Labour selected Peterborough election candidate ‘despite knowing he was accused of Holocaust denial’, internal report claims

Labour selected a candidate for local elections in Peterborough despite knowing he had been accused of denying the Holocaust, a new internal report has alleged.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 11:34 am
Alan Bull

Alan Bull was selected to stand for the party in the 2018 city council elections after being endorsed by local members even though they had been made aware that he had shared material on Facebook which described the Holocaust as a “hoax”, the report alleges.

He was later kept on as a candidate for the Stanground South ward despite further accusations that he allegedly defended Adolf Hitler and protested outside a Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

Mr Bull, who was expelled by the party in December 2019 - nearly 30 months after the first complaint had been made against him - has always denied being antisemitic.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

He has previously told the Peterborough Telegraph that he is a “lifelong anti-racist” and only shared the Holocaust hoax post with his friends, without comment, to find out their views on the article.

The allegations have been documented in a leaked internal report looking into how Labour responded to antisemitism between 2014 and 2019.

The review alleges that:

. Mr Bull was endorsed by local Labour members, including his partner Cllr Heather Skibsted, to stand as a council election candidate despite knowing he had been accused of claiming the Holocaust was a “hoax” on social media

. Mr Bull was kept on as a candidate despite accusations that he allegedly defended Adolf Hitler and allegedly made antisemitic comments at a birthday party

. Mr Bull was only suspended after photos allegedly showing he had protested outside the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC were aired

. Labour’ Governance and Legal Unit “never considered” suspending Mr Bull - which would have automatically removed him as an election candidate - and instead issued him with three notices of investigation

. Mr Bull’s case was not brought before the party’s National Executive Committee Disputes Panel which would have given it the opportunity to suspend him

. The case was “plagued by confusion” as to who was meant to be investigating.

The first accusation of antisemitism was made against Mr Bull in July 2017. The report reveals he was expelled from the party in December 2019.

The Labour Party said it does not comment on individual cases or leaks, but the PT understands it believes it dealt with the allegations against Mr Bull “seriously” and that there was a “robust” outcome.

The PT attempted to contact Cllr Skibsted - a Labour and Cooperative Party representative for Orton Longueville on Peterborough City Council - through phone and email but had not received a response at the time of going to press.

Alan Bull has given the PT a statement on the report’s findings on the condition that we use it unedited. His statement is below:

The 851-page leaked Labour Party report revealing the party’s own senior staff acted to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of power and undermine those who supported his leadership included false and misleading references to me.

I am therefore consulting lawyers with a view to taking legal action to force the Labour Party to correct the record and apologise for misrepresenting my character and causing considerable distress to my family and me.

My case was mismanaged for two years culminating in my expulsion in December 2019. The decision was taken at a meeting to which I was not invited and I was denied reasonable time to address the questionable allegations made against me.

There was no oral hearing, no ability to call defence witnesses and therefore no due process.

Furthermore, the officials who wrote the leaked report continued their casual approach to the facts surrounding my case. They even claimed I had contravened rules that hadn’t been adopted by the party at the time the alleged breach was supposed to have occurred.

The credibility of the disputes panel was stretched even further when one of the charges referred to my attendance at a protest in a country I have never even visited.

I am a lifelong anti-racist campaigner and I entirely refute the despicable accusations made against me.