This may be a real problem for the national Labour Party: Having suspended Wallasey CLP, there is no sanction to stop members from holding meetings again, airing their grievances and planning future action.
The leaflet currently being circulated suggests that several questions will be answered at the meeting tomorrow (Tuesday), such as:
“Why are the 1,400-plus members of the Wallasey party not allowed to meet?”
“What are the accusations being made?”
“Are they true?”
“Why are 150,000 fully paid-up Labour Party members not being allowed to vote in the leadership election including over 540 who live in Wallasey?”
We already know the answers to some of these questions. Like all constituency Labour parties, Wallasey’s meetings have been suspended during the run-up to the election, on the assumption that ill-feeling surrounding the behaviour of people on both sides may spill over into misbehaviour including bullying or violence.
But there is also a claim that the ban on meetings was partly to ensure Wallasey CLP could not meet to approve Angela Eagle’s deselection as the constituency’s candidate at future elections.
Several accusations have been made that are specific to Wallasey CLP. One is that, at the meeting where it was decided that Ms Eagle should support Jeremy Corbyn, she was subjected to homophobic abuse. This has been refuted as Ms Eagle did not attend.
North West Labour has claimed that the suspension followed allegations of bullying and intimidation.
But there are also claims that the ban is also intended to stop Wallasey submitting motions to the Labour Party Conference in September.
And there are questions over Labour general secretary Iain McNicol’s handling of the matter. If he did not investigate in the correct manner and issue the appropriate warnings at the correct time, he may face official complaints himself.
And we know that paid-up Labour members are not being allowed to vote if they joined after January 12 this year, even though Labour Party literature stated that anyone joining the party could take part in leadership elections, right up to July 13 – the day after Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee decided (behind party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s back) to backdate the cut-off point to six months previously.
The truthfulness of the allegations against Wallasey CLP and the appropriateness of the decisions by Labour Party authorities are all ripe for debate.
It seems likely that other Labour Party groups will be watching Wallasey very carefully. Discontent over the conduct of party matters since Hilary Benn’s firing on June 26 is high, and others may take their lead from any decisions by Wallasey members.
Labour officials may soon have a great many reasons to regret their high-handed edicts.
Wallasey Labour party is to hold a public meeting to reveal “the truth” after it was suspended amid claims of threats and intimidation.
National bosses suspended the branch last week following unrest among grassroots members and moves to deselect MP Angela Eagle over her leadership challenge against Jeremy Corbyn.
Organisers have arranged a “public meeting” at Wallasey town hall on August 2 [Tuesday] and say it will be a “chance to find out what’s really going on”.
Ms Eagle had been urged by her local party to support Jeremy Corbyn but subsequently became the first MP to challenge for the leadership of the party, although she later withdrew her candidacy in support of Welsh MP Owen Smith’s bid to oust Mr Corbyn.
Now a leaflet has started being distributed for a “Public meeting for Wallasey Labour Party Members, Supporters, Trades Unionists and Community”.
The meeting is being organised through Wirral TUC and the leaflet advertising it says both Angela Eagle or a “nominated representative” and North West Labour Party have been invited to take part.
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