Omnishambles: How Labour responded to the JGM crisis

Labour Leader ARichTeaBiscuit

By David Seimmarson, Telegraph Political correspondent.

The Telegraph recently launched an investigation into the JGMgate scandal, a furore over JGMs message to Tommy2Boys where he spoke of Tommy “jizzing over institutions” and of “cumstains in the Union Jack”.

We were lucky enough to get four interviews with the key characters involved: Tommy2Boys, JGM, thePootisPower and ARichTeaBiscuit. By the conclusion of these interviews, the Telegraph became aware of an attempt by Tommy to threaten Labour that he would try to make “as big a scandal as possible” in the words of the Labour leader out of the JGM affair. We also became aware of several inconsistencies with the Labour timeline of events, with the Labour Chair suggesting the Leader had not told us the truth in our conversation with them about the partys reaction, before retracting the claim after the Leader spoke to them. This retraction and subsequent explanation of the mistake would only further deepen the evidence of either the Labour Leader or Labour Chair having attempted to mislead the Telegraph in their interview. 

Our first interview was with the progenitor of this argument, Tommy2Boys. Tommy firstly explained the context of these comments, saying the first “cumstains in the union jack comment” was part of a conversation on Labour’s position on the union, while the second “jizzing over institutions” remark was “out of the blue”. Tommy said he found these comments “inappropriate”, saying he laughed it off the first time, however on the second occasion it showed a “disturbing trend”. Tommy also confirmed to us that he was subsequently contacted by the Labour Chair, who told Tommy he was “looking into” the comments, and had passed on the relevant information to the Labour leader. When asked about the Labour leader saying no investigation was taking place, Tommy confirmed that he was not contacted by anyone else from Labour past this point, and it was his opinion that the Labour chairperson was a “decent person who wanted to look into the allegations” however was stopped by the Labour leader. He finished our (first) interview with him by calling for the resignation of the Shadow Chancellor, and expressing his disappointment that the Labour leader was not the “honourable person I thought they were”.

This would not be the end of Tommy’s involvement in this debacle. In interviews with JGM, ARichTeaBiscuit and thePootisPower, all three repeated the same story of Tommy trying to “blackmail” Labour on this matter. JGM was first to mention it, saying that he had made aware that to, “at least one person, likely several”, Tommy threatened to “create as much of a scandal as possible” if JGM wasn’t removed. Tommy, according to JGM, “claimed that they were previously nice to Labour, but that they now intended to go hard at us”. ARichTeaBiscuit confirmed the story saying “I received a message from Tommy2Boys earlier that suggested that if I didn’t take action against JGM that action would be taken against myself and the Labour Party”, and that they considered the message tantamount to “political blackmail”. ARichTeaBiscuit would repeat the claims of blackmail in other answers, including to questions not specifically on that matter, saying they were quite “upsetting” and “unacceptable”. thePootisPower also confirmed that Tommy had approached them with a similar demand, providing the following quote from Tommy.

““> I should warn you as well the screenshots may go public in the next few days I haven’t decided if I want to do that yet. But a lot of people have them so I am surprised they are not already public frankly xD”

  • Tommy2Boys

Both the Labour Chair and Labour Leader had the same timeframe for these messages, both saying they came after Tommy brought up JGMs comments in an attack on Labour Weekly, but before the Tommy tweet on the matter. We spoke to Tommy about this, who confirmed the timeframe. They said that the accusations of blackmail were “ridiculous”, saying that the messages were an attempt to “reach out and appeal to their sense of decency”. He would also say that if attempting to “avoid a shitstorm that I do not particularly enjoy is blackmail in the eyes of the Labour leader, that is on them”.

