Exposed: lies of the Corbynites’ leaked dossier

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran investigative journalist John Ware reveals new evidence that shatters the document's key claims


The central pillar of the internal Labour Party report that seeks to restore Jeremy Corbyn’s tarnished reputation over the antisemitism crisis is that neither he nor his office interfered in disciplinary cases out of respect for the independence of party officials tasked to deal with them — and that it was the incompetence and hostility of these self-same officials that was to blame.

The report was intended to show the Equalities Commission how robustly the Corbyn leadership had tried to tackle antisemitism in the face of a right-wing Blairite bureaucracy.

Instead the party’s lawyers advised that submitting the report would backfire. Officials loyal to Corbyn then leaked it.

For the Corbynites, the report has become their holy grail, the cup of truth from which history should drink.

However, new documentary and witness testimony gathered by the Jewish Chronicle has found that the report’s 851 pages are wreathed in omissions which undermine their preferred narrative.

Ken Livingstone

The highest profile case cited by the report as evidence for exculpating Corbyn and his office is that of Ken Livingstone.  “At no point did Corbyn’s office ‘interfere’ … to protect Ken Livingstone”, insists the report — and repeats the point many times.

Corbyn has insisted likewise. Following Livingstone’s suspension in April 2016 by Labour’s highest disciplinary body — the National Constitutional Committee — he said: “Since initiating the disciplinary process, I have not interfered with it and respect the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies.” 

Multiple denials of interference in disciplinary cases have been made by the former Leader of the Opposition’s Office, known as LOTO. The leaked report even claims that LOTO were “shocked and unhappy” that the NCC only suspended Livingstone instead of expelling him.

Our evidence  suggests the very opposite is true and that Corbyn personally instructed two of his closest aides to try to get his lifelong political ally reinstated into the Labour Party — despite Livingstone having doubled down on his claim adjudged by the NCC to have brought the party into disrepute — that German Zionists were in “real collaboration” with Hitler and the Nazis.

“Ken is very important to the Left”, Corbyn told his Chief of Staff Karie Murphy and Director of Strategy Seumas Milne early in 2018, asking them to find a way of preventing Livingstone from being suspended a second time and instead readmitted to the party. When we invited Corbyn to address the point, he declined.

By contrast, the leaked report devotes 21 pages to its claim that it was Corbyn’s office who tried to get Livingstone kicked out of the Labour Party in the teeth of apathy by some of the whistleblowers who appeared on BBC Panorama last year and their bosses. Again, our evidence suggests the opposite is true. 

On 4 April 2017, minutes after the NCC had imposed a further year’s suspension, Livingstone gave a press conference on the steps of Church House where his three-day hearing had been held. “I felt the whole thing was like sitting through a court in North Korea”, said the ex-London Mayor. “I mean, no one was listening to anything we were actually saying.” Asked if he was still not going to apologise, Livingstone replied: “You can’t apologise for telling the truth.”

On 6 April General Secretary Iain McNicol told Labour’s National Executive Committee he’d instructed his officials to open a new investigation.  The leaked report accuses McNicol of misleading the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM) by saying that staff were compiling witness statements when they were not. In fact, Mathews had drawn up statements from Jewish members on the impact of Livingstone’s lack of remorse because the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) thought the reason why the NCC had not expelled Livingstone (but only suspended him) was because they got bogged down about what constitutes antisemitism. “My plan was to present a ‘this-is-what-his-comments-are -doing-to-real people-in-the-Labour-Party’” said Sam Matthews, then head of GLU investigations. “Tell me this is not grossly detrimental to the party.” Livingstone’s media interviews were also transcribed.

The report is right that the GLU did not bring Livingstone before the NEC Disputes Panel – Stage 1 of the disciplinary process – for the rest of 2017, although he remained suspended. However, the report omits to say that for the vast majority of 2017’s remaining 37 weeks, GLU staff were occupied with other priorities:  Theresa May’s snap election, then the Party Conference, followed by the sexual harassment scandal. Also, complaints of abusive and uncomradely behaviour were far outstripping antisemitism, confounding Corbyn’s promise that his leadership would usher in a “kinder gentler politics.” “Cut out the personal abuse…cut out the cyber bullying” Corbyn had told his first party conference. The opposite happened and the GLU were finding it hard to keep pace with demand.

The leaked report also claims it was “LOTO staff who repeatedly chased” the GLU to “commence a new investigation into Ken Livingstone.”  Yet the report’s only evidence of “repeated” LOTO “chasing” is an email from Laura Murray, Corbyn’s Stakeholder Manager, on 17 October 2017 to GLU chief John Stolliday seeking “an update on the current status” of the Livingstone case, and a further question from Murray on 17 January 2018. Both queries were initiated - not by LOTO - but by the JLM to LOTO.

The report also accuses GLU staff of having “ignored repeated requests from LOTO staff altogether” for disciplinary action against Livingstone until February 2018.

What the leaked report omits is that since mid-January 2018 the GLU had been planning to get Livingstone before the next available NEC Disputes Panel, which was on 6 March, in the hope that they would extend his suspension past 27 April  when it was due to be lifted, pending a second NCC hearing.

Several sources in a position to know have confirmed that the reason the second Livingstone investigation did not get before the March 2018 Disputes Panel was because by January, Corbyn’s office was trying to find a way of getting his friend and political ally unsuspended and ultimately readmitted to the Labour Party— and that it was this that further delayed the resolution of Livingstone’s case until he was forced to resign on May 21.

Furthermore, I am told that LOTO’s attempt to reinstate Livingstone came from Jeremy Corbyn himself — and that it failed because the party’s General Secretary Iain McNicol refused to go along with it.

Also omitted by the leaked report is a note recording the outcome of a meeting on 30 January at Labour Party HQ with Corbyn’s political secretary Amy Jackson,  to discuss the GLU’s plan to get Livingstone before the March NEC Disputes Panel: “Very difficult timing for us”, said Jackson. “Lots of politics. I’ll discuss with Christine (Shawcroft) about tabling it [at Disputes] later. Need to discuss in LOTO.”

Shawcroft, a loyal Corbynite, had just been appointed Chair of the Disputes Panel.

On 6 February, Emilie Oldknow, Executive Director of Governance, Membership and Party Services, pressed Jackson for a decision: “Can you let me know what action you would like us to take in relation to … KL? I probably need to follow up KL with Seumas (Milne) and Karie (Murphy) direct actually.” 

Milne was Corbyn’s Executive Director of Strategy and Communications and Murphy was Corbyn’s Chief of Staff. Jackson responded: “Re KL yes please do follow up with Seumas and Karie directly.” 

In other words, the timing of when Livingstone appeared before a Disputes Panel was now firmly in the hands of LOTO. 

