignation email reads:

It is with regret I am resigning from the Labour Party . I cannot be in a party that condones heinous  abuse of vulnerable women .

The MP you selected was aware that his staff member took sadistic pleasure as a DV outreach worker in criminally exploiting multiple vulnerable women including victims of different faiths members of the LGBT community.

Her particular pleasure in  blackmailing mothers with children condoned by Keir Starmer is unconscionable for every decent person.

How can Keir Starmer claim he will smash human trafficking into our country when he backs a Labour member carrying out acts of organised crime exploiting desperate and vulnerable women.

I cannot as a person of conscience after four years of Keir Starmer  doing everything possible to cover up crimes in the membership  stay within it.

It is now my suspicion   that allegations of historic cover up of wrong-doing lead to Keir  Starmers door and that his sincerity and reliance upon on a legal and institutional career can  no longer be relied upon.

I have worked hard in Perry Barr and I still have a platform with supporters to raise my concerns.

Whatever the outcome of the judgment at least I am on the right side of justice for the most vulnerable in society.

The Labour party decision makers reap what they sow .

Starmer’s appalling record toward women includes sheltering two alleged sex pests in his Shadow Cabinet – and taking no action against disgraced MP Chris Matheson after he was placed under investigation and ultimately found guilty by Parliament of sexual harassment. Matheson instead resigned after the finding.

Starmer also welcomed Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle back into the party last year, despite Parliament finding Coyle guilty of at least one count of sexual harassment and of making racist remarks.

Ms Cohen told Skwawkbox:

The hypocrisy of keeping Diane Abbott suspended when she is clearly not antisemitic, while Keir Starmer covers up for abusers and racists, is absolutely appalling. I have resigned my membership so that I can campaign against Labour and will be doing so vigorously. He is unfit for office.

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A Perfect Telegram from Hell

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 07/05/2024 - 9:00pm in

On the late Heather Lewis.

How Teen Girls in Mumbai Are Learning to Stand Tall

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 21/03/2024 - 7:00pm in

As Nausheen, a 14-year-old Mumbai schoolgirl, demonstrates the kicks and punches she has newly learned, there is a perceptible change in her body language. From a shy, giggly teenager, she turns into a budding supergirl: somehow she seems taller, her stance straighter and her voice louder. 

“When I practice these moves, I feel a surge of power inside me,” she says. “I feel like I don’t have any fear.”

Nausheen has been learning martial arts — among other concepts such as consent and communication — at the free biweekly workshops conducted by the nonprofit MukkaMaar at her government school in a crowded Mumbai suburb. “I have learned to be strong and to face people with confidence,” she says, “whether it is my parents at home or strangers outside.”

A group of girls doing stretches on a patio.MukkaMaar partners with 56 government schools in Mumbai. Courtesy of MukkaMaar

Contrast this with what MukkaMaar’s founder Ishita Sharma remembers from a casual conversation with a group of middle-school girls a few years ago. When asked what they would do if someone attacked them on the streets, they unanimously responded: Shout bachao bachao! (help). 

“They didn’t even think about it,” Sharma says. “It was a natural response to expect someone else to come and save them, because that is what they have been taught, what they have seen in movies.”

It was with the basic aim to shift this control from the outsider to the individual that Sharma started MukkaMaar — roughly translating to “throw a punch” — as an empowerment program for adolescent girls. “Women need to take responsibility for their own safety and not succumb to the ‘What will the poor woman do?’ narrative,” she explains. 

Courtesy of MukkaMaar

At MukkaMaar’s free workshops, girls learn martial arts and build confidence. They also learn about communication and consent.

Sharma began in 2016 with four girls on a public beach and the conviction that teaching self-defense was the way to empower them. Over seven years and 3,000 girls later, she has learned that along with martial arts, there is also a need for a change in fundamental beliefs and attitudes. She shares examples of how these girls are schooled to be “good daughters” who grow up to be “good wives” (for instance, to blindly marry the man chosen by their parents, as opposed to committing to a “love marriage”). She explains that there is a need to teach them to question and debate at home, negotiate for their rights, develop and assert their own personalities, and so on. 

MukkaMaar now partners with 56 government schools in Mumbai, where martial arts teachers are trained to listen to and counsel the girls, who open up with their own stories. These trainers are young men and women in their late teens and 20s, who usually work in teams of two. At 19, national level boxing champion Aradhana Gaund is not much older than the girls she trains. “They treat me like their friend, and I laugh and cry with them,” she says. 

