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Tom Watson on Falkirk, and a lesson for Ed

tom watsonYesterday’s Sun (£) carried online a recording of Watson talking on stage with comedian Matt Forde about his friend and staff member, Karie Murphy, and Ed Miliband’s judgement on Falkirk. So you don’t have to shell out money to the Murdoch empire, nor waste time visiting the scurrilous website of Mr Guido Fawkes which features what he said, we repeat it here for the benefit of our readers:

Bizarrely to me, he decided to report my office manager to the police for potential fraud. And I thought, ‘are you f…’ I nearly swore there, ‘are you joking?’ She’s running for selection, she’s not robbing a bank. I felt I had a duty of care so I spent a couple of weeks really drilling down into the detail, and when I did I realised the allegations against my staff member and another member of the party were total bullshit. Her reputation had been totally destroyed.

An injustice was done to those people. It’s amazing how my own leader can be so wrong. But he was. It’s hard for me to say this, but Ed just got it wrong on Falkirk. He was given information, or a report, that was inaccurate and omitted some key facts, and took judgements that really harmed the individuals involved in a grotesque way. I suspect privately he is a little bit embarrassed about it.”

All this leads Dan Hodges this morning to conclude that you can’t trust Ed Miliband. His starting point in reaching that conclusion is the “revelation” from the Guardian of yet more “skullduggery in that blighted constituency“, namely that “Gregor Poynton told the Guardian that he paid for [11] new recruits with a single cheque of £137 in July last year”.  Actually, there’s nothing new about the allegation – Michael Crick reported it on 3 July – though Pynton’s admission is new. It has been widely commented on by many who despaired at Ed’s original denunciation of Unite, Stevie Deans, Karie Murphy et al, though not by Ed Miliband, nor by his advisors and spokespersons.

Dan Hodges still believes there was a Unite “stitch-up” of course which, like Tom Watson, we don’t. We stand by our belief based on everything that we have read and been told that no rules were broken by Unite, Karie Murphy or Stevie Deans. That is less clear about Gregor Pynton, who paid membership fees with his own cheque in July 2012 and admits some was not repaid until sometime this year.

Dan Hodges does at least recognise now that the truth is “more complicated” than he first thought. And he is certainly right that many Labour insiders, left and right, do say “you can’t trust Ed” and that his office is “a nest of vipers” or something similar. And Ed does need to put that right.


  1. terry sullivan says:

    watson is vile–get him out of westminster

  2. Rod says:

    One could conclude that Ed himself was stitched up by those supporting Poynton. But if this is so then someone so easily stitched-up shouldn’t be in position where, in less than two years from now, they could be Prime Minister.

    If, on the other hand, Ed is responsible for what seem to be devious shenanigans leading to the disgraceful treatment of LP members then he should be out on his ear forthwith.

    Ed has the whiff of Blair about him. One Blair is more than enough.

  3. John Reid says:

    Ed has a whiff of Blair abut,him?

    Blair would never let something potentially illegal,or media poison get out of hand, and appear to be told what to do by undemocratic socialists,

    Frankly the whole machine is damaged,and broke

  4. Rod says:


    Blair was not one to be easily duped but he does score very high on devious behaviour and disgraceful treatment of others.

  5. Axel Landin says:

    @John Reid

    ‘Blair would never let something potentially illegal get out of hand…’

    Err….the Iraq war?

  6. swatantra says:

    Blair has form on dodgy dossiers and accuracy and doing the right thing.
    If you explained to the Public that there was a perfectly logical reason why UNITE behaved as they did in Falkirk, and that the Rule Book was not breached, I’ve got a feeling the Public would still be aghast at the goings on. Maybe thats why EdM won’t publish.

  7. John Reid says:

    But has Iraq ever been proved to be out of hand regarding prosecutions?

  8. James Martin says:

    “But has Iraq ever been proved to be out of hand regarding prosecutions?” Well I’m sure that must be so comforting to the relatives of more than 100,000 innocent civilians who died as a result of Blair’s bloodlust and lies, don’t you think?

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