A week later, the GLU still had not got a decision from LOTO.  The GLU’s head of investigations Sam Matthews was poised to dispatch the bundle of evidence and a letter formally notifying Livingstone that he was under Notice of Investigation.

The letter covered Livingstone’s conduct immediately following his NCC hearing in April 2017 and his participation in January 2018 in the Iranian state funded Press TV’s “Big Conversation” slot entitled: “Has the Holocaust been exploited to oppress others?”

Contrary to the leaked report, it was the GLU — not LOTO — who were trying to set the pace but meeting resistance from LOTO. On 14 February, Matthews emailed Stolliday: “As discussed, need to get this out as soon as possible. Please find attached for using to chase LOTO (Ken L Letter and Bundle read to go)” 

Stolliday emailed Jackson: “Emilie is waiting to hear back from Seumas but we will need this to go out in the next 24 hours or so if it’s got any chance of getting to Disputes in March”.  

Executive Director of Governance, Membership and Party Services Emilie Oldknow also messaged Seumas Milne:

EO: “The NOI (Notice of Investigation) is about to go to Ken as agreed with Amy. Seumas, you mentioned before wanting to speak about this and we tried but never finished. Or really started actually. Can you let me know please

SM: Can you call?” 

It seems that what Milne had wanted to discuss became clear 24 hours later. McNicol was to learn that far from Corbyn wanting Livingstone to be brought before the NCC a second time,  Labour’s Senior Management Team (SMT) had been asked  by Murphy and Milne to find a way of having Livingstone readmitted to the party.

Milne and Murphy explained that they had been to see Livingstone and secured his undertaking not to do any further media interviews. 

However, both Corbyn aides were reminded by the SMT that Corbyn himself had described Livingstone’s repeated comments about Hitler supporting Zionism as “grossly insensitive”.  Milne and Murphy said that Corbyn regarded Livingstone as such a significant figure on the left of the party that he needed him back. This was despite the fact that since his suspension in 2017 by the NCC, Livingstone had doubled down on his comments referring to “real collaboration” between Hitler and Zionists “right up to the start of the Second World War…. the one group of Jews that Hitler was prepared to work with.”

Nowhere in the leaked report is there any reference to Corbyn’s attempt at direct interference with the GLU. Instead, the blame for all delays to the Livingstone case is directed entirely at the GLU. 

On 25 February in a discussion on their closed WhatsApp group, Murphy asked Oldknow: “What did Iain say about our proposal?” 

Oldknow replied that Livingstone should be suspended and that the GLU intended to formally notify him that he was again under investigation with the evidence of his continued rulebook breach. McNicol also told Livingstone his suspension was to be extended past 27 April when it was due to be lifted, pending the next Disputes Panel, now further delayed until July. 

However, it seems clear that LOTO then delayed the GLU’s interview of Livingstone on the new charge for another two months. 

Unknown to the GLU, Milne and Murphy persuaded Livingstone that it would be better to resign than put both him and the party through a second NCC hearing.

“After the GLU refused to do Jeremy’s bidding, LOTO realise they and Livingstone had nowhere else to go”, said an official.

On 21 May — two days before his scheduled interview with Matthews – Livingstone resigned. “Any further disciplinary action against me may drag on for months or even years, distracting attention from Jeremy’s policies” he told reporters in his garden. “I am therefore, with great sadness, leaving the Labour Party.”

Whilst Corbyn declined to address our allegation that privately he tried to get Livingstone’s second investigation dropped, despite having said the opposite in public,  he admitted his staff met Livingstone to “ask him to resign from the party and not to repeat his offensive comments” blaming McNicol and GLU staff for having  “failed for months to open a new investigation into Livingstone.”


Elements of the leaked report provide the basis of the Corbyn regime’s submission to the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s investigation into whether Labour under Corbyn discriminated unlawfully against Jewish members. The Commission is expected to announce its findings shortly.

The leaked report says it is a “result of the in-depth and extensive investigatory work which the Party has undertaken to comprehensively respond to the Commission’s investigation.”  And yet rarely in its 851 pages does it refer to the multiple instances of hostility, pressure and sometimes direct interference from either Corbyn or LOTO in at least half a dozen other high profile cases. The Commission is expected to announce its findings this autumn.

Andrew Fisher

In early November 2015 - two months after Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader – it emerged that his chief policy adviser, Andrew Fisher, had endorsed an anarchist candidate standing in opposition to the Labour candidate for Croydon South, Emilie Benn, in the May general election. She complained and he was suspended. 

Fisher had also celebrated the defeat of Ed Balls as “architect of Labour’s miserable austerity-lite economic policies” and was also alleged to have previously endorsed voting for leftist Green candidates. 

Under Labour’s rule book, the penalty for supporting a rival party is automatic exclusion. Had Fisher not just been appointed to Corbyn’s office, GLU officials say he would have “had a letter kicking him out there and then.” 

In the event, all charges against Fisher were dropped by the General Secretary Iain McNicol. However, beyond saying that the NEC Disputes Panel “opted to end the case with a warning”, the leaked report omits details about the pressure brought on the GLU by LOTO at Corbyn’s behest. 

The day after Fisher’s suspension, Jennie Formby, then NEC Vice Chair, emailed McNicol: “This is an absolute disgrace…it is blatantly obvious that the complaint against Andrew Fisher….is a deliberate attack  designed to discredit our leadership.” 

Corbyn himself sounded more emollient telling the media: “I have full confidence in Andrew Fisher and his work.  I respect the integrity of the General Secretary’s office and trust that this matter will be settled as quickly as possible.”

It appears, however, that Corbyn had no more respect for the “integrity of the General Secretary’s office” than did Formby, whom he later appointed to replace McNicol.

On 17 November at a hotel for an NEC away day, Formby and  her NEC colleague Jim Kennedy circulated to their left caucus a motion demanding the NEC lift Fisher’s suspension.

Witnesses report Formby and Corbyn’s Political Secretary Katy Clark “haranguing Iain” near the ladies’ lavatory. “They were in Iain’s face shouting at him for suspending Fisher. It was full throttle. Stuff like: ‘This action is totally unacceptable. We know what you did in Falkirk’” — a reference to Corbyn’s Chief of Staff Karie Murphy, who in 2013 as the Unite union’s choice as Labour candidate for Falkirk, was forced to stand down over alleged vote rigging in the election process which Murphy and her supporters vigorously denied.

Formby told us “I totally refute the suggestion that Katy Clark or I shouted in Iain McNicol’s face.” Clark declined to comment.

I understand that Clark instructed some NEC members to vote for the motion, telling them it was “what Jeremy wanted”. Both Clark and Corbyn declined to comment.

McNicol had already compromised by agreeing to suspend Fisher pending an investigation rather than automatically cancelling his Labour membership as the rulebook allowed. “No one else pledging support for an opposition candidate or party ever got a suspension or interview,” said one official.  