A girl kicks at an object held up by another girl on the beach.In the workshops, girls learn that violence is not a knee-jerk response, but a last resort. Courtesy of MukkaMaar

Elsa Marie D’Silva, founder of Red Dot Foundation, a nonprofit working to create safe spaces for women, says it can be intimidating for young women to stand up against harassment, and so “it is important to show them how they can speak out together, along with their friends or as a group, to call out bullies.” Indeed, this is one of the things that gives Gaund the most satisfaction: seeing how these classes have taught the girls to band together and support one another.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2023, India ranks a dismal 127 out of 146 countries, based on indices such as access to education, economic opportunities and health. What is even more concerning is the unceasing, systemic violence against women that takes several forms including intimate partner violence, rape and assault, dowry deaths, acid attacks and everyday street harassment.

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Women are told from childhood to keep their heads down and take these things in stride, that to react would be futile and even dangerous. They internalize this to such an extent that they suffer harassment silently, which in turn encourages their abusers to carry on with impudence. This is where MukkaMaar has been making a small but significant difference.

Iqra, 13, says, “Earlier, I used to move away quietly when a man touched or groped me in the [public] bus. But now, I just make my voice loud and strong like I have been taught, and tell them to stop it.” At this, her friend Fatima chimes in, “Now we feel like we can also walk and talk like the boys.” 

Courtesy of MukkaMaar

Ishita Sharma started MukkaMaar with the goal of changing girls’ “natural response to expect someone else to come and save them” — and showing them that they can be the ones in control.

But they have both also been taught that violence is not a knee-jerk response, but a last resort. “If we fight, we will also get hurt, but we can speak up,” Iqra declares with the wisdom of one far older. 

And speak up they do, at every chance. “At my cousin’s wedding, a boy I don’t know started teasing me,” Fatima recalls. “When I shouted at him, his mother intervened and scolded him. Earlier I used to feel nervous in such situations, I used to think, ‘I am a small girl, what can I do?’” 

As Sharma describes it, “We are not telling them that violence is the answer, but that violence should not be tolerated.”

A group of girls in uniforms sit together on the floor in a room with blue walls.“We train them to vocalize their feelings, to open up their shoulders and lift up their chins,” explains one of MukkaMaar’s trainers. Courtesy of MukkaMaar

The MukkaMaar website states, “It is necessary to recognize that violence includes microaggressions, discrimination, threats, and loss of opportunity as much as assault.” The training, therefore, does not just cover self-defense but also building physical fitness and emotional strength, as well as boosting (and often instilling) self-confidence. 

Senior training fellow, Bhishma Mallah, 26, who has been with MukkaMaar for over four years, says that the girls begin with so many barriers, like shame and fear, that even to get them to exercise in front of others or to express themselves verbally is a challenge. “We train them to vocalize their feelings, to open up their shoulders and lift up their chins. We have to tell them repeatedly to forget about adjusting their dupatta [traditional scarf used to cover head or shoulders] and focus on the activity.” 

A trainer demonstrates a punch.Even during workshops, the girls ask for permission before making physical contact. Courtesy of MukkaMaar

One of the many ways in which the trainers chip away at the diffidence of these young girls is by making them chant “I am important” even as they practice their moves. Or asking them to imagine how a dog growls, and to channel that aggression in their kicks and punches.

Each hour-long session includes 20 minutes of conversations and counseling, with the remaining time devoted to physical training. “We teach them about concepts like boundaries, consent and safe touch. Even during lessons, they have to take permission from their partner before any physical contact,” explains Mallah.

Sharma admits it took her a couple of years to realize that for a girl to build agency, there is a lot of familial and social conditioning that needs to be undone. “There is no point in teaching them martial arts alone, with its focus on discipline and technique — because unless we teach them critical thinking, it is all pointless, and forgotten the minute they step out of the classroom,” says Sharma.

Red Dot Foundation founder D’Silva adds a word of caution: “It’s not enough to just empower the girls to speak up, it is also the responsibility of adults to listen to them when they do. If their parents or teachers don’t take them seriously, then the child will quickly learn not to tell anyone — because there is the added fear of having their personal freedom curtailed under the guise of protecting them or saving the family honor.” 

A change in the larger ecosystem may take a long time, but it is clear that something is shifting within these girls. While one cohort confronted a cop making a video call in front of them and challenged him to prove he was not taking their photos without permission, another group of girls gathered the courage to file a police complaint against their physical education teacher who had been harassing them. For others, it has meant something as seemingly trivial as talking back to their fathers and challenging gendered rules and restrictions. 

