Harringay online

Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

After it was discovered at the St Ann's Labour Party selection candidate selection meeting that there were people present and voting who should not have been, I came home from the pub (where I'd heard about it) and wrote this article. It has subsequently been edited by site admins to remove the names of people who were embarrassed or in the final case where a journalist said it was potentially libellous. Well here I will attempt to summarise what we have subsequently found out and hopefully take people's attention away from my original appalling rant.

Back in May (The Ward AGM):

  • The St Ann's Ward AGM was convened on Thursday the 23rd of May instead of the usual first Wednesday of June by the then Ward Secretary, Barbara Blake.
  • Protests were made by members about this but they were rebuffed by the Ward Chairman.
  • At this meeting The current Ward Secretary resigned and there was bloc voting to decide the new Ward Secretary.
  • A person in the bloc opposing John Blake turned up late and was prevented from voting despite there being nothing about this in the Labour Party rules.
  • John Blake was elected Ward Secretary by one vote.

The Selection Meeting:

  • The meeting was run by The Secretary of the St Ann's Labour Party , and Steve Hart from Hornsey & Wood Green.
  • A candidate who arrived early noticed the five members arrive with Ali Gul Ozbek, sensed that something was up and mentioned it to Barbara Blake. When the other candidate seemed unhelpful they mentioned it to Steve Hart. Then the candidate went looking for the five people but was barred from entering the room (3o minutes before the selection) by the Ward Secretary.
  • By the time one member I have spoken to arrived, the five members were seated at the back of the room. Four men and one woman (who works in Ali Ozbek's Pharmacy).
  • A blonde woman turned up before anyone had started speaking but was barred from entering the room by the Ward Secretary, despite remonstrating with him.
  • Barbara Blake won in the first round (to select a female candidate) against Zena Brabazon and Emine Ibrahim by two votes. It was 11/1/14. Everybody voted.
  • It is alleged that one candidate knew the questions in advance and had prepared answers.
  • At the appropriate point in the meeting the secretary asked if everyone was OK with the others in the room and everybody laughed.
  • There were various factions voting together in the room; the five new members, Charles Adje's family, Zena and David's people and the Ward Secretary's people.
  • In the final round Ali Ozbek and Peter Morton were selected, beating Zena by one vote.
  • Ali is a local chemist and businessman on Green Lanes who seemed very passionate about what should be done with St Ann's and spoke eloquently about the need to reduce business rates. He is also a property developer.
  • At the time Peter worked as head of press for the Labour Party.
  • Barbara is a trade union official and ex Ward Secretary.

After the Selection Meeting

  • A fellow councillor calls David to commiserate with him.
  • David Browne and Zena Brabazon did some investigation using the St Ann's Labour Party membership list and the electoral roll.
  • They discovered that nineteen new members signed up that year did not actually live in St Ann's and that they had either given Green Lanes business addresses when they signed up or claimed addresses in the ward.
  • Not one of these new members, many of whom were recruited on the 8th of July gave an address in the ward at which they are eligible to vote, which is required by party rules.
  • Five of these members were "eligible" to vote because they signed up before the cut off date of the 30th of April, however they should have been barred from voting because they do not actually live in the ward.
  • Zena and David wrote to their local Labour Party officials who sent their evidence on to the London Labour Party.
  • Nobody can tell me for sure where Ali Ozbek lives but he claims an address in Finsbury Park Avenue.
  • Ali Ozbek has donated money to the Labour Party.
  • According to a twitter exchange with a Labour councillor in another ward, the membership list should have been gone through before the meeting by the person running it to make sure this kind of thing did not happen, it was certainly done in their ward.
  • When one of the five members who voted was called at his home his partner informed the caller that he had been in Turkey for a while and was not due back yet.
  • In Harringay several new Labour Party members were registered using Green Lanes business addresses but not before the cut off date.
  • Barbara Blake has told local traders that it is OK to register as a member in the Labour Party from a business address (it is definitely not) and the Tottenham Membership Secretary has expressed a similar view in a meeting, only to be corrected.

The "Corruption in Haringey Labour" article.

  • After I wrote the original article, in which I also made some allegations against Claire Kober, the only phone call to site admins was to remove the Secretary of the St Ann's Labour party's name from the discussion.
  • There was a lot of comment on the original thread and as of Saturday the 12th of October it appears to have been viewed more than 7000 times, although I dispute that as a useful metric (I think the actual figure is much lower).
  • After some badgering it was picked up by an overworked Stephen Moore at the Tottenham Journal, here.

