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Party pariahs’ hotline to the top
Labour suspensions, Issue 1472
jezza.jpg FACEBOOK has a secret and carefully vetted political group called Labour Party Compliance: Suspensions, Expulsions, Rejections Co-op. As the ungainly title suggests, it is an online hangout where Corbyn supporters facing disciplinary action for abuse, anti-Semitism and other loveable quirks can nurse their grievances in private. Or so they think.

Screenshots of the site obtained by the Eye show that the outcasts are not so far out in the cold they don’t have access to the highest levels of Corbyn’s Labour.

Take 17-year-old Zac Arnold, who has been suspended from the Forest of Dean Labour party. He revealed he had “been given the email of someone called Thomas Gardiner by James Schneider at JC’s office, who said he would be a useful contact over my suspension”. He asked his fellow pariahs “what your thoughts are and if you know him”.

Victims of a conspiracy
They certainly knew Schneider. “I have chatted with James,” said Caroline Tipler, the founder of the “Jeremy Corbyn leads us to Victory” Facebook group. “I def think it would be useful to make contact.” The best way to get back into the party would be to start by “making a tentative enquiry and gauge from the response whether to progress it from there”.

The “someone called Thomas Gardiner” to whom young Zac referred is a Labour councillor from Camden. When Corbyn assumed total control of the Labour machine in March by installing Jennie Formby, Len McCluskey’s former mistress, as Labour’s general secretary, Formby’s first act was to call in Gardiner.

She sent John Stolliday, the head of Labour’s compliance unit, on gardening leave and put Gardiner in charge of overseeing complaints against members. So he is certainly a “useful” man to know for any Corbyn supporter facing troublesome allegations – as indeed is Schneider, who works in the leader’s office alongside fellow Old Wykehamist Seumas Milne as Corbyn’s director of strategic communications.

Suspended members appear to think that, so long as they discuss their prejudices in private, they will be fine. Their Facebook group is splattered with posts painting Labour activists as victims of a Jewish conspiracy. “They will try to silence you,” reads one. “They will try to discredit you. Because you are not allowed to criticise Jewish politics.” But their own group suggests that you are, as long as you aren’t caught and have friends in high enough places.

‘Ratbiter’

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WORLD OF SPORT
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In This Issue
From Vladimir Novichok to Al Qaeder – Six to Watch at the World Cup… Intense Bickering Continues as Leave Island Reality Show Returns… Man Who Edits Mail Hailed as ‘Greatest Editor of his Generation’ by, er, the Mail… RBS Sale ‘Will Benefit All Bankers’ Says Government… No-Deal Doomsday Scenario ‘Great News for Britain’ Insist Pro-Brexit MPs… Jeremy Corbyn Visits Athens and Demands Return of his Marbles… Chris Grayling’s Diary, as told to Craig Brown

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- Waugh story: How the Eye first exposed the Jeremy Thorpe scandal
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Private Eye Issue 1471