“I have learned to be strong and to face people with confidence,” one MukkaMaar student says, “whether it is my parents at home or strangers outside.” Courtesy of MukkaMaar

These may seem like small incidents, but for these young girls in Mumbai, the freedom to think independently and challenge those around them has been life-changing. 

In the short run, Sharma says MukkaMaar wants to focus on fewer places and create retention, rather than spread the program thin all over the city. The future is digital for MukkaMaar alumni, with a chatbot that helps the girls have a two-way conversation about self-defense techniques, physical fitness, understanding of different types of gender violence and soft skills like communication and negotiation. This keeps them connected to the program, and to everything they learned in it, even after they leave. 

The post How Teen Girls in Mumbai Are Learning to Stand Tall appeared first on Reasons to be Cheerful.

Exclusive: whistleblower accuses Labour W Mids PCC of refusing to act on abuse allegations

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 20/03/2024 - 9:04am in

No response from Simon Foster’s press office to Elaina Cohen’s allegations – also covered up by Keir Starmer

A former MP’s staffer who blew the whistle on alleged abuse of Muslim domestic violence victims has accused West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Simon Foster of ‘refus[ing] to investigate’ the failure of the force’s then-Chief Constable to act on evidence of the abuse – and that Foster and the current Chief Constable ‘disregarding’ further allegations, from a separate source, about the same alleged perpetrator.

Elaina Cohen, who used to work for Birmingham MP Khalid Mahmood and took him successfully to an industrial tribunal for unfair dismissal when she lost her job after making protected disclosures about the abuse, first made the allegations against Foster during submissions to the tribunal, which Skwawkbox attended on behalf of its readers. Evidence given under oath to the tribunal by one of the victims of the ‘sadistic’ abuse, threats and blackmail she suffered was not disputed by Mahmood or his legal team.

And in an email today to Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden, a Keir Starmer front-bencher, seen by Skwawkbox, Cohen wrote that:

Evidence already in the public domain shows Simon Foster has steadfastly refused to investigate why former West Midlands Chief Constable Thompson abandoned multiple victims when presented with evidenced abuse perpetrated by a Labour member working in a parliamentary office of a Labour MP.

An email from [Tory West Midlands Mayor] Andy Street states when he has the authority of a PCC he will seek justice for these women…

…an opposition party councillor has made representation to Simon Foster and Chief Constable Guildford with further allegations about the same perpetrator and was also disregarded.

I believe this information questions Simon Foster’s suitability to be a candidate.

Skwawkbox contacted Mr Foster’s press office for contact this morning, but received only an automated acknowledgement in reply.

Labour leader Keir Starmer and his general secretary David Evans also covered up the abuse, taking no action despite repeated warnings and appeals from Ms Cohen. They also did not act on Ms Cohen’s complaints of the antisemitism she suffered – or on complaints from Muslim women councillors in Birmingham about bullying, misogyny and threats at the hands of local party right-wingers.

Despite this appalling record, Starmer has continued to boast that he will be a ‘champion’ for victims of domestic abuse. Simon Foster has also promised to act to protect women:

Foster, who is standing for re-election, has just won a legal battle to prevent his PCC role being absorbed by Tory metro mayor Andy Street, but Elaina Cohen told Skwawkbox of her dissatisfaction with both Foster and his party boss:

I remain disappointed that Sir Keir Starmer refuses to acknowledge or act upon my protected disclosures and whilst I would support an independent office of a PCC I would question political appointments based on my own experience. In my opinion the cover-up of criminal abuse of vulnerable women is just as abhorrent as racism as a candidate issue.

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Protest planned in Tottenham as location of Starmer’s latest ‘pledge’ leaks

Starmer’s ‘equality’ promise is a farce after years of unpunished racism in the Labour right – and Starmer’s support for Israel’s genocide

Keir Starmer and local MP David Lammy will appear in Tottenham between 1pm and 3pm on Monday for what is expected to be Starmer’s announcement of his latest ‘pledge’ – this one promising equal pay protection for ethnic minority groups.

