New twist in Wirral smear saga as councillor resigns facing bullying allegations

The national media has been helping to propagate a series of attacks on the Labour left in the Merseyside borough of Wirral, just across the river from the site of Labour’s annual conference that begins this weekend. The saga began with accusations by former regional director Sheila Murphy and encompassed Birkenhead MP Frank Field’s ‘jumped before pushed’ […]

Birkenhead: exclusive insight into the construction of a Mail smear

Today’s Daily Mail carries a lurid headline alleging that ‘hard’ (i.e. about in the centre if this were Scandinavia) left Labour members are ‘forcing’ so-called ‘moderates’ out of Merseyside: It’s a laughably poor piece, full of the usual dog-whistle terms – even ‘Bolshevik’ – and repeating without challenge the kind of smears that the right […]

Shuker also loses no-confidence vote – but this one was simplicity itself

Gavin Shuker The dramatic vote of no confidence passed against Joan Ryan MP by Enfield North Labour members stole most of the headlines on Thursday evening – but it wasn’t the only such vote to go against an MP known for attacking the party’s leader. Luton South MP Gavin Shuker was also the subject of […]

Excl: Times’ star witness for Wirral ‘Militant’ bullying story – wasn’t present

Last weekend, the Sunday Times ran a major article amplifying the smear campaign against Labour members in the Merseyside borough of Wirral, claiming that the ‘ghost of Militant’ was being seen again in alleged bullying and abuse of poor ‘centrists’ by left-wing Labour members. At the heart of its story was Rock Ferry councillor Moira […]

Field chickens out – will not call by-election

It seems that Birkenhead ex-Labour MP Frank Field’s commitment to the ‘sovereignty’ of constituents only goes so far. Surprising almost nobody, news has emerged that, following his resignation of the Labour whip last week, he will not call a by-election to offer local voters the chance to decide whether they want him as an independent MP […]

Police issue CCTV pic named as ‘author’ of Wirral councillor’s resignation. Council no-comment

As the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed last week, a bitter resignation letter issued by Wirral councillor Michael Sullivan that called local Labour members ‘parasites’ showed close ally of the council leader, ‘public affairs strategist‘ Martin Liptrot, as its author, not the councillor. The letter also showed that it was last saved by the council leader himself, Phil […]

Wirral Labour echoes ‘choreographed’ smear accusation – and calls for national investigation

On Saturday, the SKWAWKBOX revealed the damning letter sent by members of Wirral West Labour party, accusing a Labour councillor, the council leader, Birkenhead MP Frank Field and others of a ‘choreographed political attack’ on pro-Corbyn members – and their Corbyn-supporting, front-bench MP. Now, in an even more dramatic development, Wirral District Labour Party – […]

“Inappropriate”, “unaccountable” – letter from branch to Field’s CLP lays bare dissatisfaction

As the SKWAWKBOX revealed exclusively in late July, Birkenhead constituency Labour party (CLP) overwhelmingly voted no confidence in him – and to demand the withdrawal of the Labour whip from him – well before he opted to resign the whip on Thursday. Jumping before he was pushed, with maximum publicity. But a letter sent by […]

Woodcock’s local paper sending him a message?

Ex-Labour MP John Woodcock started the recent trend, if two is a trend, of Labour MPs resigning from the party without trusting their mandate – or respecting their constituents – enough to offer them a chance to choose in a by-election whether they want to continue to be represented by an ‘independent’ MP. Woodcock resigned, […]

“Frankly fed up” – newly-elected, Jewish Wirral councillor responds to Field’s resignation smear

Newly-elected Labour councillor Jo Bird, left, with Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey Now-ex Labour MP Frank Field announced yesterday that he was resigning the Labour whip with the intention of remaining in Parliament as an independent MP. In spite of his recent claimed conversion to the sovereignty of constituents over party members – he is on […]