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SMACK in the middle of “Purdah” and the General Election campaign, on Tuesday evening Haringey Council held an Extraordinary Full Council meeting that lasted less than 15 minutes (link to link on Youtube; link to council video).
One recalls that, up until 7 November, Haringey Council Cabinet Member Gideon Bull had been a participant in the General Election. After being selected by the Clacton Labour Party—and then approved by Labour's NEC—Cllr Bull stood for Parliament in the Constituency of Clacton … before withdrawing due to his earlier anti-Semitic remarks, a Complaint about which apparently remains outstanding.
It is against that background, that the Haringey Council Leader and high national Momentum official—Joseph Ejiofor—used a Full Council Meeting, in effect, to endorse Cllr Bull and to display an undeserved vote of confidence in his über-loyal crony.
When it came to the vote, several Labour Councillors abstained. Also, I understand that Zena Brabazon—the Jewish Councillor against whom the abuse had been hurled—walked out of the Chamber. The Opposition Liberal Democrats voted against the “reward” and published a tweet and a statement on the matter.
In the current circumstances—and depending on one's point of view—the appointment may be seen as a reward for (ultra-) loyalty: or as a reward for bad behaviour.
The actions of the ‘rookie’ Leader are further evidence of his chronically poor judgement:
Having allowed an anti-Semitic outburst to spiral out of control—and with the Complaint about it still unresolved—Ejiofor has underscored his ineptness. His decision on Bull's appointment is a slap in the face for the feelings of Cllr Brabazon—his Deputy—and demonstrates a calculated indifference to her Complaint. Four years ago, the Labour Party was not associated with anti-Semitism, but Cllr Ejiofor's recent actions also display contempt for any concern about the appearance of anti-Semitism.
It amounts to a provocation.
AS may be seen from the video, Cllr. Brabazon walked out part-way through the vote.
Five brave Labour Councillors abstained from the Motion to appoint Cllr Bull to Newable.
This may be seen as a modest measure, but in terms of local Ejiofor-Momentum Labour loyalty, this would be viewed as little short of High Treason during a General Election Campaign.
Local Labour is not completely without scruples.
At least five Labour Councillors stood tall:
If this list is incorrect or incomplete, I would be happy to update it.
NB, several Labour Members sent apologies and it cannot be known how they would have voted.