Labour purges thousands of voters from the leadership election, then pours salt in the open wound | The Canary

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40,000 ‘registered supporters’ who paid for the right to vote in the Labour leadership election have been banned from doing so. And to add insult to injury, the party is keeping the £25 it charged them for the electoral signup.

Another 10,000 people are being subjected to further scrutiny by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), meaning Labour could swipe up to £1,250,000 from its own supporters by the end of the purge. At present, that figure is already at a cool million from the 40,000 barred so far.

A controversial NEC rule previously banned members who had joined the party after 12 January 2016 from voting. But these people, along with non-members, could still vote as a ‘registered supporter’ provided they pay the fee, which the NEC had raised from £3 to £25.

Considering that 40,000 registered supporters have now been purged, some people may be both full members and have paid another £25 to vote, only to be barred from doing so yet again.

In the available window of just 48 hours, 185,000 people signed up as registered supporters to vote in the Labour leadership contest. Questions will now be raised about why the democratic exercise has been restricted by the exclusion of nearly a quarter of these potential voters.

The Huffington Post claims:

Most of those ruled out automatically are deemed ineligible because of their previous formal support for a rival political party candidate, their absence from the electoral register or because their payments bounced.

A Labour party source claims that the majority of those excluded were for technical rather than political reasons.

Source: Labour purges thousands of voters from the leadership election, then pours salt in the open wound | The Canary


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20 thoughts on “Labour purges thousands of voters from the leadership election, then pours salt in the open wound | The Canary

  1. Rusty

    Then return the money already, as for the support of another political party, can’t people change their minds?

  2. Roy Beiley

    Surely Labour Party keeping the£25 is fraud isn”t it? Those that paid but are now deemed ineligible to vote should receive a refund.

  3. Roy Beiley

    Surely those who paid £25 did so under a published T&C’s.Under Trades Descriptions Act are the now not entitled to a full refund if deemed to be ineligible to vote. Or is the Labour Party able to circumvent UK law when its suits them to do so for political reasons!?

  4. Neilth

    Pissups and breweries. Personally I don’t like the idea that you can ‘buy a vote’ for either£3 or £25 anyway. If you want a vote, join the party properly. I also am not keen on just joining and getting a vote straight away. I would support a six month qualifying period. But…

    If the rules say you can by a vote for £x and there is no real qualifying period then that’s how it should be. They can’t change the rules retrospectively. There should be some scrutiny of the eligibility of applicants and those who have actively opposed and campaigned against Labour or are members of organisations who oppose Labour should be winnowed out. The party has to be able to defend against entryism by hostile opponents. But that process should be public and absolutely transparent and open to scrutiny

  5. Phil Woodford

    Sounds likes potential entryism on a grand scale, doesn’t it? At least eagle-eyed officials are keeping a close watch on the flotsam and jetsam washing up in the Labour Party.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      What a shame nobody kept a diligent eye open for right-wing entryists at the appropriate time.

  6. shawn

    ‘Most of those ruled out automatically are deemed ineligible because of their previous formal support for a rival political party candidate, their absence from the electoral register or because their payments bounced.”

    So it appears the NEC has been comparing those who paid £25 to vote in the Labour election contest against the electoral register to see who they voted for in the General Election (? assuming that’s possible). Consequently, if you are not on the electoral register that check is not possible and so the NEC assumes you’ve no right to vote in the Leadership election. Clearly, the possibility of someone changing their support from, say, the Green Party to Labour is not permitted. On that basis what’s the point of having a general election as the Labour Party does not want voters who voted for another party in the past.
    As for taking and then keeping the £25 this so morally wrong it should be causing a national outcry. Quite how the party is expected to develop a ground swell of on the ground activists when it treats potential new members in that way is unreconcilable. But then, it’s actions like this, that the leadership election is about.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I thought by “formal support” it meant they had actually declared it in some way. GE voting is confidential. You’re right that the flaw is that former supporters of other parties can perfectly legitimately change their allegiance.
      Being on the Electoral Register is important because Labour needs members who can vote in general elections.
      I thought taking the money from people who were trying to skew the result last year was okay. That doesn’t seem to be the case this year (with the exception of people like Hayfords, who assures us he gets away with it all the time with aliases, despite the fact that they can’t be on the Electoral Register) so I can’t support it this time around.
      Of course, if payments bounced, Labour hasn’t actually taken the money.

      1. Julie Knights

        To many, this is a week or more food money. It’s bad enough that they stop people voting, but to deprive them of so much money is disgusting. It makes me feel like cancelling my membership as how CAN I support a party who would do such [email protected]

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        But if you cancel your membership, isn’t that one decent member fewer for the people who did this to reckon with?

  7. mohandeer

    This is gaining monies by means of fraud and any involved in this scam should be held accountable and if possible charged by the CPS. It’s one thing to inform someone they cannot vote but to then keep their money is thieving!
    They should return the monies or face criminal prosecution.

  8. David

    Mike a I have a query and think you might know the answer,: I believe there are currently 3 Labour peers [and a few councilors] who have crossed the floor – will they be entitled to a vote? If so is this not in breach of policy? If Labour accepts BNP/Tory officials to join why can they not accept that others may change allegiance ?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re asking why they should get a vote when ordinary members who’ve changed sides won’t? Good question!
      I don’t think there’s a good answer, though. It just shows up the policy for what it is.

      1. Neilth

        People can change their political beliefs, sometimes quite dramatically from one extreme to another, some fascists have been known to move to a more Marxist perspective and vice versa. However this needs to be ‘tested’ in new members which is why, as I said above, I favour a qualifying or probationary membership period of 6 months before being allowed to vote in internal party elections otherwise the possibility of an entryist group hijacking a branch or constituency as was happening in the late 70s is just too risky.

  9. Jon Overton

    “Their absence from the electoral register”? What if they opted to stay off the open register? E.G. to avoid a stalker or violent ex? Or just to cut down on junk mail?

  10. David Woods

    At least the ‘chicken coupers’ now have ‘their name’ if they decide to break away from Labour – The Conning Party!

Comments are closed.