Twice-suspended Labour member faces fresh complaints after campaigning for suspended Labour candidate

Posted On 08 May 2019 at 10:21 am

A twice-suspended Labour member is facing fresh complaints after he posted a series of tweets urging people to vote for suspended Labour candidate Alex Braithwaite.

Greg Hadfield was first suspended in 2014 for 11 months over claims he had bullied fellow members, including jumping out at Labour’s south east regional director from behind a bin.

He was suspended again in October 2016 for alleged intimidating behaviour, and only reinstated in February this year.

During this time, he remained a member of Momentum, even serving on its steering committee and helping to draw up its slates when candidates for this year’s elections were selected.

Now, Brighton and Hove News understands the Labour party has received several more complaints – including one from Labour Against Anti-Semitism – after Mr Hadfield posted a series of tweets endorsing Ms Braithwaite after her suspension.

Ms Braithwaite was suspended for a series of allegedly anti-Semitic tweets which included conspiracy theories about Israel and the Rothschilds.

Another Labour member, Amanda Bishop, was suspended last week when she responded to Ms Braithwaite’s suspension by calling for a march on Hove synagogue.

Euan Philipps, spokesman for Labour Against Anti-Semitism, said: “Once again, Greg Hadfield seems to be acting in a way that brings the Labour Party into disrepute.

“His apparent support for the suspended Labour candidate Alexandrina Braithwaite during the recent council elections was deeply inappropriate, especially given that she was allegedly promoting antisemitic content online. As campaigning for non-Labour candidates is banned under Labour Party rules we believe he should face a full internal disciplinary process.

“Mr Hadfield was also reported by LAAS to Labour on numerous occasions for alleged bullying of our activists prior to that.

“Taking all that into account and given that he has seemingly only recently been readmitted following a lengthy suspension, we urge the Labour Party to move quickly towards expelling Mr Hadfield from their organisation.”

Another local party member, who also reported Mr Hadfield but who asked to remain anonymous, said: “Greg Hadfield was suspended by the party twice for his behaviour.

“Since his suspension was lifted, he has openly campaigned for a member suspended for anti-Semitism. He has bullied local members and continues to bring the party into disrepute.”

Fiona Sharpe, speaking on behalf of the Sussex Jewish Representative Council, said: “It appears that Mr Hadfield, who is not Jewish, is trying to tell the Jewish community what is or is not anti-Semistism. Would Mr Hadfield feel so comfortable lecturing Ms Braithwaite, who is BAME, on what racism is – or asking her to justify it?

“Antisemitism is not a political game for the Brighton & Hove Jewish community. We are a community who has lost immediate family members in the Holocaust, been verbally abused for our beliefs, had our synagogue daubed with graffiti and are repeatedly held accountable for the actions of another sovereign nation.

“We know exactly what anti-Semitism is, how it is concealed behind political ideologies and tropes and how it is manipulated by those seeking to deny its impact and existence.

“Our concerns are very real and we know where they come from. We do not need his understanding and clearly, from his statement, he understands nothing about our community.”

Stephane Savary, National Vice Chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “Ms Braithwaite was suspended from the party after series of comments made on her Twitter account and is now under investigation for anti-Semitism. Therefore she wasn’t the Labour candidate.

“If Labour Party members decided to campaign for her, they should be suspended and be investigated for having supported a candidate that wasn’t backed by the Labour Party.

“Anti-Semitism must be dealt with no matter where it comes from.”

Mr Hadfield declined to say whether he actually delivered any of the leaflets he posted several pictures of in the weeks before last Thursdays election.

In some of these, he also endorsed Adam Imanpour, who was standing for Labour in the same ward, Wish, but in most of his election tweets Ms Braithwaite was the only candidate he mentioned.

He also declined to tell Brighton and Hove News whether he had been contacted by Labour HQ regarding the tweets and the apparent campaigning for a suspended member.

He said: “It is against Labour Party rules – for members and for elected representatives – to discuss internal disciplinary procedures.

“I was proud and privileged to support Labour Party candidates across Brighton and Hove, including in Wish.

