A new twist: Non-contributory union members excluded from Labour leadership vote

Send your complaints here: Iain McNicol is the general secretary of the Labour Party [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

Send your complaints here: Iain McNicol is the general secretary of the Labour Party [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].

Perhaps Iain McNicol would care to explain this new wrinkle in the Labour vote disqualifications scandal?

This Blog has received a comment from Unite member David Chesters, who thinks hundreds – or perhaps thousands – more members may have been disenfranchised because they are “paid up/lifetime members”.

He explains:

I am an associated member of the Labour party as I have been a lifetime member of the UNITE union, and I have already cast my vote, but my Mother, who was expecting to be able to do the same, has not received notification of her vote in any form.

I rang Unite HQ to ask why not, and they told me that Labour HQ had dictated to them that “Paid up / lifetime members” were not eligible to vote as they no longer contribute to the “Political Fund”.

My mother achieved 30 yrs as a member a few decades back. This means that she became “Non Contributory” and therefore a lifetime member without subscription.

However, she has not been notified that her previous voting status has been altered by either the Unite Union, or the Labour Party.

In my opinion this is gross misconduct by Labour Central Office, Underhand and devious to say the least… Personally I believe it is mainly because older members are old Labour and align with Jeremy far more, and so need to be kept from voting.

What do you think?


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21 thoughts on “A new twist: Non-contributory union members excluded from Labour leadership vote

  1. Rusty

    Fraud completely! But I’m not suprised by this turn of events! Can life time members take legal action against those who have broke the contract they hold?

  2. KamNam

    Next you can expect a call for all Corbyn Supporters to declare themselves so they can be excluded from the vote. The only way that Error and Gaff prone Owen Smith can win the election. Already about 50% of the total membership has been excluded, just need to exclude another 80% of those and os can win…….. not

  3. tom

    They will commit any gross misconduct unimaginable to rescue their interests, because their interests are the most important and so far for decades they used members to protect them when the left”pleb” is waking up and start to realize what was going on for a very long time, this PLP will go all the way even to destroy the party for only to try to save their interests, a big number of people got fed up of Labour for only offering a light conservative policies and now they are understanding the true reason for disengaging voting Labour until Mr Corbyn came along and disturb the set of these rats and open the doors wide for everybody to see. The PLP need to realize soon that the power of people will not be destroy only delayed.

  4. Daniel

    What’s going on in our party the rules changing whenever they like,banning whoever they want for no reason.i thought the NEC was supposed to stand up for rank and file members surely the membership are the party they all pay in to keep staff going in there jobs and support our leader.

  5. Florence

    I think this “election” is being so nakedly rigged that there needs to be an immediate cessation of the NEC Compliance unit activities, and the banned / expelled / disenfranchised to be reinstated. Smith has said nothing about this scandal, speaking volumes, since his announcement a couple of weeks ago that he was “going to win”. Unless his “win” is by a greater margin than the combined lost, missing, purged, and “admin” errors the result will never be accepted. Many who have already voted are already getting concerned as to if the count will be rigged too, which should not be possible through the Electoral reform Service, but it shows the utter lack of support and loss of faith in the Compliance Unit / NEC.

  6. Pension Sixty

    If you are a retired lifetime member you can still vote. If you are still in work, then you have to be subscribing to the union’s political fund. Although I believe you have to be paying the subs to be a Labour party member, even if joined after January 12. That’s as much as I know. I’ve already voted. Maybe UNITE can ask again, if the lady is retired from work and a lifetime retired UNITE member, therefore?

  7. Trevor Marron

    That is absolutely the case and it has been the case for as long as I know. It is not something new.

  8. Terry Casey (@tcliverpool)

    I worry for the Labour Party, as someone who is a fully paid up full member of several years and have not received my ballot I am resigned to the fact I will not be receiving it at all, many members are in the same boat, I could be purged I don’t know, if I am they haven’t told me, it is a dreadful feeling that my party would even contemplate such gross underhandedness and and act with such a lack of democracy. Those who didn’t believe change was necessary need to start thinking it is now vital

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There is a telephone number to call – 0345 092 22 99. Phone it, ask for option 5, give your membership number and ask what’s going on, why you haven’t had your vote and when you’ll get it.
      If you don’t, you’ll only have yourself to blame for missing out.

  9. mohandeer

    The dirty tricks by the Right Wing elements of the Labour Party just keep on attaining new heights in duplicity, dishonesty, malfeasance and erroneous deception to the point where half of England’s population must now see the Labour Party as the nasty party with representatives so corrupt they rival and overtake the Conservatives. There is no way Corbyn can ever undo the damage thses people have done to the image of Labour unless he gets shot of them all. Broad Church? Would I go to my church to hear the good reverend who has demonstrated he is not fit to hold the office, preach to me on values and conduct? No, I wouldn’t, I’d go to another church. JC’s victory will be short lived if he does not deal with this situation in a way that is fair to all those who have been insulted, slandered, maligned and misrepresented who are the majority of the members being ruled by a minority elite holding us in contempt. It will be a pyrrhic victory if he makes the wrong choice, we’re way beyond that.

  10. Michael Pesch

    As a retired Unite member I was notified I had a vote, as I had already voted it didnt matter as you only get one go.

  11. Jan Forrest

    Every time I’ve been a member of a trades union I was happy to pay into the Labour party funds. I don’t have a lifetime membership, but I do pay the pensioner/disabled fee. Lifetime members are lifetime MEMBERS! please resign if you don’t understand that.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I take it your resignation plea is to Mr McNicol/NEC members, not to me or readers of VP who happen to be TU members.

  12. David Wedler

    This is beyond biased and is clearly fraud now.. being a life time member means that one has paid enough into Labour party funds to be considered paid up for life, including into the political fund.
    To exclude people from voting for being the most loyal paid up members is a basket-case insult to democracy that McNicol should be expelled and prosecuted together with co conspirators for.. Everything from mis selling to fraudulent interpretations of rules which he has taken on personal responsibility for himself (he was warned not to do this by one of the Judges in an early case as it leaves McNicol and the NEC personally liable).

  13. Brigid Harbour

    Yes, because obviously, life-time union members must be Tory infiltrators/Trots/ not really labour supporters er …..or something. This has got to be the most insane decision yet. How low will they sink?

  14. Joan Edington

    My gripe on this issue dates back a fair way. As a political levy-paying member of Unite (and its many predecessors) I used to have avote on Labour Party issues as part of a union block vote. It wasn’t much but it was at least something. When the block votes stopped and individual member votes came in, it became compulsory to be an associate member of the Labour party as well as paying the levy. Much as I would love to vote for Corbyn, since he is the only hope for the party in the UK and obviously relevant to me, my lifetime payments mean nothing because I am a member of another party that is more relevant to me in my own constituency. I would seriously consider stopping my levy payments if I was a member of a union supporting Smith.

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