I received a message today from a former Labour Party member who was booted out in the NEC’s summer purge after around six years as an active member. Her question: Where’s the justice for Labour members who have been expelled?
Krystina Koseda was active in Hornchurch and Upminster Labour Party, and spent spring campaigning with Sadiq Khan for him to become Mayor of London (and, as we all know, he succeeded).
But in September, as she prepared to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election, she received notification that her membership had been terminated – because she is a personal friend of George Galloway.
She wrote: “I am friends with George Galloway; my CLP were aware of this and there was no problem.
“I posted a photo of George on my personal Facebook account. It was George’s mayoral candidate photo but I cropped out the wording and placed it as my cover picture so it just showed his face as I liked the photo.
“My personal Facebook account is non political and all my friends and family are aware George is my friend. I thought nothing of it.
“I received a letter on September 10 to say I was expelled as, in March, I had placed this photo on my Facebook account. This was deemed as campaigning for a rival candidate to Sadiq.”
She told me: “I campaigned all spring for Sadiq as my CLP can vouch – and have in their letters to the NEC. I was even out with Sadiq and am pictured on his Twitter account. I was out campaigning for him with Jeremy when he came to Dagenham in March.”
She was indeed:
“I worked so hard for the party this year. I have written and appealed as have my CLP but I have not even received any form of acknowledgement which I feel is very unfair.
“I feel I have been victimised due to my contact with George Galloway which is pretty bad considering he was Labour for 36 years and is an active campaigner for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.
“I believe Labour hacked into my Facebook account as my privacy settings were on. I have asked where they got their evidence from as they also had my personal photos including those of my deceased parents, but they have failed to respond in any way.
“I feel they have broken data protection rights and I would like someone to highlight my case and the many others that were expelled.”
Ms Koseda’s expulsion letter is copied below.
It states: “It has been brought to our attention with supporting evidence that you have publicly advocated support for George Galloway as a candidate for Respect on social media on 6 March 2016.
“You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party.”
This is why organisations like the Labour Party are supposed to allow accused members a chance to defend themselves against any claims made against them.
How many more innocent members have been thrown out by the former NEC’s (several members were replaced after elections over the summer) kangaroo court?
At a time when a great deal of attention is being focused on members who were suspended but have now been allowed back into the party, these people should not be forgotten.
Ms Koseda stated: “I passed the rigorous selection programme to become a councillor for the London Borough of Havering. I was shortlisted to the final three and was the only woman to get this far. Why did I pass all the selection criteria with them knowing about my friendship with George but then was expelled?”
She’s right; it doesn’t make sense. But then, very little about the Labour ‘purge’ ever did.
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