With LOTO’s gun to his head, McNicol felt he had little no choice but to compromise again. He knew that if the Formby/Kennedy motion was tabled, it risked undermining the GLU’s constitutional independence from the Leader’s Office, triggering a major crisis within the NEC. 

So to prevent a further widening of the gulf between the new Labour leadership and the HQ bureaucracy, McNicol backed down and the Corbyn-initiated motion was never tabled. “It was a planned move by the left and Jeremy’s office, orchestrated to cause the maximum damage” a source involved in the machinations at the time told me.

“The whole thing was just dropped,” said an official, with the mildest of recommendations to the NEC Disputes Panel:  Fisher’s suspension to be lifted with just a warning about his future conduct. For his part, Fisher said his pro-class war tweet had been a joke, he’d had a Labour poster in his front window on election day and he denied ever having endorsed Green candidates.

McDonnell’s demand for GLU to be banned 

In the wake of the Fisher-Benn imbroglio, LOTO had become “obsessed about the disciplinary process, about what the Compliance Unit did” according to another former official. “The idea that members should be policed in any way was totally rejected by them.” The Cobynistas complained that the GLU had excluded many Corbyn supporters from voting in the leadership contest in September 2015.

One example of the pressure brought to bear on the GLU (and omitted from the leaked report) is Shadow Chancellor John McDonell’s speech in February 2016 to a 300 strong Momentum meeting in Barnet: “I’d like to scrap the Compliance Unit completely…I want people automatically accepted into membership when they first join”. 

Another example later that month was at Labour’s youth conference in Scarborough when leaflets quoting McDonell were seen being handed out by Corbyn supporters. An investigation was already under way into the Oxford University Labour Club over allegations of antisemitism. The Guardian reported delegates describing a “poisonous atmosphere” riven by factionalism. 

Mark Serwotka and Matt Wrack 

Omitted entirely from the leaked report is how two hard left trade union leaders were readmitted to Labour – again, so far as GLU officials are concerned, by again having to bend the rules under pressure from LOTO. 

After Corbyn entered the leadership race in May 2015, party membership and registered supporters doubled to 500,000. Mark Serwotka, head of the Public and Commercial Services Union, tried to vote for him but was one of 4,500 (0.9 per cent) told by the GLU that his vote was invalid because he was adjudged not to share the aims and values of Labour. He had been expelled in the 1980s.

On February 28, 2015 Serwotka was reported to have told a public meeting that he “would rather eat a bucket of sick” than vote Labour and urged people to vote for parties to the left of Labour, allegedly  including SNP, Green and Plaid Cymru.   

According to The Times, Matt Wrack, General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), had been expelled over two decades earlier allegedly for his links to the Trotskyist Militant Tendency. 

The Times claims Wrack had campaigned for and donated to the far-left Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is also a registered political party. A blog he had written the month after Corbyn became leader was reported as having  made a “coded call for entryism”  by calling for a “united left movement” that goes “beyond those currently involved in the Labour Party” to defend Corbyn and his allies. 

However, both Wrack and Serwotka were long standing friends of Corbyn. “We shouldn’t have allowed either of them back into the party,” said an official. “But we were under tremendous pressure from LOTO to relax the rules.” Corbyn declined to comment when we put this to him.

In September 2018 Serwotka was reported to have told a Palestine Solidarity meeting at the TUC conference that antisemitism “does not exist” in the Labour Party and suggested it was a story “created” by Israel.  “There is something sinister going on here,” he said.

Oxford University Labour Club 

Also, in February 2016, Labour Students – the party’s official student wing – opened an investigation into allegations of antisemitism at Oxford University Labour Club. 

Omitted from the leaked report is any reference to the sheer toxicity of witness testimony about antisemitic comments allegedly made by some OULC members, for example, chants of  ‘Rockets over Tel Aviv’, expressions of support for Hamas suicide bombings targeting Israeli civilians, demands that any Jew who failed to denounced Zionism  be isolated, the haranguing of a female Jewish student with the words: “Hey, you’re Jewish! We think Auschwitz is a cash cow. What do you think?”, and mocking the funerals of Jews killed in the Kosher supermarket attack in Paris in November 2014.

The NEC appointed the Labour peer Baroness Royall to investigate these allegations. 

Omitted from the report is any reference to objections by Corbyn to her appointment. Emails confirm this.  Within LOTO Corbyn was discussing how to define Zionism and its use “as a political football, used for smears.” Royall had visited Israel with  Labour Friends for Israel.  Corbyn declined to explain why he opposed Royall’s appointment.

Also omitted is Royall’s evidence that during her investigation Seumas Milne asked her to withdraw her draft recommendation for a working definition of antisemitism.  When I put this to Corbyn’s office when making Panorama, they replied, “This is untrue. Seumas Milne had nothing to do with setting the terms of Janet Royall’s inquiry, which did not include defining antisemitism. Such a request would have been unnecessary.” Baroness Royall told me she stood by her recollection. 

Also omitted is the fact that the NEC voted against publishing the Royall report, save only for its executive summary which said there was no  “institutional antisemitism within OULC” — whereas the body of her report warned of the existence of a “cultural problem” taking root in the party “in which behaviour and language that would once have been intolerable is now tolerated.”

The Chakrabarti Report

Omitted from the leaked report is how — according to GLU sources — Baroness Royall’s inquiry was cut short after Corbyn established a second inquiry headed by Shami Chakrabarti, of which Royall was invited to be Vice Chair.

“I was frankly furious at the time,” says Mike Creighton, then head of the GLU and providing the Secretariat to the Royall inquiry. “My response was: ‘We’re already half way down the road, widen our terms of reference so that we can finish the job.’ Instead, our report was neutered, bits of what we wanted to put into our report we were told we had to take out and give to Shami. We had our wings clipped.” 

LOTO denied that Chakrabarti was set up to neuter Royall. “This is completely untrue,” they told me last year. “These were separate inquiries investigating different matters, which complemented one another.”

However, documentary evidence shows how Royall’s draft report stating that “credible evidence of antisemitic behaviour” had been “presented in respect of members of OULC“,  was watered down to just “evidence” (i.e. with the loss of the word “credible”) after the draft was shared with LOTO.

Also, Royall’s recommendation that Labour “should adopt a working definition of antisemitism” was diluted at LOTO’s behest to a meaningless suggestion that Chakrabarti merely “consider whether it would be useful for the Labour Party to adopt a definition of antisemitic discourse.” It would be a further twenty six months before the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition was  adopted in full by the NEC, and even then Corbyn objected to a clause at the last moment.

