CCTV proof: There was no spitting, shoving, barging, or abusive behaviour at Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party’s annual meeting at City College on July 9
So why was 6,200-member Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party suspended after electing a new leadership team of officers — all of whom support Jeremy Corbyn? Within five days, without any investigation.
The answer is, of course, in the question.
Because the biggest party unit, with the biggest turnout, and the biggest vote, voted in support of candidates who back Jeremy Corbyn. That’s what we did wrong.
The trigger, though, was an allegation spread — repeatedly, recklessly and carelessly about its truth — by Councillor Warren Morgan, a Progress member and leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove City Council:
Cllr Morgan knew — probably before even tweeting and then repeating this false allegation in press statements — that Matt Tully, the young member smeared by the “spitting” slur, had already identified himself and rebutted the charge. He appealed for the allegation to be withdrawn and asked for an apology. [Mr Tully was confronted at the meeting by Jack Spooner, paid party organiser answerable to Cllr Morgan and his councillors.
In a two-page confabulation compiled by Mr Spooner — and an unknown number of party colleagues, on Monday, July 11 - was leaked to me earlier this month. A series of lies included these allegations:
Mr Spooner’s full statement will be published in the next few days.
Cllr Morgan and at least one fellow councillor had immediately claimed that CCTV footage would substantiate the lies. It didn’t; indeed, they did not even formally ask for the CCTV footage (here, here, and here).
Every frame supports the statement Mr Tully provided to me — and thereafter to Katherine Buckingham, head of Labour’s disputes and discipline panel, who is conducting an inquiry that will report to the National Executive Committee when it meets on Tuesday, September 20.
The real puzzle is why no action has been taken — nor any response given — following Mr Tully’s complaint against Cllr Morgan.
We should not be surprised that the CCTV footage puts the lie to Cllr Morgan’s lie. After all, there were more than 600 witnesses. Who saw nothing!
If you think this is an outrageous injustice, please sign the petition calling for the NEC to re-instate Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party and uphold the results of its AGM on July 9.