Brighton and Hove Labour party ordered to split and chairman expelled – on what evidence?

Mark Sandell [Image: The Argus].

Mark Sandell [Image: The Argus].

This Writer’s understanding is that the Brighton and Hove CLP was suspended for holding a meeting at which members voted to support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership – before the cut-off date for ordinary CLP meetings that was ordered by the National Executive Committee.

I would be fascinated to see the evidence of intimidation. If it’s anything like what was revealed about the alleged abuse against Angela Eagle, it will be three people whispering at the back of a meeting.

As for the local party chair’s expulsion for links to the Alliance for Workers Party – I certainly hope this claim is more substantial than the numerous retweets of Green Party messages that earned suspensions for so many Labour members and supporters in the run-up to Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election as party leader!

Can Labour’s NEC really not recognise how damaging these attacks on ordinary members are going to be, to the party? Do they not care that they are exposing themselves – and us – to ridicule?

Wallasey CLP is already crowdfunding a lawsuit for defamation against members. I wonder if Brighton and Hove will do the same.

Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party will have to split into three constituency parties, national Labour members have ordered.

The city’s Labour group, which with more than 6,000, members is the largest in the country, is likely to be broken up into three smaller parties from next year.

The move follows an investigation and three month suspension by the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) following accusations of intimidation and voting irregularities at the local party’s AGM.

Mark Sandell, who was elected local party chair at that annual meeting in July, has been expelled from the party for his links to the Alliance For Workers’ Party while least 15 other members have also been suspended.

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have called for a public meeting of Labour Party members in Brighton and Hove while party branches are being urged to pass motions calling for all expelled and suspended members to be re-instated immediately.

Source: Brighton and Hove Labour party ordered to split as chairman expelled (From The Argus)

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6 thoughts on “Brighton and Hove Labour party ordered to split and chairman expelled – on what evidence?

  1. jeffrey davies

    Can Labour’s NEC really not recognise how damaging these attacks on ordinary members are going to be to the party of course they do dont be a idiot they will bring disruption at every turn blairites are just devious gits who want the clock turned backed nah we have to rid both the nec and the party of greedie mps unless corbyn wants to be backstabbed time and time again

  2. Jeanette

    This is a war of attrition by the right of the party who can’t accept they no longer hold the majority view. They are systematically picking off members in an effort to demoralise Corbyn supporters in the hope that a significant number will resign. The Blairites thinks this will work and they will get their influence back, I hope they are mistaken. It would be a huge mistake now to go back to policies that have lost Labour the last two elections. For me, their actions only makes me even more determined to keep Corbyn and work harder for a Labour government. I hope other members feel the same.

  3. Roland Laycock

    There is NO way they should split up its the Blairits at it again the new NEC should take leadership and sort this out ASAP and get all the people that where suspended and back in the fold to start the attack on the tories

  4. Charlie Mansell

    In the end this is more evidence that all the hype over 18-17 on the NEC was rubbish and it is, as I keep saying, it is more 14-9-12 so people need to have expectations that reflect that rather than assume there will be overnight change. Change will happen over a decade, just as it did in the other direction from the 80’s to the 90’s. The more people explain that online the better for us all

    As a CLP Chair I spent some time in the mid 90’s trying to stop a larger CLP (now less active and more right-wing than us) seeking to call for a borough party. CLP level seems to be the right size for organising the Party with a larger membership and those seeking to win control of the CLP at their AGM should really have campaigned for that split themselves as the meeting had to have a rather unfortunate three sessions for a party covering 3 CLPs, which was bound to lead to people making allegations both spurious and probably some that were organisationally fair. Better that people create stronger local structures rather than have such an unwieldy body

    I then hope the 15 suspended win their appeals and can take part in their 3 new CLP’s

    Sandell was a self declared AWL member so almost certainly would have been expelled separately from the allegations at the meeting. This means most of the active members of the 120 strong AWL have now been expelled from the party – the largest groups were Haringey and Lewisham. If people want to change that they can of course move a motion to go to conference, but bearing in mind how the TU’s have voted on this sort of thing since the Communist Party affiliation attempts in the 1920’s and Militant Editorial Board expulsions in the 80’s and 90’s. I would not expect this to get more than 8-10% votes at conference, so probably a waste of people’s time and energy when there are more important activities to do

    There are probably now more Big Bang Deniers from the 100 strong entryist group Socialist Appeal in the Party however they keep a very low profile for obvious reasons as they are generally seen as the Party’s Flat Earth Society

    The only other entryist group are Labour Party Marxists who have around 10 people, but they are ridiculed too as they want to abolish the Party Leader role – which I suspect people here are not in favour!:)

    There will not now be entryism from the Socialist Party (ex Militant) as they and the and SWP in TUSC (along with the RMT who fund it) support illegal Council budgets and that is now their big dividing line with Labour so there is now a very clear party boundary on this issue. This is because the Labour Party passed a rule change that Illegal budgets by Labour Groups and Labour Councillors are now specifically ruled out by the Labour constitution in a rule change passed by this conference 80%-20% See CAC Report 3 – page 19 here: The wording is as follows in the Party Rules: “Chapter 13 Clause II 2. A v. Members of the Labour group in administration must comply with the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 and subsequent revisions and shall not vote against or abstain on a vote in full Council to set a legal budget proposed by the administration. Members of the Labour Group shall not support any proposal to set an illegal budget. Any councillor who votes against or abstains on a Labour group policy decision in this matter may face disciplinary action.”

    What all this means is people can get on with debate where the focus will be much more the 100’s of thousands unaligned members that are not a member of any group (for example people always forget 293,000 Jeremy Corbyn supporters are not in Momentum) than the 230 attempted entryists within the party

  5. mohandeer

    The right wingers are winning the battle. Their general ethos seems to be to alienate all recent or pro Corbyn members even if it means losing the GE in 2020. As long as they have their Parliamentary seats, they have a cushy job, if Corbyn remains, a vast number of his supporters will want the right wing gone from the party, that is why they and their cronies, must continue with this assault. In 2020, the right wingers will be perfectly happy dishing out praise worthy sound bytes without ever having to deliver on them – as the opposition.
    Wouldn’t you like to be earning good money for old rope?

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