If you’re in the Labour Party and you don’t know Glynis Millward, you should.
Ms Millward was suspended from the Labour Party on September 9 – in the run-up to the Labour leadership election – by Labour’s ‘compliance unit’.
She received a letter from general secretary Iain McNicol saying that the suspension was due to “your involvement in activity in breach of Labour’s rules regarding recruitment”.
This is so vague, it is practically meaningless – as were, it turns out, most of the suspension and expulsion letters sent out by Mr McNicol. It has been alleged that they were a vain effort to rid Labour of enough Jeremy Corbyn supporters to give challenger Owen Smith a chance to win the leadership.
Well, he picked on the wrong person.
I know this, because Ms Millward is the one who helped This Writer mount a legal challenge against the Department for Work and Pensions over its refusal to publish statistics relating to claimants of sickness and disability benefits who have died.
With her help, I beat the government. She really knows her law.
So let’s cut a long story short: Ms Millward is taking the Labour Party to court, where it seems likely she will demand a staggering amount of money in compensation for her treatment. She is making:
- A claim for a refund of her membership subscriptions during the period of suspension or conclusion of the court case, whichever comes first.
- A claim for tangible recognition of the distress and inconvenience caused to her as a result of being unable to vote.
- A claim for her court costs.
Labour’s general secretary, Iain McNicol, is cited as defendant.Here’s where it gets nasty:
Mr McNicol intends to defend himself against Ms Millward’s claim, and is apparently keen to use Labour members’ money to do so. The implication is that he is acting on behalf of every Labour Party member.
- He has been unable, or unwilling, to provide any details of the allegation against Ms Millward.
- If it arises from information Ms Millward posted on the social media, then he is in breach of the Data Protection Act, which requires Labour’s NEC to tell members how it uses their social media information.
But he is happy, dear Labour member, to use your money defending his decision (it is his name on the letter) to suspend Ms Millward.
Here’s where you can help:
Some Labour Party members aren’t prepared to let Mr McNicol take it for granted that he can use their subscription money in this way.
They didn’t agree with the suspensions, don’t want him to fight Ms Millward’s claim, and certainly don’t agree with his implicit claim that he is acting on behalf of every Labour member in doing so.
They have launched a website containing a letter to the court, which Labour members can sign in order to exclude themselves from Mr McNicol’s claim that he speaks on their behalf.
The site is at http://test-this.co.uk
The text states: “I wish it to be known I exclude myself from the claim by Iain McNicol that he speaks on my behalf in the case of Glynis Millward v Iain McNicol.
“Glynis Millward has made it very clear that she does not accuse the Labour Party as a whole (which is all members) and indeed is herself concerned at the lack of due process applied in many of the cases, as well as the data protection abuses.
“We are mindful of the great distress felt by members over this and are in the process of demanding that changes are made to ensure that this cannot happen again.”
It is well worth noting that the site came under cyber-attack that took it down shortly after it launched. In that short period it had managed to amass 840 signatures – which were kept safe during the attack.
The site was restored yesterday (October 10) and, at the time of writing, has nearly 1,300 signatures, including my own.
Ms Millward is a person who stood up for me; supporting her in this is the least I can do in return.
That’s why I am appealing for all Labour members to join me in signing the letter.
The so-called Labour Purge was a blow against democracy in the largest political party in Europe, struck by people who believed they were free to do whatever they wanted without the party’s rank-and-file ever being able to stop them.
They were wrong – and this court case will prove it.
If you believe in democracy; if you believe in justice, please take a few seconds out of your day to visit http://test-this.co.ukand add your signature.
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