Starmer’s record shows that any ‘promise’ will be worth nothing and jettisoned as soon as convenient – but his decision to stage his blether in one of London’s most diverse boroughs, while he continues to support Israel’s genocide in Gaza and has not even mentioned the International Court of Justice’s binding orders on Israel to stop the slaughter, has prompted outrage and a planned protest:

Starmer’s regime has constantly ignored racism, misogyny and abuse from the right-wing faction that has destroyed the party as a meaningful opposition, often protecting alleged perpetratorseven paedophiles – and covering up even the most serious allegations, while doing nothing to act against perpetrators exposed by the Forde Report. His latest disposable pledge is clearly a feeble attempt to con diverse groups that he cares a jot about their best interests – and his decision to hold it at the centre named after Labour’s first Black MP, who would no doubt have regarded him with contempt, adds insult to injury.

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Starmer ‘didn’t know’ re sub-postmasters, ‘wasn’t involved’ on Savile. What DID he do as DPP?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 12/01/2024 - 1:12am in

Analysis: CPS prosecuted at least 27 people – and as many as 38 – running post offices during Horizon scandal – it strains credibility to claim he knew nothing

Labour has claimed that none of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) prosecutions of innocent sub-postmasters went ‘to [Keir Starmer’s] desk. Starmer himself has now told reporters that he knew nothing about any of the cases:

I wasn’t aware of any of them. I think there was a small number within a 20-year window, that’s all I know. I don’t even now – I think the CPS are helping with inquiries – how many of those may or may not have involved Horizon.

There were at least twenty-seven and as many as thirty eight cases.

One such case that definitely happened under Starmer’s tenure as CPS head was the prosecution of Seema Misra, who was jailed for fifteen months in 2010 – on her son’s tenth birthday – for fraud that she never committed. She was pregnant when she was prosecuted and jailed – and her conviction was only quashed in 2021. The prosecution did not disclose to the court that the Post Office knew the Horizon system was faulty and had at least forty examples of the system causing shortfalls at Post Office branches.

When the scandal of serial rapist Jimmy Savile broke and Starmer was attacked for not prosecuting him, Keir Starmer did not personally deny he had been involved in the decision not to prosecute Savile, instead allowing mouthpieces – including Tory MPs – to say he was not aware of it, insisting that we believe that he ran the CPS and was never asked for his view on whether to prosecute the offender who was, at the time, Britain’s highest-profile entertainer.

Starmer boasted of his role in prosecuting former government minister Chris Huhne and promised the US he would ‘do everything’ to secure the extradition of autistic hacker Gary McKinnon – yet supposedly was not consulted by his subordinates about Savile.

The CPS claimed it had destroyed all records relating to the decision not to prosecute Savile. The CPS also claimed that it had destroyed all records relating to prosecution of Seema Misra.

We are asked to believe that Starmer was not involved in the Savile decision, was not involved in or consulted on any CPS Post Office cases – was not even aware of their existence – despite them taking place while he ran the CPS and despite revelations, a year before the Misra case, in the press about the known, widespread issues with the Horizon system causing false ‘shortfalls’ in Post Office branches.

As Labour leader, Starmer has covered up a whistleblower’s allegations of ‘sadistic’ and ‘criminal’ exploitation of vulnerable domestic violence victims by a Labour staffer who was the lover of the MP she was working for. That MP, Khalid Mahmood, did not dispute a victim’s sworn evidence in whistleblower Elaina Cohen’s successful tribunal for wrongful dismissal – and confirmed under oath that Starmer and Labour general secretary David Evans were fully and repeatedly aware of the allegations.

Starmer also sheltered at least two alleged sex pests in his Shadow Cabinet and re-admitted racist and sex harasser MP Neil Coyle back into the parliamentary party, as well as Mike Gapes, the right-wing former MP who defended fellow right-winger Ian McKenzie after McKenzie tweeted about the rape and beheading of Thornberry herself, and former MPs who defended him. He is a creature of the Establishment and sides with it every time.

What the hell was he doing while he was boss of the CPS if he didn’t know about the highest profile cases and wasn’t consulted on the widest miscarriage of justice in British legal history? This site does not believe it is credible.

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Exclusive: how the Poplar and Limehouse trigger ballot was rigged against Apsana Begum

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/01/2024 - 12:05pm in

Allegations of irregularities become concrete example of branch fix that prevented Muslim woman MP being automatically selected to stand again

In 2022, Poplar and Limehouse’s left-wing Muslim woman MP Apsana Begum faced a ‘vicious and misogynistic’ campaign to deselect her that had left campaigners and women’s groups horrified.

