Labour Party Stalwart Barry Stockley Placed Under Administratative Suspension

The Labour Party have placed party stalwart and Chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent CLP under administrative suspension.

The move comes after a series of high profile bust ups in the months leading up to the Local & General Elections.

A number of leading Stoke Central Labour Party activists have since walked out of the party.

The trouble began with the controversial selection of candidates for the local elections, There were then a series of bust ups between officers of Stoke Central CLP and the Labour Party Regional Office West Midlands which included declaring an AGM null and void and the selection of Mick Williams as a “Ëœcandidate in principle’ for the Hartshill & Penkull ward.

The selection was later overturned by the ROWM and a candidate was selection from 2 names chosen by them.

The selection of Tristram Hunt as the Labour Party PPC was also shrouded in controversy.

Gary Elsby, the Secretary of the Stoke Central CLP, left the party in protest at the selection of Mr Hunt and stood against him in the General Election.

The Labour Party appeared to be somewhat vindicated by the results of the Party both locally and nationally.

Locally the Labour Party made 12 gains on Stoke-on-Trent City Council, taking 17 out of the 20 available seats.

In the General Election Tristram Hunt defeated the Lib Dems into 2nd place, the Conservatives into 3rd and the BNP into 4th place. Gary Elsby finished in 7th place with 399 votes.

Barry Stockley today confirmed that he had been suspended and that the party were holding an investigation that could result in a disciplinary hearing. He also said that he has the support of new Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt and his predecessor Mark Fisher.

Mr Stockley has also been praised for the amount of work he put into the General Election campaign and several ex and current members have appealed that the Regional Office take this into consideration when imposing any punishment or sanctions upon him.

While the suspension is in force Mr Stockley is prevented from holding any office within the Labour Party which could mean he will be unable to put himself forward for the Chair of the CLP at their upcoming AGM.

A spokesperson for the City of Stoke-on-Trent Labour Party confirmed that Mr Stockley was under administrative suspension and that the AGM would take “Ëœplace as soon as possible’ and that it was important to get all members of Stoke-on-Trent CLP to attend the meeting to have their say on the direction that the CLP takes in the future.

It was also confirmed that several CLP members had expressed an interest in standing for office within the party.

The Labour Party – In The Dock? [UPDATED 26/2]

Amidst all the goings on of the last few days, all the accusations of Institutionalised Bullying, the latest being today – this time the victim Chancellor Alistair Darling

Reports are reaching Pits n Pots HQ that three key Labour members in the Stoke Central CLP are to take legal action against their Party on discriminatory grounds.

We can exclusively reveal that one of the petitioners is Stoke Central CLP Secretary Gary Elsby, the other two are thought to be Mick Williams and ex-council leader Barry Stockley, although this has not been confirmed.

The legal action is to be taken against a very high ranking officer of the National Party on behalf of the Labour Party. Mr Elsby has confirmed that his court papers have been filed and there will be a summons issued in the next week or so.

Mr Elsby is said to be incensed at the accusation that he lacks political judgement and that he has no aims and values and he his committed to proving his worth.

We can also reveal that last Friday’s Stoke Central CLP AGM has been declared null and void by the paid enforcers of the National Executive.

At that AGM a new Treasurer was voted in as the previous incumbent had stepped down.

It is alleged that the former Treasurer is refusing to hand over the accounts and claims that it is under the instruction of a paid Regional Officer.

It is thought that Mark Fisher MP is furious at being denied access to the funds he needs for his election campaign.

You can not help but think that this storm is gathering in force and one wonders if it is just a matter of time before a number of those that are deemed as hostile are suspended from the party they have served for a vast number of years.

When I wrote my previous blog posing the question of if there is Institutionalised Bullying within the Labour Party I had no idea that the Alistair Darling story was about to break.

Mr Darling claims the ‘forces of hell’ were unleashed against him following his forecast in 2008 that the country was heading for the deepest recession for over 60 years. When he was asked if these forces were from within No 10 he replied ‘as well as the Tories’.

With the reports of bullying locally and nationally, are we wrong to question whether there is a culture of bullying within the labour party ranks?

I talked to former Labour Group Leaders Mick Salih & Mike Barnes and asked them if they thought there was a culture of bullying in the party locally, regionally and nationally.

Listen to the Audio Interviews Below…