In our interviews with JGM, he came across as a contrite figure. He apologised for his comments, and said they were “not appropriate”. He did raise questions about why they were being brought up again, saying that they were being used due to Tories taking offense at JGMs criticism of the former Tory chairman for his comments regarding Wales having intercourse with sheep and wanting to nuke cardiff. When asked if he felt the comments were being politically weaponised, he said no, saying that “the distress I caused was personal to them” and “completely valid”. He admitted to his comments forming a pattern of harshness, and that he could be more tactful, however when asked about his implications of anti semitism which have garnered much attention, he said the “burden as to who is incendiary rests on the people who think they can tell Jewish politicians what should and shouldn’t concern them”. On the “investigation” claims made by Tommy2Boys, he said no such investigation existed, however said he was told by ARichTeaBiscuit that his “actions were not good” and he was reprimanded. The Telegraph were told that the idea of a vonc in JGM had been mooted bu a Labour member, with Labour Chairman thePootisPower confirming that he had heard “rumblings” of a vonc, however had not heard in who. On this topic, JGM described the rumours as nebulous, and that he was focused on “delivering Labours incredible agenda”. 

We now turn to the interviews with the Labour Leader and Chair in more detail. First, we spoke to Labour Leader ARichTeaBiscuit, who we asked about the JGM comments. They said that while they wouldn’t “make those comments” personally, they felt it didn’t warrant “the reaction Tommy2Boys tried to solicit by releasing them several months after they have been made”. ARTB went on to mention things that they had been called or described as, including “coward” and “mouth-piece”, and saying they hadn’t called for the resignation or investigation into of those involved. When asked again if JGMs comments were appropriate, they did not answer clearly, instead repeating previous lines about not wanting to personally make those comments. After it was put to them that JGM had described the messages as inappropriate and apologised for them, ARTB deleted their answer, and made a new one, saying “people across the political spectrum need to be more mindful of their language” but that they had been numbed by politics so had struggled to see them as inappropriate originally. They said they “respect the decision of the Shadow Chancellor to apologise” and said an apology and a promise to behave better in the future was all that was necessary, not the “pantomime that we’ve seen”.

ARTB confirmed that thePootisPower brought the comments to their attention, and that they both spoke and “agreed that the response mentioned was appropriate”. We would speak to the Labour Chair thePootisPower on this matter who said that ARTB “did not say anything whether I spoke to them directly or in leadership channels” and that it was “undeniable that they are choosing to do nothing on this and that in itself is part of the problem”. When I informed then that the Labour Leader had claimed that they had spoken, and that the plan that Poot was unaware of was, according to ARTB, backed by him, he said he could not remember any such recollection, and told us to ask ARTB for evidence to ascertain the truth of this. We did get in contact with ARTB to ask about these diametrically opposed stories, and received no reply for some time. A few minutes later, Poot returned to my conversation to “retract his version of events”, saying that “Akko had caught wind of my comments and pointed out that I was incorrect”. When asked how his story could change so rapidly, he said that ARTB had suggested that “we apologise and move on”, and that he had not understood this as a plan for a path forward. I then put to Poot, how could a plan that he had not understood as a plan, been backed by him as ARTB claimed. He said “Well I guess they took it that I supported that action from the leadership conversation, i dont know”. He also confirmed he did not at any point explicitly support what ARTB said.

We then returned to ARTB to ask for their explanatiln of this conundrum. They said that Poot backed the outline of their plan when they proposed it to them earlier, and that Poot taking a break from politics had simply lead to communication errors. Given that they had made remarks unaware of any plan, I asked ARTB how could poot have backed something they didn’t know about, and did poot provide explicit support for the proposal. ARTB did not answer the first question, instead saying that Poot had found agreeable the plan outlined and that they did provide explicit backing. Upon me informing them that Poot had said no explicit backing was given they responded “I believe that we’ve got something of a confused timeline of events here.”. This was the end of the four interviews.

Emerging from this, there are now four key parts to this story. The first, originally most prominent one is JGMs comments themselves. While undoubtedly vulgar and coarsening to public discourse, the Shadow Chancellors apology and the fact that these comments were in the public domain for some time, will likely bring an end to the debacle surrounding those comments themselves. The allegations from the labour trio of Tommy2Boys blackmailing them are the second part to this. Undoubtedly concerning, however based solely on the evidence provided by Poot, with ARTB not providing evidence after we asked them for some, the suggestion of the comments being blackmail are a stretch. However, there is possibly more to come on this front.