One of Chakrabarti’s recommendations was to remove the power of suspension from the General Secretary and give it to the National Constitutional Committee - one of LOTO’s “ultimate goals because they couldn’t control what Iain (McNicol) would do” says a well placed source. This too was omitted from the report.  The recommendation proved unworkable because the NCC met rarely, and because legal precedent had established the NCC could not act as both prosecutor and judge. Had it been implemented the power of GLU  officials to police infiltration of Corbyn supporters from hard left fringe groups outside Labour, would have been weakened.

Naz Shah MP 

The leaked report touches briefly on the suspension of MP Naz Shah for having tweeted that the Israel-Palestine conflict could be solved by Israel’s Jewish population being “transported” (with its echo of Nazi mass transports to death camps): “Problem solved and save you bank charges for the £3bn you transfer yearly.” 

However, while the report reflects the fact that LOTO did not want to suspend Shah because she had apologised, it omits evidence given to Chakrabarti by a Jewish  member of LOTO  (and not disclosed in her report) that during the 32 hours it took for Corbyn to decide to suspend Shah, he twice told Corbyn’s senior aides that Shah’s position was untenable and that “Jeremy should quickly issue a public statement,” but  they  were “clearly irritated by my raising the case.” 

Ken Livingstone (Suspension)  

The leaked report also omits any reference to Jeremy Corbyn and Seumas Milne’s resistance to suspending Ken Livingstone the day after Corbyn suspended Shah.

Livingstone had told the BBC that he didn’t consider Shah’s comments to be antisemitic, adding: “Let’s remember when Hitler won his election in 1932 his policy then was that Jews should be moved to Israel. He was supporting Zionism.”

Sources say Milne objected to Livingstone being suspended because “what Ken had said was historically correct” and that Ken was “King of the Muslims” and therefore if Labour did suspended him “it would be rejected wholeheartedly by the Muslim community.” 

The leaked report says there were two conference calls between LOTO and McNicol’s office which were “used to establish the facts of Livingstone’s offensive comments and establish what the normal protocol in such a situation was.” It provides no further details. 

In fact, there appear to have been three conference calls. The first,  between LOTO, the Chief Whip and McNicol’s office was at around 11.30.  A contemporaneous note  quotes Milne as having given “a history lesson on why what Ken said was right and therefore we shouldn’t suspend him” and  as having said that Corbyn “does not want a backlash but doesn’t want to close down the debate on Israel/Palestine and there will be a dreadful backlash with Muslims as Ken is seen as a Muslim champion.” Milne is reported to have said that Livingstone is seen as “‘king of the Muslims’. From a technical and historical point of view, what he said was true and it hasn’t crossed the line into antisemitism.” 

Milne is reported to have continued that  ”a direct disciplinary line” on Livingstone “would create an enormous backlash” and that Corbyn “wanted to explore what other process was available, short of suspension. “
Milne also asked “what about Islamophobia?” suggesting that suspending Livingstone would be taking a “victim led approach” to the Jewish community and that this would be “acutely felt in the Muslim community but nothing had been done about it”.

Responding to a question about Livingstone having brought the party into disrepute,  the note recorded that Milne countered that the “whole” of the Parliamentary Labour Party was “bringing the PLP into disrepute every day with their attacks on JC and the party did nothing about them. Also, we needed to consider the reaction from the other side. Muslims felt they weren’t being treated the same.”

The JC put the whole of this verbatim to Milne. He declined to answer but deputed a colleague to say: “The idea that Seumas would refer to Livingstone in such a way, not least on a widely attended conference call, is absurd and obviously false. This account is inaccurate, wrong and does not reflect what was said.”

However, sometime after Sadiq Khan condemned Livingstone’s comments as were ‘inexcusable’ and that there “must be no place for this in our party” we are told that an official responded to Milne by saying:  “‘It seems like the King of the Muslims has actually come out to say that the ‘King of the Muslims’ has got to go.’ But they still couldn’t make a decision.” 

Shortly after noon, Corbyn’s office watched Livingstone being interviewed on the BBC Daily Politics. A former LOTO aid who was present states: “A number of office staffed grinned and one said: ‘Whoops.’ Most thought his comments not that bad. Seumas did not feel they were sufficient justification for suspending Ken Livingstone.” According to one source, one of Corbyn’s advisers also “made an offhand remark about a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ and a ‘political smear campaign’.” However, rejecting this version of what happened, LOTO told me, “These claims are completely false, based on unsubstantiated hearsay.”

Labour MPs were now demanding Livingstone be suspended and the MP John Mann, walking alongside Livingstone, had publicly berated him to his face in front of TV cameras.

We have been told there was a further conference call at 12.45, which our evidence suggests included the following:

LOTO: “Jeremy’s view is to suspend Ken and to suspend John Mann.

LOTO: (Milne) “Jeremy wants to make it clear Ken’s suspension is under the normally understood section of bringing the party into disrepute and suspending John Mann as well will also be for the same reason.”
Gen Sec’s Office: “If Jeremy wants to suspend John Mann of course that is what we will do.  But Jeremy will create a war in the Labour Party.”

A note of a third conference call at 1.15 reads: 

LOTO: (Milne) “The reason [for the need for action against John Mann] is that bringing the Ken issue into the antisemitism package as part of defining bringing the party into disrepute, is problematic. There is a perception that this is bringing antisemitism into mainstream anti-Zionism, making debate about Israel and Palestine impossible, and at the same time we have this behaviour by John Mann and others which is not new and which people would normally understand as bringing the party into disrepute. To avoid a backlash on the other side there needs to be action on both fronts [Ken L and John M]. That is Jeremy’s position and if we are going to change that we need to speak to him again.”

However, a short time later Corbyn reluctantly agreed to Livingstone’s suspension. Heeding McNicol’s warning about triggering a war, Mann was not suspended but referred to the Chief Whip.

Prior to the Panorama broadcast, I put it to LOTO that both Corbyn and Milne had said that if Livingstone was to be suspended, Mann had also to also be suspended. LOTO replied: “This allegation is untrue. Seumas Milne did not offer advice in relation to John Mann, which involved other staff and the then Chief Whip, who later reprimanded John Mann.” 

The contemporaneous notes we have seen say otherwise.

Jackie Walker

On Monday 26 September 2016, the Vice Chair of Momentum, Jackie Walker – who is Jewish and another long-time political ally of Corbyn – told a fringe party conference meeting: “I came here with an open mind and I was seeking information and I still haven’t heard a definition of antisemitism that I can work with.” 

She also said “…wouldn’t it be wonderful if Holocaust [Memorial] Day was open to all people who experienced holocaust?  In practice, it’s not actually circulated and advertised as such.” This was untrue. 

Corbyn’s office always maintained that other than high profile cases like MPs, LOTO only got involved in antisemitism disciplinary cases at the GLU’s request. In 2018 Corbyn privately reassured Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge - who is Jewish: “I don’t involve myself in the complaint at all. I refer it to the General Secretary.” He has also said that he “respect(s) the independence of the party’s disciplinary bodies.”

