Labour ‘voting rights’ legal battle ends as price of justice is too high

All smiles: Labour's General Secretary Iain McNicol, who used party funds to ensure party members could not vote in the leadership election - unless they paid more money into party funds.

All smiles: Labour’s General Secretary Iain McNicol, who used party funds to ensure party members could not vote in the leadership election – unless they paid more money into party funds.

This is a disastrous day for British justice.

The five members of the Labour Party who launched legal action to overturn a decision by Labour’s NEC barring them from voting in the party’s leadership election have said they will not take their case to the Supreme Court – because the price is too high.

This is despite all the evidence that the Court of Appeal’s decision was wrong in law and that one of the judges should have declared an interest, having been given a lucratic job by Labour Party Blairites.

Meanwhile, Labour’s NEC has been using party members’ money to defend its decision to block anyone who joined after January 12 from voting – unless they bought a vote at a price of £25, between July 18-20.

A statement on the crowdfunding page for the Labour Five – which raised more than £93,000 for the legal case – runs as follows:

Unfortunately, given the costs involved in pursuing the case further (the fee for getting the case even heard at the Supreme Court is around £8,000), we have taken the decision that this is where this particular legal case has to stop. But the case wasn’t in vain – although we didn’t succeed in reclaiming votes for the 130,000 disenfranchised members, we did win in the High Court, exposing facts which have spurred important conversations about the role of the Labour Party membership and the NEC.

We won’t be raising the 100,000 target any higher, this should cover the costs we were ordered to pay (around 80,000) plus our own legal fees (we have been very lucky and received a combination of reduced fees and no fees for the work we’ve had done).

Again, thank you all so much for your support – and the fight for justice isn’t over yet, although this particular stage of it is over. The 5 of us are going to stay in the Party and work to try and change things for the better within the Party’s structure itself. We’d really appreciate it if you would join us in that – either as members already, as potential members, or as supporters.

This Writer was informed of the decision by a Vox Political reader, who stated: “It is a shame, as I believe they and a huge number of loyal party members were wronged by a wrongful decision but it is not fair to ask ordinary party members to take on a huge financial risk with a tiny little clique who control the purse strings of the Labour Party.

“We all owe the Five a great debt of gratitude for having taken the case as far as they have.

“They have exposed McNicol, Lillis and Watson – among a very few others – for the appalling individuals they truly are. Never again will decent people seek their company.”

He’s right.

Paddy Lillis, Iain McNicol and the other NEC members who supported this misuse of party members’ money should be ashamed, and ought to be shunned by right-thinking members of the party.

They have literally bought into the Conservative Party’s view that justice should only be available to those who can afford it. And they did it with our money.

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17 thoughts on “Labour ‘voting rights’ legal battle ends as price of justice is too high

  1. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    I can understand their reluctance to go through it all again but I am certain that all of us would have contributed sufficiently to get democratic justice. Never-the-less as you quote “Paddy Lillis, Iain McNicol and the other NEC members who supported this misuse of party members’ money should be ashamed, and ought to be shunned by right-thinking members of the party”. I doubt that they will be ashamed though as they seem not to understand the meaning of it.

    Of one thing I am certain, they have done their section of the Labour party irreparable harm and the best way forward is for Jeremy to sack the lot of them as soon as possible and move forward with a real Labour Party.

  2. Jackie Cairns

    No doubts what so ever it will have been worth it in the long run. We can take thankfully, That in a few weeks time their reign is over. and we get a decent lot in.

  3. rockingbass

    a very sad day indeed .Well done the 5 members who brought the case and it just goes to show that there is no justice left in the UK.

  4. Edward Scott

    Dreadful behaviour from a group of egotistical kamikaze NEC members. They seem to be part of a group determined to bring the Labour Party to its knees. How dare they use party members funds in such an arbitrary manner. When the whole of the UK electorate is looking to find an alternative to these dreadful Tories, what do they do? They seem determined to write the longest suicide note in history. They should hang their heads in shame and then resign.

  5. David Woods

    I find it appalling the NEC can use membership funds to bring a court case blocking Labour members from having a vote they are entitled to have!
    Justice may belong to those who can afford it – but it’s totally another thing when you use your ‘victims’ money to buy it!
    If the ‘NEC’ wins this leadership battle – I for one will be walking away from the Labour Party, they will have lost my vote because I BELIEVE in democracy, I don’t just pay lip service to it!

      1. Lynn Dye

        Yes indeed, no matter how angry we feel at NEC decisions, we all need to stay members and fight from the inside.

      2. Kenneth Billis

        Yes, don’t walk away. Jeremy Corbyn stood firm but McNicol would feel he had furthered the aims of the right-wing of the party if members started to throw in the towel.

  6. mohandeer

    It’s laughable in a sick sort of way that the Tory Party are referred to as the nasty party. The right wing hollow suits who have plotted and schemed to undermine not only the popular leader of the Labour Party but also their own party members, they could show the Tory Party a trick or two and IMO are the real nasty party. I don’t know how much longer I can be a member of a party that includes in it’s ranks such loathsome worms. They make me feel dirty and my skin crawl and that is not a good place to be. I can’t and won’t be a member of a party that embraces such snakes, if they don’t end up crawling back under the stone from whence they came I won’t be with Corbyn next year.
    If Corbyn can show true leadership and some back bone when he is once again Leader I’ll support him 100%, but so far I’m seeing little evidence that he has what it takes to be decisive and draw a line between winning for victory’s sake and representing the democratic majority. Victory in 2020 at whatever the cost or compromise too far or too low?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’ll be up to rank and file Labour members as much as the leadership to clear the parasites out of the Labour Party, I think.

      1. katythenightowl

        I agree with you, Mike. As a new Labour Party member, I paid my annual fee, then paid the £25 on top of that to get a vote – I was angry enough to have walked away, when I heard I still couldn’t vote, despite paying twice for the privilege – but then I stopped to think about it, and realised that’s exactly what these Tory-Lite traitors want us to do!
        No matter what happens, I’m determined to help, democratically, to get rid of these rotten apples 🙁

  7. oldandtrying

    Please, do you know or does any reader know who can comment, who were the NEC members involved in the decision to appeal the Cout’s decision? Iain McNicol and Lillis and Watson also apparently had something to do with it. I heard it was a sub-committee of 6, the procedures committee? Can’t find out who they are. I would really like to know, not to launch a witch hunt or anything but just to know. I certainly would give my vote to someone else if they were up for election and I had a say.

Comments are closed.