6 December 2017

Iain McNicol Refuses to Suspend Richard Farnell, Rochdale Council Leader Who is Accused of Covering Up Child Abuse

McNicol is though happy to suspend Tony Greenstein, Jackie Walker and Marc Wadsworth for ‘anti-Semitism’


This is the real scandal.  McNicol has refused to suspend pending investigation the Leader of Rochdale Council, Richard Farnell, who is accused at an Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) of lying about what he knew of child abuse when he was Leader. See Excl: Rochdale sec resigns over non-suspension of accused council leader. Full resignation letter

Bogus allegations of ‘anti-Semitism’ against two Jewish and two Black anti-racist activists merit instant suspension.  Child abuse allegations are dismissed. 
Richard Farnell

In 2009 seven Labour Party members, two of whom are now dead, were suspended from the Party for ‘bullying’ former MP Simon Danzuk.  What did this bullying consist of?  Alleging that he had beaten up his girl friend and there was also an allegation of rape.  Instead of investigating the allegations the Labour Party suspended those making the allegations. 

Last year the surviving 5 members appealed to Iain McNicol to reopen their case but McNicol preferred to continue the cover up that had begun under his predecessor.  In 2016 Simon Danzuk was arrested in Spain and held for 2 days for beating up his ex-wife.  However because she refused to sign a statement the Spanish Police had to release Danzuk.  Labour Party members were kicked out for 'bullying' Simon Danczuk - now they want their case reopened after he was arrested in Spain

Excl: Rochdale sec resigns over non-suspension of accused council leader. Full resignation letter


The SKWAWKBOX has covered the allegations against Rochdale Council leader Richard Farnell – which he has denied – that he knew about abuse of children at Knowl View in Rochdale and did not report it.

Mr Farnell has also been accused by former senior councillor Peter Johnson, in formal testimony to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) of ‘not telling the truth’ to the inquiry about what he knew:  You can read the cross-examination here.

Last night, Rochdale Momentum sent out the following tweet:
Those allegations have been echoed by other witnesses to the inquiry, prompting an ITV journalist to ask the council leader:

Now, amid allegations that supporters of Cllr Farnell attempted to prevent a vote on a motion by the CLP (constituency Labour party) calling for his suspension, the Secretary of the CLP has resigned after sending the following letter to CLP members, which the SKWAWKBOX brings you exclusively:
Hi everyone,

I am sorry to have to report that I have resigned as Secretary of Rochdale CLP.

I am no longer able to be part of a local leadership that has defended Simon Danczuk, voted for 34% councillor allowances in a time of austerity and now, most importantly, defend the current Council Leader of Rochdale Council around the issue of CSA.  On many occasions, the membership has tried to voice their concerns to reflect these issues and have been met with censorship and manoeuvering, rather than political debate.

I believe that we have not shown local victims of CSA that the local Party supports them, despite the various members’ resolutions across the borough calling the National Party to act.  This lack of support is compounded by the National Party in not suspending the Leader, given the evidence, while an investigation takes place as happens in the case of any professional.  This lack of action from the Party over the Inquiry is putting unnecessary public and personal pressure on myself and other members who are facing the wrath of the public after having seen and heard the evidence.  This lack of action is sending out the wrong signals to the public but especially to the victims, who are the most important people in the Inquiry, who have stated their views publicly on a number of occasions that they wish the Party to act.  I do not want to be a party to this inaction.  These are the political reasons for my resignation.

I am unable to email the Chair as she is not on email.  This has caused me considerable difficulties being unable to communicate with the Chair over these past nine months.  I have been in the Labour Party recently for two years and would have appreciated assistance from the Chair with such a huge task.  As a teacher myself, as was the Chair, I know that you are required to be fairly competent with IT and how emails are set up.  In fact, it would be difficult to do the job without having an email account.  I have had to call the Chair’s landline, mobile and texted which were often not answered and often at crucial times.  I think it should be compulsory for the Chair to have an email address in future.  I have also assisted with the Membership Officer role on many occasions and I now find myself having taken on the job of Contact Creator Coordinator for the CLP.  These are the logistical reasons for my resignation.
I will continue to be a member of the Party and do all in my power to help get a Labour Government led by Jeremy Corbyn into No. 10.

The fact that Cllr Farnell is not on administrative suspension while these matters are investigated when other Labour figures have been immediately and even hastily suspended – especially in a case of such serious allegations – will reinforce the perception of many members that Labour HQ’s disciplinary procedures are factionally applied.

The Labour Party needs to act promptly to ensure that it not only acts correctly but is seen to do so – and a thorough restructuring of the party’s bureaucracy, still dominated by the so-called moderates, looks a matter of more pressing importance than ever.

Rochdale Council declined to comment, saying that it was a matter for the Labour Party. Labour has been contacted for comment but had not responded by the time of publication.

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