The Walker case is one of several examples cited by the leaked report which seeks to demonstrate the truth of this. It quotes a WhatsApp message from Emilie Oldknow, Executive Director of Governance, Membership and Party Services to General Secretary Iain McNicol on 29 September: “If it’s for us, which it should be, she’s a goner”.

McNicol replies that he’d already asked Seumas Milne to “sign off” on Walker’s suspension. The report comments that it was “McNicol (who) insisted on consulting LOTO staff” emphasising, “There is no evidence that LOTO asked for sign-off on this disciplinary case.”

Omitted from this exchange, however, is the message from McNicol to Oldknow that provoked her comment “If it’s for us, which it should be, she’s a goner”.

McNicol had told Oldknow: “I have spoken to Katy (Clark — Corbyn’s political secretary). She can’t authorise and is calling JC. I told her I was happy to suspend.”

In other words, even though McNicol was “happy to suspend”, in the real world of LOTO’s increasingly strained relationship with the GLU he knew — and LOTO knew — even the General Secretary needed Corbyn’s sign-off.

Also omitted by the leaked report are subsequent exchanges showing how Corbyn had to be chased for a decision throughout the following day.

At 08.06 am on 30 September Oldknow asked McNicol: “Any news Iain? I think we need a deadline.” 

By 17.27, McNicol was still awaiting Corbyn’s sign off when John Stolliday texted: “Any movement on JW yet?”

McNicol responded: “Getting there” – suggesting there was still some resistance from Corbyn. The previous Saturday Corbyn had been photographed in a restaurant with Walker’s partner Graham Bash, also a long-term political ally, and Walker had uploaded the photograph to her Facebook page.

Finally, at around 9pm, Corbyn suspended his friend, presumably because he realised that politically he had no choice.

Corbyn attends the disputes panel hearing 

Omitted from the leaked report is any reference to Jeremy Corbyn attending the NEC’s October 2016 Disputes Panel after his re-election as leader the previous month. “If I was defending Jeremy I’d say as an NEC member, he’s allowed to attend so that’s not interfering,” said one official. However, previous leaders had “stayed away on principle”. Asked why he attended, Corbyn declined to comment.

Tensions between LOTO and the GLU had continued to rise because, according to the report the GLU had suspended, auto excluded or rejected applications totalling 3,437, mostly Corbyn supporters during his re-election campaign because of alleged rulebook breaches.

Some 963 members were still suspended and the minutes of the Disputes Panel record that the “leadership election disciplinary process was discussed extensively”. 

They also record that a highly publicised claim that a Corbyn supporter had been stopped from voting for Corbyn simply for praising the American hard rock band “Foo Fighters” on Facebook, was inaccurate. As indeed it was. She was suspended for Islamophobic comments on Twitter. This did not, however, prevent Corbyn’s office from citing her case in their press release attacking Panorama’s whistleblowers as “an example of the wrongful suspension and auto-exclusion of thousands of members during the 2015 and 2016 leadership campaigns.”

Three days after the Disputes Panel Corbyn asked his trade union liaison manager, Nancy Platts to secure from the Senior Management Team “a report of all suspensions of individuals and CLPs.” Platts explained “I think he is looking for more detail on each of those that went to the Disputes Committee plus any others in the pipeline.” A former official commented “If that’s not a case of interference, I don’t know what is.”

Corbyn alleged to attend a second NEC disputes panel hearing

Witnesses recall Corbyn attended the next NEC Disputes Panel on 17 January 2017 – also omitted from the leaked report. A spokesman for Corbyn said “according to our records” he  did not attend. Whilst the minutes don’t record his attendance, I am told this was because he arrived after the meeting had started – but  not before the panel  voted on one of the most contentious matters while he was leader.

The GLU had recommended that two members of the Oxford University Labour Club be given a formal conduct warning arising from their investigation into allegations of bullying, intimidation and antisemitism. Both men categorically denied they had said or done anything antisemitic but did acknowledge some of their comments had been problematic. One was a Momentum activist James Elliott, Corbyn’s youth policy adviser, who had written “I don’t like being smeared as antisemitic, but I don’t bleed from it either.”  

The Disputes Panel rejected the GLU’s recommendations of any disciplinary action. The minutes do not record whether Corbyn voted in either case.  A spokesman for Corbyn said he was “not involved with this case.”

Vicki Kirby 

Sometime between 2015 and 2017, Vicki Kirby, a former Labour parliamentary candidate for Woking, was employed for three months by the Unite union while Jennie Formby was Unite’s Regional Secretary.

Previously Kirby had posted several virulently antisemitic comments: Jews had “big noses”;  they “slaughter(ed) the oppressed”;  she referred to  “…that Jew Charade”;  said Hitler was the “Zionist God” and seemed to be Israel’s “teacher”, and also suggested Isis and Israel were in cahoots.

The GLU tabled Kirby’s case for the March 2017 NEC Disputes Panel recommending they refer it to the NCC investigation for a full hearing. But it was never tabled and the leaked report omits the reason: an intervention by Formby, then NEC Vice Chair. Minutes before the case was due to be discussed, witnesses say Formby appeared “deeply unhappy”. She and the GLU chief John Stolliday then left the room for a private conversation in the corridor. 

It is claimed that Formby was heard aggressively telling  Stolliday that Kirby was a “good person” who had previously apologized for her comments. She threatened legal action against Labour if Kirby’s case was tabled. Formby denies this version of events, telling us “Your factual description of what occurred is untrue and inaccurate.”

Whilst the leaked report  criticises the GLU for lifting Kirby’s suspension after she resigned as Labour candidate for Woking in the 2015 general election (although her suspension that was later re-imposed) it makes no reference to Formby’s claimed intervention which the GLU say stopped the case from being adjudicated by the NCC, and allowed Kirby back into the party.

Moshe Machover 

In its attempt to demonstrate LOTO’s commitment to rooting out antisemites, the leaked report criticises the GLU for dropping its case against the Marxist anti-Zionist Moshe Machover in October 2017. 

Machover had written that what Ken Livingstone had said five months earlier about  “collaboration” between German Zionists and the Nazis, was “basically correct.” He quoted what he described as a “friendly  comment” to Zionists in 1935 by SS officer Reinhard Heydrich, an architect of the “Final Solution”  which in Machover’s view indicated an “area of basic agreement” that Zionism “shared with Nazism….the recognition of Jewry as a racial community based on blood, and not as a religious one…. the solidarity of Jewry throughout the world and the rejection of all assimilationist ideas.”  The antisemitism expert Dr Dave Rich says Machover “wants us to believe Heydrich is writing truthfully about Nazism’s attitude to Jews, because he wants us to believe that Nazism and Zionism had an affinity.”

