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Lisa Nandy: The mouth is open but there is no sign of intelligence.

Can someone please give Labour leadership candidate Lisa Nandy’s head a shake and, when it’s cleared, show her a copy of the Data Protection Act?

Nandy has just put forward her plan to deal with allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. It is imbecilic and illegal.

Here’s the gist:

The plan calls for an immediate zero-tolerance policy under a new leader, with the party fully implementing, as a minimum, any recommendations from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), which is formally investigating Labour over allegations of antisemitism. Another instant change would be to lower the threshold for suspending members where there are “credible accusations of antisemitism, Islamophobia or other forms of racism”.

Nandy has also pledged to introduce a new and independent complaints process, saying the existing process “is not trusted to handle the wave of cases the hard-working staff team have faced because of legitimate concerns about political interference” and a factionalised process.

Another promised element would be transparency, with Nandy pledging to share information on disciplinary cases with MPs, local parties, the JLM and the media. The JLM would be brought back to carry out training on antisemitism.

We’ll put to one side the insistence on slavish obedience to the findings of an EHRC investigation that may be tainted by false evidence and allegations of bias within that organisation. Let’s look at that another day.

If Nandy wants to lower the threshold for suspending members accused of racism, she probably knows the bar is already very low. This Writer’s own membership was suspended in the basis of an article by the Campaign Against Antisemitism that was – let’s be fair – chock-full of lies.

It’s no wonder that the CAA is now under investigation by the Charity Commission over claims that it has breached rules of political impartiality that all charities must keep.

But it is Nandy’s promise to introduce an independent complaints process, and to share information on disciplinary cases with other organisations – including the media – that are illegal.

As a data controller, Labour is under an obligation to keep data on its members confidential.

That means no sharing with other organisations or individuals, except under exceptional circumstances, without the consent of the data subject.

This Writer is currently in the middle of a court case against the Labour Party over the cavalier way it disregarded its own disciplinary procedures and the Data Protection Act that was in effect at the time (the current version has more protections for data subjects).

I think my case is airtight. The breaches of law and contract are clear. I do not expect to lose.

That will be extremely embarrassing for Labour – and doubly so for any leader who imposes new rules that spit on the law.

Postscript: Oh, and Nandy’s claim to be sympathising with Jewish party members who say they’re agonising about quitting the party is all well and good – but she seems to be ignoring the fact that her planned pogrom against Labour members indicates that she supports a certain form of racism herself.

Source: ‘Make-or-break time’ on antisemitism in Labour, says Lisa Nandy | Politics | The Guardian

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