Labour MP Tom Watson has resigned his post, and now Labour leader Ed Miliband has called in the police as the Falkirk Labour Party selection scandal gets slightly warmer!
The Labour Party is asking police to step in and investigate if a trade union’s alleged attempt to rig candidate selection in the Falkirk constituency was in breach of the law.
If the police are involved, then they will certainly be knocking on the door of Labour’s former election coordinator Tom Watson to ask him what he knows.
Karie Murphy who works for Tom Watson would be in line for a visit.
Len McCluskey the head of Unite, the trade Union would have to be interviewed by police.
So, what prompted Red Ed to get the police involved?
It could be that the Tories, in the shape of Crawley MP Henry Smith have written to Chief Constable Stephen House.
Relations with the Labour Party and Unite could be said to be strained at present.
There is a bitter dispute surrounding an internal report published by Labour officials that suggested Unite had broken party rules in attempting to ensure its favoured candidate was the one selected.
The candidate that Unite supports is Karie Murphy; she is suspended by the Labour Party.
Ms Murphy also works as Tom Watson’s office manager.
Another person of interest in this drama is Falkirk Labour chairman Stephen Deans, he is also now been suspended by the party.
In what must be the start of ‘bad blood’, Ed Miliband this morning called on Unite leader Len McCluskey to condemn “malpractice” in Falkirk!
Red Ed with his red rag to a bull.
Len McCluskey is far from happy and has demanded an independent inquiry.
And he also chipped in that he had “no trust” in the party’s handling of the affair.
Unite is a huge donor to the Labour Party.
A Labour source said:
“After consulting the party solicitor yesterday, we will hand our Falkirk report and other evidence to the police this afternoon.”
So, did fraud take place?
Well, it is too early to make any claims of that nature, however Crawley MP Henry Smith has told Sir Stephen that in his opinion, Unite may have committed fraud by making a false instrument, in the form of an application form signing up members to the Labour Party without their knowledge.
And he said the separate offence of “uttering” may have been committed by tendering forged documents with an intention to defraud.
So, it looks like quite a lot of people who joined the Labour Party will get a visit from the police to be asked some rather pointed questions.
“I am deeply concerned that a serious offence may have been committed in this instance. I would be very grateful if you could investigate this as a matter of urgency, in the interest of protecting the integrity of the democratic process in Scotland.”
And this debacle can be traced back to a punch up in a House of Common’s bar as Eric Joyce got into a fight while drunk, funny how one thing leads to another, unintended. consequences.
Even if the processes used was legal, like many, I think this episode stinks to high heaven.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University