Topics about the Labour Party
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By Malcolm Armsteen
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RATHER than spending Unite members’ money on fighting to save jobs as Covid-19 leads to mass unemployment, Len McCluskey gives every appearance of throwing it at fat-cat lawyers.
A letter from Carter-Ruck to the Labour party’s solicitors Martin Howe & Co, seen by the Eye, reveals that the pricey law firm was acting for Jeremy Corbyn, his director of communications Seumas Milne and Jennie Formby, Labour’s general secretary under Corbyn (and McCluskey’s former lover).

How could the trio afford solicitors reputed to charge £500 an hour? The letter sent on 21 July, as Labour prepared to settle libel claims brought by Panorama’s John Ware and seven Labour whistleblowers, offers a clue. Carter-Fuck told Labour’s lawyers its clients were “supported by Unite”.

Ferocious attack
The trio were “deeply concerned” about the effect on their reputations of a Labour apology. Labour under their control had launched a ferocious attack in 2019 on a Panorama investigation into anti-Jewish racism on the left. The whistleblowers the BBC interviewed were not telling the truth about the party’s tolerance of antisemites, Corbyn’s Labour maintained; they were saying these terrible things because “they have always opposed Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership”. As for Ware, he was making “deliberate and malicious misrepresentations designed to mislead the public”.
By Tubby Isaacs
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#619354 ... ing-review
McCluskey, whose union has given Labour around £7m since January 2019, said on Saturday that paying the damages was an “abuse of members’ money”. He told the Observer: “A lot of it is Unite’s money and I’m already being asked all kinds of questions by my executive. It’s as though a huge sign has been put up outside the Labour party with ‘queue here with your writ and get your payment over there’.”

Lavery, who was also shadow minister for trade unions under Corbyn, said: “What Len says is extremely important. I have had people asking me from Unite if it is right that members’ money is used to finance Keir’s legal challenges and pay compensation when the advice that the party allegedly had was that the party was in a very strong position to defend the claims.

“People have got to be accountable and responsible. You cannot expect unions to pump millions of pounds into the party if the party isn’t accountable.”
What proportion of funding has come from Unite? Isn't a lot of Labour money these days from members and fundraising?

And what are "Keir's legal challenges" anyway? What's being "challenged"? It's not like Starmer set out on a load of frivolous law suits. Whatever you think of this settlement, the issue predated him.
By crabcakes_windermere
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Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:37 pm
The trio were “deeply concerned” about the effect on their reputations of a Labour apology.
This is absolutely all of it, right here. Not worried about the party and the need for opposition. Not worried about antisemitism. Oblivious to the fact that they didn't have much of a reputation outside of their bubble. But god forbid anyone should suggest for one moment they were at fault, even inadvertently.

The only thing they have ever deemed worthy of protecting is their own vanity at how worthy they see themselves as.
Abernathy liked this
By Tubby Isaacs
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They're correct that settlement, rather than a slam dunk win, hurts Labour's reputation. Sure, it mainly hurts the reputation of politicians we don't like who were in charge of Labour. But it hurts Labour's too.

But did the legal advice ever say "Go on! Dead cert!"? I doubt it. And I'm not going to listen to Mccluskey who lost a fortune backing Sqwawkbox.
By crabcakes_windermere
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Given they class losing a GE as winning an argument, I suspect their strong chance of winning advice came down to "you'll probably avoid a custodial sentence".

Also, they know full well they can claim until they're blue in the face it was strong but the only way to test it would have been in court, spending other people's money and trashing other people's reputations and credibility. And if they'd lost they'd then have blamed it on people out to get Corbyn not trying their hardest etc.
oboogie, Timbo liked this
By bluebellnutter
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crabcakes_windermere wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:42 pm
Milne was and is many things, but fuck me this is beyond desperate.

If Milne did indeed give Johnson and Cummings Covid (and that's such a huge "If" it's only visible in full from somewhere near Saturn) then it's arguably the only time anyone in Team Jez actually managed to make life difficult for them in the last 5 years.
mattomac liked this
By youngian
Membership Days Posts
Looks like the usually po-faced Mail is having a laugh in silly season. If they are that article is funny. Milne doesn’t do personal as Marx scientifically proved that the tide of history and class struggle makes socialism’s ultimate victory an inevitability.
Arrowhead liked this
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