COVENTRY councillor Rachel Lancaster faces sanctions including potential suspension from the Labour group after inflammatory remarks on her Facebook page about colleagues’ alleged “abusive, misogynistic nastiness”, we can exclusively reveal.
We have learned the posts on her social media account are to be investigated by the ruling Labour group at Coventry City Council, as an alleged breach of party rules.
Asked to comment, council leader George Duggins told us: “It is an internal Labour group issue. It will be investigated by Labour group whips.
“Labour Party rules are clear. Chapter 13 Clause X1 rules for local government Labour groups on principal authorities cover this alleged issue.”
The party’s rules covering conduct and respect towards fellow Labour members include the need not to undermine colleagues publicly.
Coun Lancaster is an ally of former Coventry City Council leader Ann Lucas. Coun Lancaster, a longstanding councillor for Holbrooks, was ousted from her cabinet member’s position last year when a Labour group coup removed Coun Lucas as leader in favour of Coun Duggins.
One Monday (October 16), at 8.07pm, a post on Rachel Lancaster’s Facebook page in her name (see attached picture) stated: “Wow, don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. All from a person who’s bankrupted two CLP’s (Constituency Labour Party) and lost both elections, and has been given a police warning. #lyingbastards
The post is understood by our sources in the Labour group to refer to her colleague Jayne Innes, the cabinet member for city services, who was promoted last year under Coun Duggins’ leadership.
When a Facebook follower requested on Monday further information about the meaning of the controversial post, another post under Rachel Lancaster’s name stated: “Some bullshit doing the rounds about all of us being bitter because George is now leader, we’re unhappy because of the abusive, misogynistic nastiness going on.”
Another follower of her account responds with the words: “Whatever it is it sounds like something that should not be in Politics, let alone the governance of our city.”
Coun Innes received a police warning two years ago concerning relatively minor allegations during a dispute with former Labour councillor Dan Howells. She also stood for Parliament in the constituency of Nuneaton and Bedworth in 2010, losing to the Tories.
As we exclusively revealed earlier this year, Coun Lancaster has also been emboiled in controversy over a planning application for a converted new Coventry home for her family including mother Margaret Lancaster – a Coventry Labour Party stalwart – which breached planning laws.
Sources say if the Labour group whip – which binds the group and controls party discipline – is removed from her, she could become an ‘independent’ councillor outside the Labour group.
We have contacted Coun Lancaster for a response.