A Labour Party investigation has confirmed claims that MP Angela Eagle was the target of homophobic abuse after challenging Jeremy Corbyn in the party’s leadership contest.
The party investigated allegations of abuse and intimidation at the Wallasey Constituency Labour Party (CLP), and a newly leaked report calls for the party to remain suspended until next year over the abuse.
The Liverpool Echo published excerpts from the investigation’s report, which was launched after the Wallasey MP was referred to as ‘Angie the Dyke’ at a constituency meeting.
“The investigation has found that some members have truthfully claimed that homophobic instances occurred during the AGM. Others truthfully said that they were not aware of those instances.
“It is possible for the events to have occurred without the knowledge of all members. The allegations are not that the CLP is institutionally homophobic or that members were aware of homophobia but took no action, but are specific to individuals.”
Among other abuse outside the party meeting, a man was arrested in Scotland after making death threats against Eagle, and a brick was thrown through the window of her constituency office. The report concludes that this was also likely linked to the leadership contest.
“It’s highly likely that the brick thrown through the window of Angela Eagle’s office was related to her leadership challenge. The position of the window made it very unlikely that this was a random passer-by.”
The report added that claims it could have been targeting another company or that Eagle was “lying” about being targeted are “categorically untrue.”
“The office of Angela Eagle has endured a significant amount of abuse, including abusive and intimidating phone calls.
“The investigation has received many hundreds of abusive, homophobic, and frightening messages that have been sent by Labour members to Angela Eagle.”
Eagle has praised the outcome of the investigation and report in a statement.
“It is now clear and accepted by the NEC that homophobic abuse was perpetrated by some members of the local Party; I will simply not tolerate it, and I know I have the backing of both Jeremy and union leaders when I say that there is no place for it in the Labour movement either.
“As regards the vandalism of my office, I am grateful to both the internal investigators and the NEC for making clear both the facts of the matter and for the support of members up and down the country, including the Leader of the Labour Party, that such abuse both happened and is intolerable.”
Shortly after ending her leadership bid Eagle accused Jeremy Corbyn of failing to challenge the homophobic abuse against her, but in an interview with PinkNews the Labour Party leader condemned the slurs.
He said: “Angela has suffered homophobic abuse which is absolutely and totally wrong and I support her in standing up against that.
“If anyone who claims to be a supporter of mine is making homophobic remarks or homophobic abuse then they are wrong.”
Corbyn attended the NEC sub-committee meeting where the new report was discussed, and Eagle thanked him for doing so.
“I am grateful that Jeremy took the unusual step of both attending and speaking in the meeting and that he expressed sincere sympathy for both me and for my staff.”