Reports suggest the Labour Party is about to be hit by the largest communications leak since the MPs expenses scandal, with more than 100,000 emails and WhatsApp messages showing how it dealt with antisemitism cases.
According to reports in this week’s Private Eye, disgruntled former Party officials took copies of tens of thousands of messages before leaving, and are preparing to share this data dump with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
Many former Labour staffers signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), meaning they cannot legally talk about alleged efforts to cover-up antisemitism in the Party or shield leader Jeremy Corbyn.
However, while the EHRC is still in the first stages of investigating complaints that the Party is institutionally antisemitic, it could yet make its investigation statutory, which would give it the legal power to override the NDAs.
Labour’s critics have long argued that Corbyn’s team intervened in the antisemitism crisis, which has seen several MPs leave the Party and caused hundreds of Jewish supporters to resign their memberships.
An inner Party battle is being waged between Corbyn’s team – which is supported by Unite the Union and grassroots group Momentum – and centrists led by deputy leader Tom Watson, which is supported by most of the Party’s MPs.
Watson has sought to take over the handling of antisemitism cases from the Party’s general secretary Jennie Formby, only to be rebuked internally. Private Eye reports that he was not even shown a copy of Labour’s response to the EHRC.