Pressure is piling on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party’s youth wing after a series of revelations and claims over bullying tactics used to control young members, and anti-Semitism.
Labour MP for Middlesbrough South Tom Blenkinsop is leading calls to suspend the youth politics and campaigning group following allegations over the weekend regarding bullying by union members towards youth activists. Breitbart London reported on the accusations during the Young Labour conference, which revolved around a young member of Welsh Labour being intimidated into showing his ballot paper to a Unite union official.
Posting a screenshot of a phone conversation to Twitter, Zac Harvey exposed the harassing remarks of 24 year old shop steward Charlotte Upton who apparently wrote:
“Not acceptable Zac we need to see your ballot paper to ensure you follow mandate as I have done with every other delegate at the very least I need you to send me a picture of your UNITE ballot paper with James Elliot Selected”.
The young man claimed he was chased, harassed, and even followed into a toilet by UNITE members who wanted to check his ballot paper. another delegate at the conference said the young man was forced out of his hotel by the behaviour, which left him feeling “unsafe”. Others reported being referred to as “Blairite nonces”, presumably by Corbynite union delegates.
A spokesman for the Unite Union said of the allegations: “There is not a shred of truth in the claim that… there was any wrongdoing by the Unite delegation co-chair who acted with propriety at all times. Claims to the contrary are deliberately misleading and malicious, intended for no other reason than to bring this union into disrepute”, reports the Daily Telegraph.
Middlesbrough MP Blenkinsop said of the controversy: “Young Labour must be suspended and the events of today thoroughly investigated”. Labour Birmingham Yardley MP Jess Phillips said she was going to “kick off” over events at the conference.
The Young Labour conference trouble comes after, and is linked with a swirling controversy at the University of Oxford Young Labour. Accusations of rife anti-Semitism at the “poisonous” club has seen former Labour leader Ed Miliband cancel a speaking engagement for the group and the youth co-chairman step down over the behaviour of Labour students.
One of those implicated in the Oxford scandal is James Elliot, who was the candidate being allegedly pushed with bullying tactics at the Labour conference this weekend. He has been described as being “Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured candidate” for the ballot.
The internal Labour investigation into anti-Semitism at Oxford Labour has not been released, sparking claims of a cover-up. Labour MP John Mann, all party parliamentary group against anti-Semitism chair has called for it to be released immediately and has warned the situation is creating “great reputational risk” for the party as a whole.
— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) February 28, 2016