Skwawkbox founder 'leaves the Labour Party'

The website editor has often sparked anger with his interventions over Labour’s antisemitism crisis


The controversial  founder of the pro-Jeremy Corbyn blog Skwawkbox has left the Labour Party, multiple sources have claimed.

The JC understands that Steven Walker – who founded the website in 2012 – resigned from the party several weeks ago.

Sources also indicated that Mr Walker, a former chair of Garston and Halewood CLP in the north west of England, had been the subject of numerous complaints, including allegations of bullying, harassment and sexism.

It is not clear whether the website editor quit the party ahead of any investigation into the claims.

One party source told the JC on Thursday Mr Walker was “no longer a member of the Labour Party - he has left.”

They said his Unite union membership meant he would retain “affiliated” status, however.

After Mr Corbyn became party leader in 2015, Mr Walker published news stories and interviews designed to boost support for the Islington North MP.

During this time it became clear that he was being briefed by sources connected to both the ex-leader and to the leadership of the Unite union.

Mr Corbyn’s chief of staff Karie Murphy regularly shared Mr Walker’s stories on social media.  Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey recently claimed his union would be “looking to support” alternative outlets such as Skwawkbox.

But Mr Walker often sparked anger with his interventions over Labour’s antisemitism crisis. There was regular outrage over the blog’s false reports, such as one in which he claimed the government had prevented the publication of the true Grenfell death toll, for which he later apologised.

In 2018, Mr Walker was reported to the Labour Party after he shared an article on the Skwawkbox Twitter site which was titled, “The Jewish ‘War Against Corbyn’ risks bringing real antisemitism to Britain”.

His tweet described the article as “pertinent and frightening.” Skwawkbox later deleted the original tweet.

Again in 2018, he an article on the website attempted to pour scorn on the former MP Luciana Berger after she received protection outside the venue for Labour’s party conference that year.

Last year the founder of the Momentum organisation Jon Lansman accused Mr Walker’s website of the “damaging the interests of the left.”

In January 2019 former Labour MP Anna Turley sued Unite and Mr Walker for libel over a 2017 article that appeared on the blog.

In the High Court, Ms Turley was awarded damages of £75, 000 after judge Mr Justice Nicklin found that there were "no reasonable grounds to suspect [Turley] of any form of dishonesty in relation to her joining Unite Community.”

The judge also directly criticised Mr Walker’s journalism.

Mr Walker, a father of two, is the sales director and CEO of a company called Foojit, which provides mailing solutions to the NHS.

The JC has been shown complaints sent to the Labour Party about Mr Walker including one which alleged “bullying, harassment and intimidation.” A second source also made allegations relating to him about sexism.

Another party source told the JC that Mr Walker had “walked” from the party ahead of possible disciplinary action being taken.

The JC has repeatedly contacted Mr Walker for comment.

A receptionist at his firm Foojit twice confirmed to the JC they had “told him to call you again.”



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