Labour politician reprimanded for breaching party guidelines

PUBLISHED: 11:10 05 May 2020 | UPDATED: 14:20 11 May 2020

Cllr Ian Henderson collecting food for the local food bank outside his local Tesco. Photograph: Twitter.

Cllr Ian Henderson collecting food for the local food bank outside his local Tesco. Photograph: Twitter.

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A Labour politician has been reprimanded by his own party for breaching party guidelines around publicity and media activity.

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Cllr Ian Henderson (left) during the food bank run and Tory Kensington and Chelsea council leader Elizabeth Campbell (right). Photograph: Twitter.Cllr Ian Henderson (left) during the food bank run and Tory Kensington and Chelsea council leader Elizabeth Campbell (right). Photograph: Twitter.

Councillor Ian Henderson was seen delivering food parcel donations totaling more than £10,000 with Tory council leader Elizabeth Campbell in a video posted on her Twitter page.

The footage prompted Labour’s group chief whip Sina Lari to threaten Cllr Henderson with the removal of the whip for “appearing in Tory propaganda”.

In a letter addressed to him, and shared by LBC Radio, Lari wrote: “Pandemic or no pandemic, you should seek formal advice and approval before appearing in media and publicity done by the Conservatives.”

When Cllr Henderson refused to dissociate himself from the video, chief whip Lari threatened to remove the whip.

He warned: “If requests from the whip are not complied with, further action can potentially be taken including removal from council positions within the province of the group and withdrawal of the whip, following a vote of the Labour Group.”

Lari also requested Cllr Henderson apologise to council Labour leader Pat Mason for his actions.

Mason told LBC: “We received a complaint from a local resident, which we are obliged to investigate, in relation to a councillor taking part in unauthorised media activity.

“This is not linked to cross-party working with the council’s other groups and stakeholders or delivering food to food banks, something we are all doing at this time.

“The case is currently with the national Labour party and we are not able to comment further.”

One Labour source called it “completely bonkers”.

The revelation follows the party’s national leader, Sir Keir Starmer, urging MPs to work with the Tories on government-led coronavirus initiatives where possible.

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