The full scale of the racist, anti-semitic, sexist and threatening online abuse of those barred from Labour’s leadership election has been revealed by the party’s general secretary.
Iain McNicol has written to members of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC) to rebut claims from Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and others that people are being unfairly denied votes in the contest.
In a note obtained by HuffPost UK, the general secretary lists the shocking nature of the abuse that has been picked up by party staff, with applicants barred for making threatening posts on social media and for using words such as ‘Zio’, ‘Paki’, ‘nigger’, ‘c*nt’.
Among the messages highlighted by McNicol are:
“We voted Corbyn in for a reason, and that reason was to keep traitorous Blairite/Liberal scum like you out Benn.
“LilianGreenwood [former Shadow Transport Secretary] what is the collective term for traitor MPs? A Judas? A Brutus or A Quisling? We the members are behind Corbyn ‘”
“I’m an entryist and I’m loving it”.
“Momentum Scum should be expelled”
“I would cut Tony Blair’s eyes out and set him on fire the murdering cunt. 1 million deaths on his hands. Fuck him.”
Those who actively support other parties such as UKIP, the Tories, SNP, the Trade Unionist Socialist Coalition (TUSC) and the Greens, and who have appeared to threaten ‘treacherous’ Labour MPs, have also been deemed ineligible to vote in the Labour leadership election.
HuffPost UK has also been passed a further dossier of other abusive messages that have led to exclusions from the ballot. which pits Corbyn against challenger Owen Smith.
And we have also obtained a list of ‘flagged phrases’ that merit investigation by the party - including ‘Blairite traitor’, ‘Corbynite chav’ and ‘Trot vermin’.
The offending Facebook and Twitter posts include references such as:
‘the world we live in once we’ve despatched the zio creeps’
‘if every woman in the world was like Angela Eagle, the human race would die out’
‘Labour will always cover up for Paki Muslim rapist scum’.
“Labour the pedo party who will found ISLAMIC public schools
“it’s the Israeli Mossad organised collection orchestrating the attack up the members’ choice, Jeremy Corbyn”.
HuffPost UK has been told that others excluded from the ballot include those with suspected terrorist convictions, and one applicant who was found to have desecrated a war memorial.
McNicol and party staff have been accused of a “purge” or “witchunt” against leftwingers, and Corbyn has written to the general secretary to raise concerns “about whether members are being treated in a consistent and proportionate manner”.
Some have even cited the case of Catherine Starr, who claimed that she had been barred for posting on Facebook “I fucking love the Foo Fighters”.
But party sources said that Starr had been suspended from the ballot for a much more serious and abusive post.
McNicol’s covering letter to the NEC makes plain his determination to highlight the serious nature of the abuse seen to date.
The party’s Compliance Unit has sent a dossier of abusive messages to Corbyn to prove that it has acted reasonably, but has not yet had a reply from the party leader.
Party HQ staff and NEC members involved in the vetting process are furious at accusations of bias towards either Smith or Corbyn and insist they act only in accordance with party policy.
Corbyn and Smith have both made clear they will not tolerate online abuse, but the toxic nature of the Labour race has shocked many MPs, members and others over recent weeks.
One party source told HuffPost UK that the hard work of the teams who are rooting out abuse on a daily basis was being undermined by suggestions that exclusions were frivolous.
HuffPost UK has also been passed the party’s validation guidelines for the exclusion process, which make clear that retweets and social media comments need to be “considered on a case-by-case basis”. There is no blanket or automatic ban on many words but they do raise ‘red flags’.
A list of ‘flagged phrases’ – which prompt not automatic bans but further investigation by special NEC panels – include “Blairite Scum”, “Trot bastard”, “Corbynite vermin”, “red Tory”, “cancer, Thangam”, “nignog”, “spaz” and “faggot”.
Guidance from the party for the NEC investigors stresses that the word ‘Blairite’ on its own – or ‘trot’ on its own - have not been deemed abusive or ‘proscribed’. But when ‘Blarite’ or ‘Corbynite’ are accompanied by other swear words, further investigations for context will follow.
The full list of ‘flagged phrases’ - a spreadsheet of which has also seen by HuffPost UK - includes “bitterite”, “backstabbing”, “war criminal”, “plastic Tory”.
The words “Leanne Wood” [the Plaid Cymru leader], “Natalie Bennett” [the Green party leader] and “#Portland communications, twat” also merit further attention.
In his note to the NEC, McNicol makes clear that party guidelines state that: “No abuse of any kind by members or supporters shall be tolerated.
“Behaviour including, but not limited to, racist, abusive or foul language, abuse against women, homophobia or anti-Semitism at meetings, on social media or in any other context will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party”
The result of the leadership election will be announced on September 24.
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