“Alex Braithwaite is a black, feminist socialist – and one of the kindest, most gentle comrades I have ever met.

“Civilised people regard charges of anti-Semitism as among the vilest anyone can make against anybody else.

“Such charges should should not be used as casual abuse – for self-serving reasons – by often-anonymous, anti-Corbyn supporters of Peter Kyle, the MP for Hove.

“This cause unnecessary but understandable fear and anxiety among some members of our Jewish community.

“I have complete faith in the robust nature of disciplinary procedure of the Labour Party, under its general secretary Jennie Formby.”

Mr Hadfield is a former Daily Mail and Telegraph journalist who bought a stake in the Brighton and Hove Independent after selling an internet company he and his son founded for millions. The Brighton and Hove Independent was sold in 2015 to Johnston Press, and Mr Hadfield departed soon afterwards.

Labour HQ was contacted for comment but had not replied at the time of publication.

  1. Esther Monchek Reply

    By the time of the election date, Alex Braithwaite was not a Labour Party candidate for Wish Ward. She was an Independent. But the election posters and leaflets handed out by Greg Hadfield falsely stated that she was standing for the Labour Party. As a consequence of that and the understandable ignorance of the voters, Braithwaite picked up over 1,000 votes that were not rightfully due to her. She very nearly won a seat on the Council, although luckily not. The whole affair is a disgrace to Local democracy and those that let it happen should be ashamed and should review their procedures and processes. Hadfield tried to hep trick Wish Ward voters and very nearly succeeded.

    • irene Duncan Reply

      Esther you are fantasising. The election flier handed out by Greg Hadfield did not state that Ms Braithwaite was standing for the Labour Party.

  2. roy pennington Reply

    any suspension should be a neutral act, thus in the circumstances of an on-going election no suspension should stop any member promoting a duly-nominated Labour candidate …

  3. Billy Reply

    The impression given to voters in Wish ward was indeed that Ms Braithwaite was one of two labour candidates standing.
    And indeed this very news site recorded on election day her votes as Labour Party votes.
    As it turned out, Wish ward re-elected their existing (and very pro-active) Tory councillors, so that’s water under the bridge now.
    I’m a Labour voter myself but I’d rather see each ward elect a decent local councillor who has the concerns of our city in mind, rather than some fanatic motivated solely by political ideology. I’m pretty sure most of the electorate are more concerned about getting their bins emptied and about other basic services – rather than the arguments and squabbling over power currently raging within each political party.

  4. Esther Monchek Reply

    If you visit the official Brighton and Hove Council website at https://new.brighton-hove.gov.uk/sites/default/files/elections/local-elections-2019/wish-results.pdf
    you can see for yourself that Alex Braithwaite is shown as having stood for the Labour Party in the Wish Ward. I repeat, that is at the OFFICIAL statement of the result.
    She got 1,250 votes because she was claimed to be a Labour Candidate!

  5. bradly Reply

    it is an OFFICIAL statement of the result only because the law cannot change the party name once the election has started … even the Argus got it right … but mischief-making always run-and-runs =

  6. Esther Monchek Reply

    OK then. Look hard at Alex Braithwaite’s electioneering leaflet illustrated in the above article. It uses the same Pantone Red as does the Labour Party and the same Font for the text. It aims to misrepresent the candidate as Labour and so misguide the casual Labour voter: not many of which are political obsessives and know what’s being going on recently in the local Party’s Vape filled backrooms.

    • irene Duncan Reply

      You really are grasping at straws Esther. Do you think the ‘casual voter’ knows or cares which pantone shade or font was used on Ms Braithwaite’s flier? It is actually you who is coming across as obsessive.

  7. Jennie F Reply

    Mr Hadfield needs to spend more time with his bins. And for those questioning the precise wording of the flyers, Hadfield himself states that he is campaigning for Ms Braithwaite to ‘contribute to a socialist Labour Party majority’ in the council.

  8. Gaz Reply

    get labour in
    More benefits for people like me struggling on 2k a month from the tight Tories. Not easy with 5 kids m8

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