The report says the GLU had no need to drop their Machover investigation and it was “categorically not” an “example of ongoing pressure” by LOTO “to not take action on antisemitism”.

However, our evidence suggests the GLU’s attempt to expel Machover from Labour was sabotaged after direct involvement by Corbyn’s office.

The GLU had found that Machover had written 44 articles for the Communist Party of Great Britain’s paper the Weekly Worker, which is the CPGB’s campaigning arm and urges supporters to work with the  left “inside and outside the party.” Seventeen videos of Machover had also been published on the CPGB’s website with his permission and an eighteenth of  him speaking at an event sponsored by the CPGB and their comrades in Labour Party Marxists (LPM), the group which published Machover’s allegedly antisemitic article.

Support for a rival organisation whose aims and values are incompatible with Labour’s are grounds for “automatic exclusion”, whereas the rulebook would have required the antisemitism charge to be heard by the NCC and taken months. So, the GLU dropped the antisemitism charge and went for auto-exclusion. 

Machover joined Labour on the day that Corbyn retained the leadership with an increased mandate in 2016. His suspension triggered an instant campaign of letters and petitions from the left and anti-Zionists. “It was clearly organised and not at all spontaneous” said an official. “It felt like we’d hit a live rail, that this was somebody who was to be protected for political reasons over all else.”

LOTO demanded to know why Machover had been suspended. Ellie Hobhouse, assistant to Shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti, accused Stolliday of a “potentially incendiary error to accuse someone of writing an ‘apparently antisemitic’ article when the primary stated grounds for exclusion are support for another political organisation.”

None of the ferocity of LOTO’s intervention is conveyed in the leaked report, which just says that LOTO “asked about the reasons for Machover’s auto-exclusion and questioned whether this was conducted in line with the Party’s rules.”

Officials dealing with the Machover case insist this is completely untrue. For example, the report omits any reference to the Senior Management Team (SMT) having received a long and bad tempered call from Corbyn’s senior adviser Andrew Murray on 6 October. 

Murray is understood to have said that bringing a case against an Israeli Jewish socialist was unacceptable and insulting – even though the disciplinary process recognised that even Jewish people are capable of antisemitism (however contradictory that might seem).

Murray also lectured the SMT about the Marxist tradition within the Labour party, Murray himself having spent 40 years in the CPGB and then the Communist Party of Britain. Murray told us he did not recall the “alleged phone call.”

The leaked report says only that the Executive Director of Governance, Membership and Party Services Emilie Oldknow “ultimately decided to reverse the auto-exclusion following Machover’s appeal.”  What the report doesn’t say is that this followed Murray’s angry call to the SMT. Murray’s daughter Laura (Corbyn’s Stakeholder Manager) also became involved emphasising that “Jeremy Corbyn” had “expressed serious concern at the way this case has been handled.”

Following Murray’s intervention, Sam Matthews says that Oldknow called to say “Look, you’re just going to have to lift  it” because Murray had told the SMT: “You need to sort this out.”

Once again, the GLU did this by relaxing the rules on auto-exclusion and inviting Machover to appeal by putting on record that he didn’t support the GPGB. An email shows this had Murray’s blessing, telling Oldknow that “all I and LOTO want” is to “bring this matter to an end.”

However,  Machover rejected out of hand the GLU’s olive branch: “As for your suggestion that I categorically state whether I do or do not ‘support’ (whatever that means) the originations you name (CPGB and LPM): I find this suggestion entirely inappropriate. It carries a whiff of McCarthyism.” This too the report omits. 

With nowhere to go, it appears that the GLU felt they had no choice but to create the answer they needed in order to deliver LOTO’s exhortation that the GLU “bring this matter to and end”.  Accordingly, Matthews wrote to Machover: “Thank you for your letter clarifying that you do not support the Communist Party of Great Britain and Labour Party Marxists …the decision has been taken to rescind your automatic exclusion from the Labour Party.”

A senior official said: “Not for the first time, the Machover case made us realise that the rules didn’t apply to Jeremy’s friends.”

The leaked report says “no-one from LOTO argued” against investigating Machover for antisemitism. Murray told us that the GLU’s decision was “taken without any input from myself” and “to suggest otherwise is false.” Had the GLU “seriously believed”  Machover “might be antisemitic then it should have investigated that rather than trying to remove him from membership by administrative manoeuvre.” The report also says it’s “unclear” why the GLU did not pursue the case.

Our sources in the GLU disagree, however, claiming that the  reason was very clear: the bad tempered call by Andrew Murray to the Senior Management Team saying that to accuse someone who is Jewish of antisemitism was “incredibly insulting” and that the GLU had to “sort it out” to say nothing of Corbyn’s complaints. “There was zero support for us opening up the case after the fight we’d had.”

Glyn Secker 

Within hours of the Labour Party apology in the High Court in July  for defaming Panorama’s seven whistleblowers, Jeremy Corbyn’s Head of Strategic Communications James Schneider attacked the main whistleblower Sam Matthews  on Twitter.  In a lengthy thread, Schneider began: “The below is my experience of self-styled whistleblower Sam Matthews’ commitment to and competence in dealing with cases of antisemitism in the Labour Party.”

Schneider was a joint founder of Momentum, Labour’s largest left faction supporting Corbyn for leader.
On the morning of 7 March 2018, the Daily Telegraph asked Labour to confirm  the contents of a 280-page report by David Collier on the Palestine Live Facebook group which, as Schneider correctly said,  “…contained clear and shocking examples of antisemitism from people purporting to be Labour members.” 

Schneider says he called Matthews to ask, “…what action he and his team was taking on the report so the party could respond to media questions.”

Both Schneider’s tweet of what followed and the leaked report are contradicted by our research and contain multiple omissions.

Both claim that Matthews did not treat the blog as a priority.  The report states: “The first action from anyone in the Disputes team in relation to ‘Palestine Live’ was at 11:52am” when Matthews emailed a GLU officer “a link to  ‘Part 2’ of the report, asking  ‘Can you go through this one’”. It accuses Matthews of appearing “to have had no plan to investigate” the blog and “instead he and his team were doing non-urgent work” which Schneider says was ”conducting due diligence on council candidates.”

However,  independently of Matthews,  GLU staff say they were already working through Part 1 of the blog which was 91 pages and had been since they got into the office at 10am having  heard about the blog whose links had been tweeted to journalists at 8.32 am. “I vividly remember knowing I had to get on with it as soon as I got in” recalls one staffer.

Matthews says Schneider asked him to “randomly pick out three names to suspend… because Seumas Milne needed to be able to tell the Lobby after PMQs (at noon) that the party had already suspended three people from Palestine Live.” Schneider denied to us that he asked for three suspensions.

