Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
  2. /
7 November 2010updated 27 Sep 2015 2:10am

Woolas has no future in Labour, says Harman

Deputy Labour leader says that disgraced minister will not be reinstated even if he wins his appeal.

By Samira Shackle

Harriet Harman has said that Phil Woolas has no future as a Labour MP even if he succeeds in overturning the court ruling that stripped him of his seat last week.

Woolas has announced that he is taking the case to judicial review, which the Labour Party is not supporting.

Asked on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show today whether he would be reinstated to the party if the appeal was successful, Harman said:

Well no, because whatever happens in an appeal – what might happen in an appeal, if he does appeal, it could be that they could say on the basis of the facts that the election court found it was not warranted for them to strike down the election result and disqualify him, so he might win on a legal basis.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

But it won’t change the facts that were found by the election court, which was that he said things that were untrue knowing it, and that is what we are taking action on – because it is not part of Labour’s politics for somebody to be telling lies to get themselves elected.

It is good to see Labour’s top command separating itself from Woolas’s disgraceful election campaign, in which he attempted to stir up racial tension in his seat of Oldham East and Saddleworth with inflammatory leaflets.

The case is all the more embarrassing for the party as he had been appointed shadow Home Office minister by Ed Miliband, a spectacular misjudgement, given Woolas’s ongoing court case.

The specially convened election court was the first of its kind in 99 years.