The two most serious parts of this are both not good news for Labour. The breakdown of communication from the Labour leader and chair was visible in vivid detail, with repeated contradictions and inconsistencies, with a few retractions for good measure. This is not a new problem for Labour, however it has been showcased in perhaps unrivalled detail here.

The final part of this is the now clear evidence that either the Labour Chair or the Labour leader is lying. Either the Chair did provide backing for this plan, which means they are lying, or they did not provide backing, which means the Labour leader is lying. The Labour leader was asked to provide a record of those messages between them and the Labour Chair. They have yet to do so. Until they do, it will likely remain unclear as to what exact member of the Labour leadership hasn’t been truthful. What is clear, is the handling of a relatively minor scandal, has now ballooned into a crisis, due to the poor handling of it by two of the party’s most senior members.

“Swift Brush Under the Carpet”: Labours Plans for a “Scapegoat” Inquiry

The Duke of Redcar and Cleveland (3rd from left)

In a sensational leak, the Telegraph have today become aware of Labour plans to establish an investigation into the party’s handling of recent scandals, with the purpose being to use to “scapegoat” the inquiry’s chair.

The Telegraph understands that the idea of a third party investigation was suggested by RedWolf177, the Shadow Leader of the Commons, to make a report to decide which changes to party discipline should be made. This suggestion [] is understood to have been made at a meeting of the Labour shadow cabinet. In subsequent comments, RedWolf177 suggested an “overhaul of party discipline”, which is where the Shadow Home Secretary, with the support of Labour chairman ThePootisPower, put forward the name of the Duke of Redcar and Cleveland BigTrev-98 to hold an inquiry.

The Telegraph were lucky enough to hold an interview with the LPUK peer, where he confirmed that a “senior Labour frontbencher” engaged in a “half-backchannel” to discuss his availability to head such an inquiry, too look into how too prevent future faux pas and recommend disciplinary reforms. This senior Labour frontbencher said that Labour leadership would be in contact with specifics. However, no contact took place. Trev said he was disappointed at Labours “lack of discipline regarding an investigation into discipline”. This backchannel would not be the last contact between the Duke and a Labour member.

Subsequently, BigTrev-98 held another meeting with separate Labour member. This would prove to be a damning moment for Labour. The member confirmed the earlier story about an inquiry, however said that his inclusion had not been agreed, and that other candidates were still being considered. The member also confirmed what Labour’s intents for the investigation was. Trev said the Labour person told him the plan was to hold an inquiry to use as a “scapegoat”. He expanded that the plan was to blame BigTrev-98 or whoever was to chair the inquiry for Labours future problems, and also to use as a cover to show that Labour had recently taken action for its failings. BigTrev-98 described the idea as a “swift brush under the carpet” that had “jeopardized the success of an investigation. He also remarked that his willingness to speak to us was based on the ordeals shambolic handling by senior Labour members.

The Telegraph then were able to speak to ThePootisPower, chairman of the Labour party. When asked if the party had agreed to the investigation proposed, he said the idea had been suggested by a frontbencher, but no investigation was ongoing. Poot said he did not have a problem with the frontbencher backchanneling, however said the leadership had not signed off on that. The frontbencher was “presumably ascertaining whether they’d be interested in taking such a role” according to the Labour chairman. He confirmed that others had been considered for the investigation, namely BloodyContrary, however said leadership had not contacted him, although other members may have. 

When asked about the “scapegoat” allegations, he said it was a “stretch” to say that Labour had these malicious plans as no inquiry had yet been finalised, and that the idea was currently theoretical. He said he “hoped” that this was not a prevalent attitude in the party, and that he’d rather resign than agree to a toothless inquiry. He urged anyone in the party who may have that opinion to “reconsider what they want our party to become”, and said the party had the option of rebuilding from the Gren and SBD scandals or “leave the country in the hands of the Tories once again”.