One of the names sent to Schneider  was Secretary of the pro-Corbyn anti-Zionist group Jewish Voice for Labour, Glyn Secker, whom Schneider describes as  a “Jewish peace activist.” The leaked report asserts that none of Secker’s FB posts found by the GLU “include(d) any antisemitic comments” and “would not normally result in an investigation”.

Of the charges the GLU wanted to put to Secker, that may be true of 1 & 2 (below); charges 3 & 4 are more contentious; the fifth charge would have been considered grounds for investigation in today’s Labour Party because it suggests conspiratorially Israel had influence over Isis, and was the most serious. Whilst the report briefly mentions charges 1-4, it omits any reference to the most serious charge, 5.

  1. Secker had shared an article on “why we should stop calling for restraint between Israel and Palestine.”
  2. At the 2016 party conference, he had heckled a member of the mainstream Jewish Labour Movement accusing him of using antisemitism as a “weapon” to attack Corbyn and wanting to introduce the “thought police” to Labour’s rulebook. Secker boasted that he’d got “great coverage” by retweeting his heckle because it had been retweeted by Electronic Intifada outlet (a notoriously antisemitic outlet). 
  3. Following a speech by an Israeli minister who said European  leaders who criticize Israel and advocate Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions were antisemitic, Secker had tweeted “THE CIRCULARITY  Jew=Zionism=Israel=Jew” followed by a quote from Lord of the Rings “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, And in the darkness bind them.” Absent the Tolkien quote, the tweet could reasonably have been interpreted as meaning Jews should be treated separately from Israel. However, the insertion of Tolkien’s Ring verse with its connotation of sinister all-controlling power could be read as meaning Zionism is a sinister all-controlling force that claims to speak for all Jews but doesn’t.  
  4. Secker had also approvingly re-tweeted Norman Finkelstein’s support for Labour MP Naz Shah over her FB post arguing that Israel’s population be “transported” out of the Middle East to America. Despite the idea of “transporting” Jews echoing back to the Holocaust trains, Finkelstein said Shah’s post was a “light hearted innocuous cartoon making a little joke about Israel is in thrall to the US…All the desiccated Labour apparatchiks, dragging the Nazi holocaust through the mud for the sake of their petty jostling for power and position. Have they no shame?” 
  5. On 1 July 2016, Secker had tweeted: “Jeremy is quite right, as a UK Jew I have no control over Israel’s purchase of Isis oil, the revenues of which enable them to finance their weapons of war. The piece below was published in November 2015. Since then the oil fields have been bombed and so the trade has probably dried up but through no choice by Israel.” 

Although  Secker is not a Holocaust denier, the Palestine Live blog tagged him alongside those who were and who took their “news” from antisemitic conspiracy websites — as did Secker in this case by  appearing to have given credence to the antisemitic theory that Israel was in cahoots with Isis. His post linked to an article headlined “The ‘ISIS Rockefellers’: How Islamic State oil flows to Israel” from a notorious conspiracist outlet called Global Research. It was GR who developed the theory that Israel was purchasing Isis oil in order to fan the flames of antisemitism to generate sympathy for Israel, deflecting it away from the Palestinians. As Dave Rich says “It’s a conspiracy theory that fits with the model of Jews/Israel/Zionists being blamed for whatever ‘bad thing’ is afflicting society at any given time.”

Schneider’s Twitter attack on Matthews continued: “I was likewise alarmed that a clear case of holocaust denial from somebody who claimed to be a Labour member hadn’t yet been acted on. I was personally concerned that such clear cut and vicious antisemitism was possibly not being dealt with.”

That “somebody” – David Birkett – is indeed a Holocaust denier, who has written: “Not even one body, of thousands autopsied by US medical examiners across ALL camps after WW2 exhibited any signs of dying from ANY type of ‘Gas’ poisoning.”

Schneider’s tweet continued: “While I was troubled by the speed of action to suspend a Jewish activist relative to a clear-cut holocaust denier, I assumed that the latter would be dealt with by Matthews. I was wrong.”

In fact, Matthews did want Birkett dealt with – and, as it turns out, with more urgency it would appear than LOTO. 

Schneider makes no mention of the fact that two days later on 9 March Matthews recommended Birkett for suspension. Matthews says the reason Secker was suspended before Birkett was because the GLU were working methodically through the Palestine Live blog and came to Secker’s name first because he was on p15 whereas Birkett’s name was not mentioned until p122. Schneider told us “It was not difficult to find Birkett’s holocaust denial. I did straight away.”

Oldknow immediately passed Matthews’ recommendation that Birkett be suspended to LOTO, seeking their approval.  The report says it is “unclear why” Oldknow did that. “This was not part of an agreed protocol. It had not been requested by Milne, Murphy or any other staff in LOTO.”

Their answer is that the sheer intensity of LOTO’s pressure on Matthews and Oldknow to unsuspend Glyn Secker - another longstanding political ally of Corbyn - caused them to throw in the towel and hand over responsibility for decisions on antisemitism cases to LOTO. “It made us realise we were no longer going to be allowed to be the independent civil service of the Party, professional and organised, but an arm of the Leader’s Office to be brought to heel,” explained one GLU official.  

First Milne, then Laura Murray, then her father Andrew – whom Corbyn had tasked to “urgently” investigate Secker’s suspension  – all bore down on the GLU with Murray telling Oldknow that it was “so offensive for Jewish socialists to be accused of antisemitism” urging that the suspension “be lifted” and Milne finally telling Oldknow it could not be justified. All this caused Oldknow to tell Matthews to lift it, which he then did.

Corbyn’s office emphatically denied to Panorama that LOTO had intervened in Secker but it is clear the determining force behind the decision to lift his suspension was LOTO’s. 

Schneider makes no mention of any of this but instead presents the Birkett case as being so serious (as it was) there was not a moment to waste. And yet despite Matthews recommending to LOTO on 9 March that Birkett be suspended, it was a further 17 days before he received LOTO’s authorisation. These are some of the chasing email texts from Oldknow to Milne and Murphy which the leaked report has omitted:

12 March
 “Can you agree as a matter of urgency, to the information contained in the spreadsheet attached.”

13 March 
 “PLEASE can we get a response to the below. The next thing will be people saying we are soft on antisemitism or not acting.” 

14 March 
“………PLEASE can I get agreement for these suspensions. PLEEEEEEASE”  

On 19 March Oldknow emailed that she was still “not getting anywhere with Seumas and Karie” but Schneider makes no mention of this or the fact that GLU had to chase LOTO over 17 days to get a decision to suspend Birkett. The report even blames  the GLU] for the delay saying “The GLU did not act” on Birkett “until the end of March 2018 after receiving input from LOTO”. Schneider responds: ”My tweets were about my direct experience. I am not aware of all the discussions between party staff that you assert.”

