Handing the Falkirk report to the police is a good first step. But more is needed.

by Atul Hatwal

So news breaks this lunchtime that the party is handing the report into Falkirk West to the police. Good.

On Wednesday this week, Uncut was first with the news that the Fraud Act had potentially been breached. Yesterday, we broke the news that the party was refusing to commit to handing over evidence of any illegality to the police and relevant authorities.

In the post yesterday, we called for the party ‘s legal advisers to look at the report and asses whether any evidence of law-breaking was uncovered during the course of the NEC inquiry. This morning the Labour party did exactly that and as expected has found it extremely likely that the law has been breached.

The party is making the right moves to clean up this mess. But there is unfinished business. Handing the report to the police will address the potential breach of the Fraud Act.

However, the Data Protection Act has also very likely been breached and this is within the remit of the Information Commissioner rather than the police.

The party inquiry will have found evidence of this breach, not least with the complaints of Unite members who found that they had been signed-up to the Labour party without their knowledge.

To complete the cleansing, the party should handover this is evidence of law-breaking to the Information Commissioner and ask him to investigate.

Only then will the party truly begin to move on from the disaster in Falkirk West.

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6 Responses to “Handing the Falkirk report to the police is a good first step. But more is needed.”

  1. swatantra says:

    It really does take a reformed ex Gen Sec of the Party like Watt to see the wood for the trees, and point the finger at institutionalism as the the root cause of the problems.The Party is ripe for change.
    It requires a reform of the LP constitution. THe LP is not arm of the Unions, its a Political Party that stands in its own right. If the Unions think they can best get Labour to achieve some of their aims then they should continue funding it. But I can tell you they’ll be hard pressed to find any other Political Party that has empathy with them; so basically they are stuck. But they relationship is to be made clear: Labour is a Party of Govt not a special interest Party but a One Nation Party.
    Unite has scored an own goal and shot itself in the foot at the same time.
    Time indeed for OMOV, no extra affiliate influence; no extra Union influence.

  2. Nick says:

    Once a fraudster, always a fraudster.

    Time to go after the MPs that got away with it.

    Signing to say that your expenses claim was wholly and necessary for your job as an MP is part 1. Paying back the cash latter – part 2. Now all we need is for Plod to investigate and jail the 52% of MPs that paid back cash.

    Then there are the Lords. Vast numbers claimed for days they didn’t turn up. However, its now a state secret how many days they turned up on the grounds that they would be brought into disrepute if we were to be told.

  3. Ex-Labour says:

    There are clearly some in the Labour party who feel there is nothing substantial to all this. On Question Time last night, Labour Luvvie Tony Robinson, painted a picture close to a fairy tale and basically said move along nothing to see. I suspect its the attitude of many others also from the harder left.

    This stinks to the high heavens and needs to be sorted and if heads need to roll then so be it. The more that emerges in the media about Watson, McLuskey, Murphy, girlfiends, flatmates, office aide blah blah……its a tawdry mess. We’ve not even got on to the potential illegality yet !

    Watson’s political antics seem to be well known in the party and he has previous form as a member of Team Brown. He alluded to this himself in his resignation letter.

    It emerges that Miliband tried to talk him out of resigning. What a f**king catastrophic error of judgement that was ! Fortunately Watson seems to have more political nouse than “Buddah” Miliband and has exited stage left ….as should luvvie thesp Robinson.

    It seems Angela Merkel has picked up a new favourite English phase which aptly describes this situation ..”shitstorm”.

  4. Mike Hodges says:

    As a right-winger (and no fan of the Conservatives and their current fumbling attempts at government) I want to see a strong and vigorous Labour Party. Competition breeds excellence and this government seriously needs some real competition. That means a strong and courageous leader is required. Thus far Ed Miliband hasn’t shown that courage but this might be the time for him to show his mettle. If he handles this situation well then it might be just what Labour needs to give it an electoral boost. Such a boost might, just might, give the current government the butt kicking it needs to sort out this nations problems. We’ll just have to see.

  5. Duncan says:

    All of this is just so disingenuous. Whatever happened in Falkirk, surely we can all admit that it is of the same order and type as what the party machine has been getting up to in selections up and down the country. The difference here seems to be that the machine has split between two “official” candidates, the Unite one and Jim Murphy’s one. As such, we end up with two sets of rule-breaking and fixing instead of the usual one.

    Party members around the country have complained about their details being passed on to private consultancy firms during parliamentary selections. I didn’t read condemnation (or suggestions of criminal investigations) here. (I have also received communications from Progress without ever having given them my personal data).

    Postal vote farming was all the rage in the 2009/10 selections. This fixing machine was created to stop the left and it has been maintained to get “official” “preferred” “Buggins turn” candidates into roles. The only time it reaches the public consciousness (rather than just annoying local members) is when the ridiculous Blairite/Brownite spat means that people can’t agree on the official candidate. Add in a bit of 1990s Labour Students politics and you get the recipe for a dreadful mess. You certainly shouldn’t get the recie for national newspaper front pages and a row that dominates multiple days in Parliament. It is truly pathetic.

  6. Gordon Guthrie says:

    It clearly doesn’t contravene the Fraud Act 2006 which says in Section 15:

    (1)This Act (except this section and section 16) comes into force on such day as the Secretary of State may appoint by an order made by statutory instrument; and different days may be appointed for different purposes.
    (2)Subject to subsection (3), sections 1 to 9 and 11 to 13 extend to England and Wales and Northern Ireland only.
    (3)Section 8, so far as it relates to the Armed Forces Act 2001 (c. 19), extends to any place to which that Act extends.
    (4)Any amendment in section 10 or Schedule 1, and any related provision in section 14 or Schedule 2 or 3, extends to any place to which the provision which is the subject of the amendment extends.

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