These revelations provide fresh trouble for a Labour Party that doesn’t need any more of it. The confusion over investigations, with members backchanneling without leadership permission, yet again shows that this is a party with deep organisational flaws. However what is much more worrying is the Labour member who described the proposed inquiry as a “scapegoat” opportunity. While Poot says he hopes that this is not a common opinion, the fact members are saying it out loud is not a good sign of the party’s attitude towards accountability. Whether there will be an investigation is unclear, however it appears for now Labour are happier to leave sleeping dogs lie.

“A Decade of Renewal”: Clibs Back Blurple Budget

Chancellor of the Exchequer Friedmanite19, who delivered today’s statement outside Downing Street.

Downing Street was the setting today for a speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer Friedmanite and the Leader of the Classical Liberals saw the announcement of Clib support for the government’s “People’s Budget”.

The announcement is a major boost to the government, who have spent the past week embattled with the Iran crisis, and the governments decision, and subsequent u-turn, regarding exit from the JCPOA. The Telegraph understands the government have spent the past several weeks negotiating with Classical Liberals and Liberal Democrats, to ensure a majority in the Commons for the governments fiscal plans.

The arithmetic in the Commons currently has the Blurple, or Indigo as the Prime Minister has tried to rename it, Government on 44 seats. With Classical Liberal support, this boosts their numbers to 57, effectively guaranteeing its passage through the house. 

With the news of a civil service error regarding revenues generated from VAT resulting in the budget currently being in deficit rather than surplus, the Treasury was attacked by the opposition for its perceived instragience over the “triple-lock” pledge, with some saying it was impossible, and would simply endanger the nations finance. However in his speech outside Downing Street, the Chancellor hit back, saying he had proved the “doomsters and gloomsters” wrong, by delivering on the triple-lock promise while simultaneously getting rid of the deficit. This is a move that will be very popular in the LPUK’s Milton Keynes HQ, and among many in the corridors of power. 

HiddeVdV, Classical Liberal Leader, who pledged Clib support to the Blurple Budget

The Classical Liberal leader and First Minister of Wales HiddeVdV96 spoke of “game changers” achieved by the Classical Liberals in the budget, praising the protection of the triple lock and the increase in funding for Wales. With the Classical Liberals collapsing poll numbers, it is possible they view this as part of a strategy to show their ability to get their objectives through from the opposition benches.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer provided the following comment to the Telegraph-” I am excited for the first ever LPUK budget and am pleased that the Classical Liberal approached talks with a bi-partisan spirit in order to eliminate the budget deficit, level up funding across the UK and give hard working Brits a tax cut. The opposition told us we could not keep the triple lock, yet we have, we’ve proven everyone wrong. This people’s budget will set the path for a decade renewal and I look forward to its passage.”

The Classical Liberal Leader gave this comment to the Telegraph- “We’re proud to support this budget, we’ve achieved a lot of things, like lowering taxes and an increasement in mental health care funding. We have shown that we’ll always act in the national interest and get the UK moving again”

The Shadow Chancellor Cdocwra in an answer to the Telegraph said “We have a Government that has made clear, and a Chancellor that has made clear, that they are dedicated not to ensuring that we have a budget that actually provides for the people of this country but instead shall look at cutting both Housing Benefit and NIT. If this weren’t enough the Government has only just been through a scandal because their last budget put this country under greater financial strain than was claimed at the time. The Classical Liberals have chosen to take this opportunity not to distance themselves from a government with a financial record of cuts and failure to deliver but in fact have chosen to actively ally with them for the purposes of the next budget. We already knew what the Blurple Coalition was made of so this doesn’t tell us as much about them as it does the Classical Liberals themselves, a party that has shifted so much over the course of this term that one wonders what it is they actually believe in at all.”

Sunrise divides on British Steel open up, as Deputy Prime Minister comes out against government policy.

