So Iain McNicol, general secretary of the Labour Party has resigned because he wants to pursue “new challenges”
News of his resignation reached me shortly after 7pm on Friday 23 February via twitter, followed by emails and texts from various people who knew I’d be interested in the news of his departure.
I celebrated the news with a cheeky glass of vino.
I will not miss Mr McNicol, not at all.
He presided over the purge of 1000s of decent members who supported Jeremy Corbyn. He paid no heed to the effect this had on those decent members who were left in limbo for months and months awaiting investigation hearings and then further months and months waiting to hear the outcome of those hearings.
They were “administratively” suspended during this time. This meant they could not vote in the second leadership election for the candidate of their choice or attend Labour Party meetings.
During this period of suspension the members subscription fees continued to be deducted.
I suspect the “new challenges” Mr McNicol refers to will include assisting Progress or Labour First (right wing groups within the party) using his insider knowledge.
Why did he resign?
Well this is all speculation of course but you will recall that Jeremy Newmark who was CEO of the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC ) an umbrella organisation for Jewish charities became chair of the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM )
The JLM is affiliated to the Labour Party, this means that Mr McNicol is responsible for over seeing the JLM. The buck effectively stops with him.
Jeremy Newmark is alleged to have committed financial impropriety whilst at JLC. That allegation is currently the subject of an enquiry by the charity commission.
The charity commission are obliged to inform the relevant agencies, such as the police of any of their findings.
Following the opening of the enquiry into JLC, by the charity commission, Mr Newmark stepped down as chair of JLM.
A few days after that, JLM were referred to the police. No details were given but it appears there may have been some financial impropriety within JLM.
A few days after this, Mr McNicol resigns from his post as general secretary. A post that has oversight responsibilities in relation to affiliated organisations.
There could of course be no connection at all in these incidents. It could just be coincidence.
We shall wait and see …