THE Labour leadership cut off a left-wing CLP’s means of communicating with the rest of the party’s membership after refusing to answer its questions about a paedophile former councillor in an alleged cover-up feared to go “right to the top of the party,” sources told the Morning Star.
Party bosses removed Hackney North and Stoke Newington CLP’s access to its Organise mailing system a day after banning discussions about Dame Meg Hillier’s former agent Thomas Dewey’s legal proceedings at a meeting in July.
Today local Labour members described it as “a very covert method of shutting down all local democracy without going as far as suspending a CLP” as well as a “convenient” way for the Labour leadership to avoid internal scrutiny over its ongoing suspension of their constituency MP Diane Abbott’s whip.
The Morning Star understands the tactic has mostly been used to silence left-wing CLPs after Sir Keir Starmer became party leader in April 2020.
There are now calls for an investigation into who knew what after Mr Dewey narrowly won a council seat last May, days after he was arrested over child sex abuse image offences during a police raid at the home he shared with Hackney’s elected mayor Philip Glanville.
Hackney Council’s executive claimed his resignation from his post later that month was merely for “personal reasons” and local Labour activists were kept in the dark about the nature of the arrest until his charges were reported in the media more than a year later.