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Councillor calls for 'full investigation' into allegations of bullying in Sandwell

By Jamie Brassington | Sandwell | Politics | Published:

A ward councillor has called on the Labour Party to carry out a "full investigation" into allegations of bullying in Sandwell.

Sandwell Council House

Wednesbury North councillor Luke Giles claims he was threatened with suspension ahead of a leadership vote.

He says Sandwell Council's current leader, Councillor Maria Crompton, "put pressure" on him vote for Councillor Yvonne Davies - the local authority's previous leader who was suspended by Labour in July over a series of tweets - back in March 2019.

But despite making a complaint to Labour last year, Councillor Giles says he is yet to receive an official response from the party.

He has now made a fresh complaint to Labour officials, claiming he is "deeply concerned with the conduct of councillors and Labour Party members" in Sandwell.

In the complaint, he said: "This person [Councillor Crompton] played a big part in putting pressure on myself, and I imagine others, and stating that she was under instruction from Jennie [Formby] - the [party's] general secretary at the time - to get councillors to support her chosen candidate for leader of the council, which was Yvonne Davies.

"Otherwise she would 'suspend, suspend, suspend' if she didn’t get what she wanted.

"I am calling upon the party to carry out a full investigation into Sandwell Labour Group as a matter of urgency."

Justice

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Labour announced in September an investigation had begun.

Labour now has a new general secretary, David Evans, who took over from Jennie Formby in May.

At the time, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the matter would be brought before the National Executive Committee.

Regarding Councillor Giles' latest complaint, Warley MP John Spellar said: "There seems to be a lot of complaints that were made to the previous management in the Labour Party which didn't seem to get properly dealt with.

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"The new general secretary [David Evans] needs to get a move on, clearing things up one way or the other. Justice delayed is justice denied."

In response to the complaint, Councillor Crompton said: "I'm not aware of any complaint made against me about bullying or otherwise.

"I'm not going to make a comment other than this is a Labour Party internal matter."

The Labour Party was approached for comment.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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