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Labour Party members who were suddenly suspended for flimsy reasons in the run-up to this year’s leadership election have a new hurdle to overcome.

If you aren’t aware of the background to the ‘Labour Purge’, please read this article, and also this one, then come back here.

Done? Now read on:

It appears Labour’s National Executive Committee is now passing lists of suspended members to Constituency Labour Parties for them to… what shall we call it? Investigate?

It seems the member will attend a “hearing” with the CLP.

Not only does this smack of the NEC trying to absolve itself of responsibility, now that the volume and type of suspensions is coming to light, but it also suggests – to This Writer – that members of individual CLP hierarchies who also want to cause distress and humiliation to suspended members will now have a chance to do so.

That is no way to behave.

The Labour suspensions group has decided that people should not face these hearings alone – especially if they are vulnerable, elderly or disabled.

The group feels that the member should not be (potentially) forced to admit any wrongdoing and that being accompanied to the hearing will protect the member’s interests.

This Writer has personal experience of how having a McKenzie Friend works. You see, Glynis Millward, the lady who has launched legal action against Labour’s general secretary Iain McNicol, was my own McKenzie Friend when I took the DWP to a tribunal to force it to reveal how many sickness and disability benefit claimants had died after being found fit for work.

Readers who were following Vox Political in August last year will know we won.

So the Labour Suspensions Group’s idea – to set up a crowdfund in order to provide travel expenses for members of the group to accompany suspended Labour members to any hearing – has my full support.

As you may be aware, This Blog has a donations box which some readers are kind enough to use, providing me with a small income from the site.

I have pledged some of that money to this cause already and, if I feel it is necessary, I will provide more.

I urge you to help this project with any contribution you can spare, by clicking on this link and making a donation.

Over the coming weeks and months Labour Party members will be expected to attend a hearing for their appeal against their suspension.

Many of you will know someone who is affected by this and be very aware of the distress and humiliation this has caused. Members, whether suspended or not, have come together to provide support in negotiating the process and in giving emotional support. Our experience to date is that the Labour Party has shown no respect for Natural Justice or due Process.  So many of the suspensions are at most, for extraordinarily trivial matters, or even completely baseless.

Many people have expressed relief that such support is available.  People are overwhelmed by the sense of injustice felt, and in addition we have some people who need additional help, maybe can`t even attend meetings due to health problems, disabilities, family commitments.  Added to that they have a sense of overwhelm because they are not being offered any support or clarity from the system and in fact feel frozen out.  We are intent on enabling each and every person affected by this dysfunctional system that is causing so much damage.

This, plus the lack of communication and co-operation from the system concerning complaints within the labour party, has and continues to cause much distress. Many do not now trust that they will be able to properly ensure they are listened to.

In order to help and support such people in a very practical way we have set up a McKenzie Friend system.  A McKenzie Friend assists a litigant in person in law and does not have to be legally qualified. We will make available people who are well versed in understanding the system, and who will be able to accompany the person to any investigation and ensure their case is fairly  dealt with.  This fund is to pay for the travelling expenses of the person acting as a McKenzie Friend.

If you are affected, concerned, outraged, by the lack of natural justice and due process displayed so far by the labour party and want to help ensure that justice is done and people are properly supported please lend a hand by making a donation.

The more we raise the more we can help.  Equally if you struggle financially your kind thoughts are also greatly appreciated, any amount is gratefully received `many hands make light work`.

Source: McKenzie Friend, a Politics in Cardiff, South Glamorgan on Crowdfunder

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