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Asa Winstanley: Targeted for victimisation by the Labour Party’s infamous compliance unit.

Do you want to know what struck me as the notable detail in the announcement that Labour is investigating Electronic Intifada journalist Asa Winstanley for anti-Semitism?

It was the fact that party officials told a newspaper journalist about it before Mr Winstanley even knew his membership had been suspended.

The circumstances in which he found out about his suspension and the investigation mirror what happened when Labour suspended This Writer nearly two years ago.

The first I heard of it was when I took a telephone call from a Western Mail journalist, asking how it felt to be suspended as a suspected anti-Semite; Mr Winstanley found out by reading a tweet from a Jewish Chronicle reporter.

Mr Winstanley is right to believe that the disclosure to a third party may represent a breach of the Data Protection Act. I am currently taking Labour to court over its treatment of me and this will certainly form part of my case.

And, like myself, Mr Winstanley has received online abuse after the story was published in the Jewish Chronicle.

So there is also a matter of reputational damage.

Labour’s leaders should bear in mind that their investigation process, though described as quasi-judicial, actually carries no legal weight.

This makes the party vulnerable to legal action from members (or indeed ex-members) who suffer harm to their reputation that damages their careers as a result of the party’s behaviour towards them.

But then, it seems the attitude of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee and complaint-handling “compliance unit” really hasn’t changed in the nearly two years since my case began.

They still treat the people who pay their wages with nothing but contempt.

Source: Labour Party investigates Electronic Intifada journalist | The Electronic Intifada