A Labour members’ and campaigners’ grouping yesterday issued a statement where they said that they fear that Emily Benn, a West Thornton ward councillor, is “…being used by other, more sinister forces within the Parliamentary Party who are out to damage Jeremy Corbyn by undermining one of his key advisors”.
Red Labour called on Benn to withdraw her official complaint about Andrew Fisher, a policy adviser to the Labour Party leader, and instead to “… get on fighting the Tories”.
Red Labour describes itself as “a social media campaign reflecting the views of many Labour members and supporters”.
They were responding to a report on Inside Croydon about Benn’s call to expel Croydon resident Fisher.
The Hon Emily made the headlines at the weekend when she went public with a complaint about Fisher, who 15 months ago posted a message on Twitter apparently supportive of a candidate standing against her in the General Election in Croydon South. Benn wrote to Labour’s NEC – the National Executive – demanding that Fisher be expelled from the party for supporting another party; somehow, her letter got published in The Observer.
But Inside Croydon discovered at least three instances from the past six weeks in which Benn herself had used social media to express support for another party, with re-Tweets suggesting people should consider joining the newly formed Women’s Equality Party. The Political Scrapbook website picked up on our story, describing Emily Benn as setting herself up in a “circular firing squad”.
Benn’s WEP RT, from September 13 – after Corbyn had announced several key shadow cabinet posts to men, including The Hon Emily’s Uncle Hilary as foreign affairs spokesman – remains on her timeline today.
Yesterday, Red Labour issued a statement which called for an end to the in-fighting.
“Well, this is a bit awkward. Emily Benn is found to have done the same that she is accusing Andrew Fisher of: supporting another party.
“Can we just make it clear that we don’t think that Emily Benn is conducting a one-person crusade against Andrew Fisher. Emily’s politics might be very New Labour, but she’s hardly a political operator. So much so, that it appears that she was unaware of the rules around supporting other parties until a couple of weeks ago. What worries us is that she’s being used by other, more sinister forces within the Parliamentary Party who are out to damage Jeremy by undermining one of his key advisors.
“Neither do we think that Emily should be reported to the NEC for her tweet which suggested that people might support another party – the Women’s Equality Party – because we know that she is a bona fide Labour member. Just like Andrew Fisher.
“So we have a suggestion. Let’s stop behaving as if we’re tabloid reporters trying to catch out our fellow party members. This is unworthy of the party and plays into the hands our political enemies. We therefore call on Emily to withdraw her complaint – and let’s get on with fighting the Tories.”
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