1 August 2016

It’s time for Iain McNicol, Labour’s Crooked General Secretary, to depart

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 Officer.
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 candidature.

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 ballot” 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
A letter 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”

Criticising  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 Party”.   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 hidden” 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 election.”  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”.
In 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.   
McNicol was accused of ‘having gone to ‘great lengths to conceal your intentions from the Leader and the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer to 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 hidden?  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 Leader.

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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