-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Message from the NEC Chair and General Secretary
*To: National Executive Committee
Cath Speight and I thought it important to keep you fully informed of
the response we have given to the press today regarding Derek Draper and
Labourlist. Please find the information below.
In addition, Cath has asked that we re-iterate for colleagues that if
contacted by the media please refer them to the Labour Party Press
Office on 020 7783 1393.
Ray Collins, General Secretary of the Labour Party,
"As you will recall from November's NEC Away Day, last year Derek Draper
volunteered one day a week of his time to Labour HQ on an unpaid basis.
He subsequently left Victoria Street to set up the Labourlist blog.
Since then he has offered advice and opinion on an adhoc basis which
ended in March of this year and will not be sought in the future.
"I receive advice and opinion from many Labour Party supporters in my
work as General Secretary but I decide what advice I take or seek and
act in a manner appropriate with my values and those of the Party which
certainly does not include smears or personal attacks. I want to
reiterate that Derek Draper does not hold a position or role with the
Labour Party and this will remain the case.
"To make clear Labourlist is an independent left-of-centre website and
blog. The Labour Party did not fund its activities. What the Party has
supported is an effort to promote left-of-centre bloggers more generally
by bringing interested supporters together at a series of events.
"I absolutely support the Prime Minister's view that scurrilous rumour,
gossip and personal attacks have no place in politics and no place in
the Labour Party."
The mendacity is truly remarkable. Nothing to with us, guv, he seems to be saying. And yet Draper's bloggers breakfasts were held at Labour Party HQ and he was personally asked by Collins to take on the task of setting up LabourList. He says Draper's role ended in March. Really?
Perhaps UNITE may now follow suit and end its funding for LabourList. I've already been sent a couple of emails sent to Derek Simpson urging him to do just that.