Schneider’s tweet continued that in 2019 he was “appalled to discover” that Matthews “had taken no action in 2018” against Birkett.

In fact Matthews did instruct a subordinate to suspend Birkett on the same day as LOTO approved it — marking the case “Urgent.” 

However, I am told his order was not executed because members of the GLU team were on leave, in training and, in Matthews’ case, in the High Court assisting lawyers defending the Labour Party against an emergency injunction.  Although this was an administrative error, it was clearly extremely regrettable and is hard to excuse. 

This failure notwithstanding, the timeline demonstrates the opposite of what James Schneider and the leaked report seek to show: that  Matthews and Oldknow were committed to dealing with antisemitism – and that it is LOTO who still have a case to answer on Secker.

Five weeks later, the GLU discovered a second Secker conspiracist FB post in which he asked: “Now why would Israel provide oil revenues to ISIS?”, only to speculate: “Maybe because: Israel’s arms experts run at $7bn pa. They have a vested interest in armed conflicts?......…Or maybe because Zionist extremists have never shirked from capitalising on antisemitism (and ISIS has bags of that).”

Secker appears to have believed that Israel knowingly used oil purchases as a way of funding Isis and that Israel did this because it believed that it gained some benefit from Isis’s existence - and this at a time when most Western and Arab countries were united in their opposition to Isis.  He also posted this a couple of weeks after the Bataclan and other terror attacks in Paris.

This and the previous conspiracist post by Secker were resubmitted by the GLU to LOTO on 16 April 2018. LOTO dismissed them out of hand: “We dealt with this one didn’t we - no case at all” said Andrew Murray. 

There is no record of any member of LOTO disagreeing with Murray which suggests that even had the GLU found these two new posts five weeks earlier on 7 March, LOTO would still have required Secker’s suspension to be lifted. 

Today, under the Labour Party’s “decision-making matrix and guidance on antisemitism” suggestions that Israel controls Isis are grounds for immediate suspension. 

Marc Wadsworth 

Marc Wadsworth is one of five long standing political allies of Jeremy Corbyn to have been expelled, suspended or who have had to resign from the Labour party accused of antisemitism. Like Corbyn, all avow their lifelong commitment to anti-racism.

The three charges  against Wadsworth  arose from the launch of the Chakrabarti report into antisemitism in June 2016 where he publicly singled out the Labour MP Ruth Smeeth — who was present and who is Jewish — of working “hand in hand” with the right-wing media, a claim widely regarded as a traditional antisemitic slur about Jews being part of a “media conspiracy”. 

Wadsworth had earlier handed out press releases which Smeeth said branded “me and my colleagues ‘traitors’ and campaigning for our deselection.” A reporter siting behind her commented that this was “antisemitism at an antisemitism event”. A visibly upset Smeeth then walked out.  

Omitted from the leaked report is Wadsworth’s claim that a member of Corbyn’s office had “called me on the first day” of his NCC hearing, and “said to me they had been working behind the scenes, that what I said wasn’t antisemitic.” Corbyn’s office denied giving any assistance to Wadsworth.

Also omitted is the fact that Jennie Formby had posted on FB that it was “unclear for now” why accusing a Jewish Labour MP of “colluding” with the media was antisemitic and another post approving an article which said “The allegations against Corbyn and the Labour Party are underpinned by an almost comical paucity of evidence, while what evidence does exist not only fails to justify the claims being made, but has itself been systematically misrepresented.” Both posts were subsequently deleted. Asked why she considered Wadsworth’s conduct was not antisemitic, Formby declined to comment. 

Nor does the report mention Formby’s reaction to Sam Matthews and his GLU team when they returned triumphant to Labour Party HQ having just persuaded the NCC to expel Wadsworth. Corbyn had just replaced Iain McNicol with Formby as General Secretary and Corbyn’s standing with the Jewish community was at an all-time low. Waving “Enough is Enough” placards, the previous month 1,500 people including MPs had protested outside Parliament at Corbyn’s “systematic failure” to deal with antisemitism. 

Since Labour was badly in need of some good news and just three days earlier Corbyn had told “our new general secretary” to make it “her priority to get on top of this problem,” Matthews and his team assumed even Formby might have something good to say about the GLU. “Dan Hogan especially had done a fantastic job, working with our lawyers - in the face of extreme opposition from Marc Wadsworth’s lawyers and supporters. In the darkest of nights, his expulsion was a single shaft of light. It said ‘We’ve worked so hard to get this tiny thing, we’ll celebrate this.’” 

Matthews says he assumed wrong. When Formby heard the GLU celebrating in the open plan space outside her office “she hauls me into her office and says ‘I’m so disappointed in you. That staff were cheering about a member of the Labour Party being expelled.  That is not your job. It’s a disgraceful way to act.’ So, I’m like: ‘Well, Jennie, with the best will in the world, we weren’t cheering a member. We were celebrating the fact that the team had done a huge amount of work on expelling a racist from the Labour party. And been successful. There’s one less racist in the Labour Party.’ And her response was ‘I don’t think that’s what he was accused of. I don’t think what he did was antisemitism. It might have been rude, but it wasn’t antisemitism.’ I said: ‘The team have worked incredibly hard for this outcome.’ And she said ‘Well, it’s not your job to work for that outcome. It’s your job to have hearings quickly. Present the case and get it out the way. Your job is not to concern yourself with the sentence. That’s for the NCC.’”

Formby told us: “This version of the conversation is fabricated, untrue and inaccurate. The team’s reaction had been leaked to the media and was attracting a lot of negativity. I simply said it was inappropriate and to be more careful about how the team speaks in public as so much is leaked to the media.”


Of all the many charges made to the Equalities Commission by Jewish groups, the one the Corbynites most strenuously contest is that the GLU eventually felt forced to follow LOTO’s “unwritten guidelines” on antisemitism cases. The leaked report rejects that charge no fewer than nine times.

Yet one can see how the GLU arrived at that state of mind. LOTO’s cumulative interference in several high-profile cases culminating with Glyn Secker was the point at which Sam Matthews and his boss Emilie Oldknow began referring all antisemitism cases to LOTO. 

“We thought ‘You know what? If you want to make these decisions, then just make them and you take responsibility,” Oldknow told a colleague. “Let’s not pretend we’re making them and that you’re not interfering.”
The report’s authors, however, suggest a sinister motive for what they describe as this change of “protocol.” They suspect it was part of a grand conspiracy to “frame Milne and Murphy for either inaction on or inappropriate interference in antisemitism disciplinary cases, depending upon their response”. 

Unprompted, on behalf of Seumas Milne a colleague also drew this sentence to our attention.

This advanced state of factional paranoia helps explain the defect that disfigures so many of the report’s 851 pages: their difficulty in dispassionately separating evidence from innuendo and ideological conviction.

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