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Labour party to accuse five ex-staff members of leaking antisemitism report

Labour party

Labour party to accuse five ex-staff members of leaking antisemitism report

Labour party is set to accuse five former party staff, including Seumas Milne and Karie Murphy, of leaking a controversial internal report on antisemitism, prompting them to hire lawyers to defend themselves against the claims.

Labour has lodged papers at the high court seeking to place responsibility for the leak on Milne, Murphy, Georgie Robertson, Laura Murray and Harry Hayball, according to lawyers for the five. Carter-Ruck said they would “vigorously defend themselves” in legal proceedings and seek full reimbursement for their costs.

The report, titled The work of the Labour party’s governance and legal unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014–2019, was leaked in April 2020 with damaging consequences.

The document, which was intended for, but never submitted to, an investigation by the equalities watchdog, alleged that staff had worked to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and sent a number of abusive messages about senior figures. Critics of the report said it was leaked in an attempt to “smear whistleblowers” who had exposed antisemitism.

On becoming Labour leader, Keir Starmer launched an independent inquiry into the report and a second one by Martin Forde QC. Since then, the party has become mired in legal action, with Labour facing a claim against it by some of the staff named in the report.

Emilie Oldknow, one of those taking legal action against the party, unsuccessfully tried to force Labour to disclose the names of those it believed were involved in the leak earlier this year.

It is not clear why Labour is now naming the five in legal documents, and the party on Monday declined to comment on ongoing legal action. Milne, a former Guardian journalist, worked as Jeremy Corbyn’s head of communications, while Murphy was his chief of staff.

Carter-Ruck said in a press release that the party was trying to deflect blame for the leak on to the five former staff in an attempt to avoid legal costs.

“To the extent that the Labour party has explained its proposed action, it is clear that it will be naming the individuals in an attempt to deflect on to them its own liability in claims brought by a group of claimants who are suing the party over the leak as well as the party bringing a related claim direct against the five,” the law firm said.

A spokesperson for the former Labour party employees said: “The individuals entirely reject these baseless claims. They did not leak the report. They fully cooperated with the party’s investigation by an independent external investigator, and with the inquiry led by Martin Forde QC.

“They understand that neither of those investigations concluded that they were responsible. The party has already acknowledged in court that it cannot be certain who leaked the report and that its ‘case’ against them is circumstantial.

“But it is now trying to make them foot the bill for legal action brought against it. The party should be focusing on the deeply troubling evidence contained with the leaked report, rather than trying to wrongly scapegoat and victimise former staff who documented it, and who have not been accused by either of the independent investigations.”

Last month a senior party official revealed that Labour was now spending more than £2m a year on legal fees. Johanna Baxter, a member of the ruling national executive committee from the party’s pro-Starmer wing, said costs used to be 10% of that figure, about £200,000 a year.

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NSCDC To Deploy 30,000 Officers For 2023 Elections

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has disclosed that it will deploy 30,000 operatives to ensure peace during the upcoming general elections in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Commandant- General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Sunday,

He said the operatives would be deployed nationwide to maintain peace.

He said the NSCDC has perfected plans to deploy all resources needed to provide security during the election.

“The corps is poised fairly, and ready to apply all the arsenals needed to provide security and safety for the elections.

“We have an operations department of over 30,000 personnel but then we will also deploy others when the time comes.

“Normally we have the bulk of our people in operations and those who are in operations partake in election processes,” he said.

Audi said that the corps had also perfected plans to begin seminars and workshops in October to discuss the preparedness of the organization towards the general elections.

“We want to tell our people that if you go and involve yourself by becoming partisan you are on your own.

“There are certain things we have introduced in our Standard Operating Procedure — that once you go partisan and you are caught, you will face sanctions and you are on your own.

“So we are ready to partake in the election like I said because we are apolitical and we are going to provide a level-playing field for all citizens to be involved in the elections and exercise their franchise.”

Audi said that the NSCDC partook in election activities because it’s a member of the Inter-agency, Consultative Committee on Election Security.

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NSIA Not Stakeholder In Nigeria Air- F.G

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has declared that the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is not an investor in the Nigeria Air project.

Sirika made the clarification in a statement issued by James Odaudu, his special assistant on public affairs, on Saturday.

The minister had listed NSIA as part of the local investors with stakes in the national carrier.

He said the NSIA is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, adding that the error was made during his media briefing.

“We wish to clarify that the Authority (NSIA) is not part of the private equity ownership of the airline, being a government establishment,” Sirika said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the equity ownership structure of Nigeria Air stands as Ethiopian Airlines 49%, Nigerian private investors (SAHCO, MRS and other institutional investors) 46% and the Federal Government 5%.

“The public, especially the business community and the media, should please note”, the statement added.

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Nigerians Not Ripe Enough To Bear Arms- NSCDC

Nigerians are not ripe to be allowed to bear arms.

This is according to the Commandant General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi who made the observation when he attended the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.

“I strongly disapproved of it. Even now that there is no law in existence, you still have proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the hands of people.

“It has to do with civilisation and education.

“Even in Europe and America where they have that law where virtually everybody once you can drive can have arms, they are trying to control it now because of how some events unfold.

“In the world, especially in Europe and America, somebody will just wake up and just go to a school and open fire on kids. You know that is madness.

“And so for me, I don’t think we are there yet to allow citizens carry arms” , he said.

 

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