A recent debate in the Commons saw Lib Dem MPs attack the Government takeover of British Steel.

Cabinet divides on the policy set out by now former Chancellor of the Exchequer CDocwra have hit new heights today, with Deputy Prime Minister and Classical Liberal Leader Tommy1Boys coming out against the policy, and hinting at a possible Clib exit from government. 

In a brief chat with a Telegraph journalist, Tommy1Boys said the former Chancellor become unaligned with Classical Liberal policy, and that the proposed “nationalisation” did not command the support of a majority of the party. The DPM said he did not believe it was the right policy, and that while he was open to looking at other options on the table to save jobs, he did not believe putting a “plaster” on the issue was in the national interest. He informed us that he has spoken with the Treasury to facilitate talks with private buyers, and would speak to the Work and Welfare Secretary to ensure communities were ready should job losses become “unavoidable”. 

These comments mark a significant split in the government on this issue, especially with the DPM describing the takeover as a nationalisation, which Labour have been quick to deny. In a separate answer, Tommy appeared to suggest a possible Classical Liberal exit from coalition, saying that the “time had come” for the party to examine its “conscience”. He stated that the national interest must come ahead of his personal and his party’s interests.

These comments present the most definitive and clear-cut case of a public divide in Sunrise, and comes after a tough week in the Commons, where the Government Steel policy was nailed by Liberal Democrat backbenchers. It is unclear what way Sunrise intends to go forward, however it is clear this is a make or break moment for the coalition. 

The Weekend Politics Interview: Model-Mili on their election, leadership and the future of the Conservatives.

The Telegraph is proud to launch the Weekend Politics Interview, the first in a series of weekly interviews with important political figures

This week saw the historic election of Model-Mili to the post of Conservative Party Leader, becoming the first Tory Leader to be elected and not immediately become Prime Minister since InfernoPlato. The new leader sat down with the Telegraph to discuss the direction of the party.

The election was incredibly close, decided by just one vote. Mili disagreed with the assertion that their leadership would be constrained by the seemingly lacking mandate, and said his campaign was focused on internal party operations and its administration.

The topic of Gregfest has been a political hot topic for the past several months, and one which has caused some headaches for the Conservatives. The former Prime Minister eelsemaj admitted that he felt some aspects of it were too radical, and suggested he had given too much to his coalition partners. Mili however struck a more aggressive tone, stating he “did not regret Gregfest or its contents”, and that if he had been PM at the time he would still have proposed it. He also laid out his parties opposition to the recent Representation of the People (Prisoners) bill proposed by the Government, stating his party had “no intention of allowing human traffickers to vote”

Conservative polling has been a tough sight for the party, falling from the 34% to under 27% in the space of a few weeks. Mili acknowledged the drop, however he said his party had been “focused on devo elections” for the past weeks, and that their conclusion would allow the part to get its message out and stop a “disastrous government agenda”. He cited his party’s opposition to “government plans to steal your ability to choose what school your child goes to” and the governments defeat on the “abysmal Trade Union Choice” bill.

On the issue of future coalitions, the new leader was evasive, saying that his personal preference in the event of a government collapse would be to “seek to work with parties that have shared goals and express an interest in working with us to provide stable government and a legislative agenda in the interests of the country”. He left open the idea of the so called Exec Coalition between the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Classical Liberals, however said it was “substantially less likely now than at the beginning of the term”.

Finally, we asked Mili to speak about his predecessor and former Prime Minister Eelsemaj, who Mili had a close professional and personal relationship with. Mili paid tribute to the former PM, saying “Eels was a great Prime Minister, a great Leader and a great friend. He poured his heart and soul into doing what was right for the country during his premiership, and I’m saddened by his departure from Conservative Leadership. I hope he remains active in british politics, and I can’t thank him enough for the work he has done for both the party and the country.”

Next week on the Weekend Politics Interview, we speak to Justice Secretary Vitiating about the Prisoners Vote Bill, the abolition of the Queens Counsel and the inner workings of Sunrise