Trying to get a re-run

  • I have pushed the councillor who commiserated David on his loss on Twitter to join calls asking for a re-run of the election but they have resolutely refused, to the point where it's all a bit weird and "la la la, I can't hear you".
  • As it stands the London Labour Party have agreed that the five people were not eligible to vote but they say that this was not picked up before or during the meeting so the result stands. Their investigation consisted of speaking to the Ward Secretary and Steve Hart. Steve Hart lied because someone did speak to him before the meeting.
  • The London Labour Party have the attendance list and will not release it, presumably because it shows that people were not identified correctly and that at least two of the five were imposters.
  • Appeals to the NEC have all been rebuffed, even with the full acknowledgement of what went on.

The Labour doorstep in Harringay

  • The St Ann's Labour Party have a great deal of trouble getting members to help them out with canvassing. A photograph has been tweeted showing more than 20 people out in Harringay Ward above the same session in St Ann's, with just two.
  • When David Lammy, after a lot of badgering apparently, stepped out in St Ann's for the Labour doorstep he was met by a picket of local men calling on him not to support the St Ann's fraudsters. As I understand it he will not be going out with them again.

The Police are involved

  • On Monday the 10th of February Haringey MPS made a visit to me on behalf of the secretary of the St Ann's Labour Party and his partner.
  • It was alleged that I had called him filth on Twitter (which I have not, that was someone else) and that I said "I know I'm hassling you but...". I was served with a Notice of Harassment Letter which will now appear in extended CRB checks.

*An individual has asked that their name be replaced with their function in this post on the grounds that they are not seeking public office. This has been done.

Tags for Forum Posts: election2014, labour, st ann's labour, stanns

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An email sent out this evening in St Ann's ward, not to the existing councillors.

From: John Blake Secretary, St Ann's Labour

Cc: John Taylor; Peter Morton; Barbara Blake; Ali Ozbek

Subject: Update on St Ann's selection for local elections 2014

To all members of St Ann's Labour:

As members will be aware, St Ann's BLP met to select our candidates for the 2014 local elections on 15 September; subsequently, the Chair of the CLP wrote to branch members to inform them that complaints had been received about the meeting and that the London Regional Labour Party had agreed to launch an investigation.

I'm very pleased to say that Procedures Secretary of the Local Campaign Forum (the body charged with overseeing our selection processes here in Haringey) has today circulated the following message:

An objection was received concerning the St Ann's selection.  This was investigated by London Region who have concluded that the selection was conducted fairly, there was no wrongdoing and the objection was not upheld.

This is excellent news for the branch and means we can now properly move forward with campaigning to keep St Ann's Labour in 2014. Our candidates for 2014 will be: Barbara Blake, Peter Morton and Ali Ozbek 

I am currently finalising plans for our next ward meeting, which will be a chance to meet the candidates and discuss campaigning strategy for the upcoming elections. I'll send out a formal notice as soon as I can. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the ward or would like to be more involved, please drop me a line on this email 

Best wishes,

 

John Blake

Secretary, St Ann's Branch Labour Party

Several comments directed at one individual have been removed by site admin since they contravene our house rules.

John Blake is obviously very selective about which St Ann's Labour Party members get included on email messages, as I didn't receive it. My email has not changed in more than 15 years, and the Labour Party has it. I've been a member in this constituency, at the same address in St Ann's ward, and on the electoral register since late 1989. I was at the meeting. Obviously I'm not the kind of member Mr Blake wants, or perhaps I just voted for the "wrong" people.

I note the triumphalist contents: "very pleased" ... "excellent news" – in the circumstances, perhaps not the consensual tone one might have expected. The announcement of a (crushing) victory rather than the conclusion of an 'investigation'.

John can you not publish the emails?

The emails are not to me. They are to "site admin". The tweets last weekend between myself and Joe Goldberg were public. The Twitter DM conversation I had yesterday was not, so I'm not publishing that.

Tunbridge, it isn't appropriate for us to publish emails sent to us, as I'm sure you'll understand. Since John is not part of the HoL site admin team, he does not have access to the mails sent to admin only. 

It seems to me that if  "One candidate questioned the legitimacy of the five and told several party members that the room 'had been packed'.", then those running the meeting should have checked - looks like that wasn't done.

I hope Zena and David do appeal to the NEC, as this whole business stinks.

Interestingly, I was speaking to another councillor the other night (not involved in this matter) who commented that one reason they (Labour) might not want to re-run the process was because a national Labour Party officer was one of the candidates involved and that it would be embarassing.  I would have thought that the officer wouldn't want anything like this lurking in the depths of Google and that it was in their interests to re-run the selection to avoid being embarrassed at a later date.

Keep at it John!

Good on you John for keeping this going.

Dear Site Admin's, how about adding this to the "Latest Posts" section at the top of the home page to help give it the exposure it deserves?

Hugh/Liz,

Yes, could we please get this on the 'Latest Posts' please.  At least one of the items there has happened now.

Ta.

The views metric accurately reflects the number of page views, but not the number of people who have viewed a post.

Something else that bothers me... How did the 14 people who did not register before the cut off date know not to turn up?

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