The campaign followed a party attempt to remove Begum as the London constituency’s MP by prosecuting her for housing fraud. The stitch-up fell apart when a court threw out the charges brought by allies of her allegedly-abusive ex-husband – forcing Labour party vultures, who had been at the court in anticipation of a guilty verdict to announce a contest to replace her, to slink away disappointed and unable to install a favoured right-winger in the overwhelmingly Labour-voting seat.

After the ‘lawfare’ failed, Begum’s many supporters accused the party of gross abuse of process, of bullying and intimidation, and even of outright rigging in its determination to ‘trigger’ Begum and force her into a selection contest – and Begum was even threatened with ‘serious abuse’ by a relative of her ex.

Now Skwawkbox has received details from local members of one of the selection meetings demonstrating how the trigger vote was rigged – a vote that both exemplifies the stitch-up tactics and would have ensured Begum was selected again automatically had the party reacted and investigated properly. These can now be exposed and they corroborate earlier evidence at the time of the process.

Begum’s trigger ballot process started in May 2022, just after the local council elections – and from the start, locals say it was marred by blatant breaking of party rules.

Only an MP and her supporters are allowed to campaign during the process, and no-one is allowed to campaign as if they were an alternative candidate. Opponents of Begum who supported her being triggered completely ignored these rules. Many complaints were made to the party but were ignored.

The trigger ballot meeting for Lansbury and Poplar – a branch consisting of two wards combined – was the first of the CLP’s votes to be held, on 31st May 2022. A large group of people vocally supporting a vote to trigger Begum gathered outside the hall, telling people to vote for the trigger and giving out slips of paper with marked up dummy ballot papers to guide any unsure of the process, acts completely against party rules. Branch officials told these agitators that what they were doing was completely against the rules, but they refused to stop.

Inside the hall, the meeting was in uproar before it even began, with aggression and abuse by Begum’s opponents, who were even ‘yelling and jumping up and down and waving fists in the faces of branch officers’. Some went as far as openly demanding that Labour’s official protocol for the meeting be abandoned and to go straight to a vote, so they could – in as many words – ‘vote for the trigger and go home!’

At this point, a senior officer of the constituency-wide party (CLP) turned up at the meeting, despite having no official role there – Skwawkbox understands that several CLP officers are close to Begum’s ex-husband and determined to oust her.

As people were being ticked off the eligible voter list to ensure only those entitled to vote took part, several people arrived who were not on the list, fuelling the aggressive and intimidatory atmosphere as they demanded to be let in.

The CLP officer said they would check eligibility through their phone – and insisted that four extra people be allowed into the meeting and given ballot papers. Requests to clarify where this information came from were ignored.

When the vote was taken, the result was 43-43 – meaning that if the four pro-trigger voters were not eligible to vote, the real result would have been a victory for Begum by 43-39. This would have meant Begum won the required ten percent in the CLP section vote – which under Labour’s rules meant she had won the trigger process and would automatically stand again as Labour’s candidate in the next parliamentary election.

Labour ignored a string of complaints about this meeting and dismissed the few it responded to. But when the membership system was finally accessible again (after being out of action because of a hacking attack), branch members were able to confirm that the one extra ‘member’ allowed in by the CLP officer – the only one known personally to other members present – was not eligible to vote, because her membership had been confirmed well before the trigger meeting to have lapsed. There was no way she could have been on the CLP officer’s ‘list’.

The names of the other three names allowed in were written at the time on the master copy of the attendee list – but the CLP observer, also an opponent of Begum – insisted on taking it away with him. But even if they were bona fide members – which they were not because they appeared on no membership list – Begum still won the vote 43-42, and so would have automatically been selected to stand again.

Members have lodged multiple complaints about this abuse of process but have been ignored. Even if the other branch votes were held in perfect propriety – which goes against reports of the way they were conducted – the real result in Lansbury and Poplar was enough to select Begum uncontested.

Labour has been accused repeatedly, up and down the country, of rigging trigger and selection processes, sometimes successfully – for example in nearby Ilford South to remove incumbent Sam Tarry – and occasionally not, as when Liverpool West Derby MP Ian Byrne was able to fight off repeated attempts.

So bad has the party’s conduct been that even journalist Michael Crick – no left-winger – who runs the ‘tomorrowsmps’ Twitter account detailing the latest selection news has publicly voiced his own concerns about Labour’s rigging and abuse of its selection processes. Now the mechanism – or at least one of them – for rigging in Poplar and Limehouse to oust a popular left-wing MP has been laid bare by the evidence and the testimonies of locals.

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