Tag Archives: National Executive Committee

LabourLeaks: will party leaders take disciplinary action while inquiry is ongoing?

The scope of an investigation into the leaked Labour report on a right-wing faction’s interference will not stop party members being suspended and investigated for improper behaviour, it seems.

So it is entirely possible for Keir Starmer and his team to suspend the memberships of all those who are named as responsible for misconduct in their roles as party officers, investigate what happened alongside the investigation into the report, and finally expel them if necessary.

The investigation’s full terms of reference have yet to be published but a LabourList report states that:

  • “The inquiry does not preclude disciplinary action by the party… the new leadership team was not trying to discourage such action from being taken by the party in line with normal processes, and in fact “they’re encouraged” to do so.”
  • The person who leaked the report will be protected as a whistleblower. A Momentum spokesperson said: “While the report should not have been leaked unredacted, Labour is Britain’s largest political party and the contents were clearly in the public interest. Labour’s half a million members deserved to know what was happening at the top of their party, and those involved in bringing these actions to light must not be penalised.”
  • Sources say the independent investigation will not focus on the leaking of the report in terms of identifying the leaker(s), though how and why the leak occurred will be considered.

Of course, both Starmer and deputy leader Angela Rayner have said they support introducing an independent complaints system.

For the benefit of Labour members: this means the party, as data controller, would pass your personal details to somebody completely unconnected with it, who you may not wish to have information about you, without consulting you about it and without asking your consent. This runs contrary to the Data Protection Act.

A majority vote in Conference will not be enough to give the party legal justification for such a move. It will have to gain the consent of every single party member – and if just one of you refuses to allow it, then the party will be acting illegally in doing it.

That’s the law.

This Site will continue to report on this matter as developments continue to take place.

Source: Labour’s ruling body agrees scope of investigation into leaked report – LabourList

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Labourleaks: right-wingers on NEC try to suspend people they suspect – without evidence

Wow, the new right-wing-dominated Labour National Executive Committee really is something, isn’t it?

Apparently, at its meeting today, certain unnamed extremists called for the suspension of people they suspect of leaking the Labour report showing right-wing factional interference in anti-Semitism investigations and in general elections.

Did they have any evidence? No!

It’s like the run-up to the party’s leadership election in 2016, all over again.

We can only surmise that these specimens were engaging in exactly the kind of factionalism that the report highlighted. If anything were to show that its information was accurate, it must be this.

Incidentally, while we have more than 850 pages of evidence indicating misconduct by right-wing Labour officers, it seems their colleagues on the NEC have a blind spot there; no action was proposed against the alleged wrong-doers.

Fortunately for sanity, the proposal was not agreed.

If it had been, then Labour’s more than half a million members would have had grounds for an immediate vote of no confidence in the committee. I urge all party members to watch these representatives closely.

Source: Labour right trying to suspend suspected leakers without evidence while those implicated in report carry on as normal | The SKWAWKBOX

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Who are the Labour MPs using ‘Remain’ to undermine Corbyn?

Undaunted: He’s got a sheer wall to climb but that has not stopped Jeremy Corbyn in the past.

Skwawkbox is carrying an interesting story about Jeremy Corbyn’s bid today (September 17) to persuade Labour’s NEC to back his course on Brexit.

The interesting bit is here:

Certain figures on the left – some more obvious than others – have been continually pressing for Labour to abandon its 2017 promise and go ‘full remain’. Those same figures – like the vacuous LibDems – were previously pressing for a referendum, but now Corbyn has agreed to one they are moving the goalposts further.

My question is this:

Which figures on the left?

It’s long past time we started naming names, so that those of us with an interest in these matters can keep a close watch on these individuals and examine their motives.

Are they genuine? Or are these just political manipulators, after their own profit at the expense of the nation?

Source: Corbyn fighting today for preferred Brexit position | The SKWAWKBOX

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Labour lowers requirement to trigger selection of new Parliamentary candidates

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee has reduced the required number of votes needed to trigger the selection of new Parliamentary candidates.

The decision means constituency Labour parties may more easily rid themselves of MPs who members feel no longer have the good of the party at heart.

This may include those who have spoken out against party leader Jeremy Corbyn because they do not share his political views, rather than over any wrong-doing he may be perceived to have carried out.

It may also include those who have deliberately attempted to hinder Labour’s electoral chances while Mr Corbyn is leader.

But the rule change also means members of the party’s right-wing may take advantage too – in order to remove supporters of Mr Corbyn and/or his policies.

Skwawkbox (quoted below) suggests that all those who wish to ensure the Parliamentary Labour Party more adequately resembles its left-wing membership need to get organised now, contacting their CLP secretaries to ensure they can make the necessary arrangements, and This Writer agrees.

The full procedures document can be downloaded here.

Labour members eager for the opportunity to choose a new parliamentary representative now have a green light to start the ‘trigger’ process – and some will face a lower hurdle to successfully force a full selection contest, after the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) agreed a change to the application of the ‘one in three branches’ trigger threshold.

In Labour’s new trigger rules, one in three member branches must vote for a selection contest in order to ‘trigger’ one.

However, the total from which ‘one in three’ will be calculated will be of those branches participating in the vote’, not of all branches in the CLP. Moribund branches therefore cannot be used by supporters of MPs hoping to avoid a selection contest to raise the bar.

Source: Excl: green light for triggers as Labour NEC lowers bar further | The SKWAWKBOX

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Labour’s ruling committee is racist – the evidence is undeniable

Jeremy Corbyn: As a lifelong campaigner against racism, how does Labour’s leader feel about being included in support of the racist abuse of another Labour Party member, because he is on the party’s National Executive Committee?

We all learned one thing from my “disciplinary” hearing with the Labour Party: I am not an anti-Semite.

I know the panel from Labour’s National Constitutional Committee ruled otherwise, but the decision ran contrary to all the factual evidence that was heard; it was a kangaroo court in which facts didn’t matter and justice was a joke.

And the evidence clearly showed that Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee had descended to supporting racism in order to throw me out of the party.

I should make it clear, at this point, that I am crowdfunding to take court action against those who have made false accusations of anti-Semitism against me. Please contribute – visit my JustGiving page and pledging to donate as much as you can spare.

Here’s the evidence:

The NEC had prepared the case against me, which included seven “particulars” of the charge. One of these ran as follows:

“On 12th October 2016 Mr Sivier posted [about accusations of anti-Semitism against Jackie Walker]: ‘She was subjected to racist abuse by people who pose as campaigners against racism (albeit that very specific kind of racism that relates to the Jewish people). The same people claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews, thereby discriminating against all the other groups who faced genocide at the same time.’

“This comment is grossly offensive to those the Party seeks to represent particularly the Jewish community. Comments like these have had and continue to have a serious impact on the Party’s position as an inclusive organisation, which stands against antisemitism.

“Qualifying racism in this way Mr Sivier has done is dismissive of antisemitism. There are very few, if any campaigners who ‘claim the Nazi holocaust exclusively for Jews‘. Stating this discredits and diminishes antisemitism and the work done by campaigners. To do so is a completely unacceptable way to engage in political debate and falls significantly below the standards expected of party members. This is clearly prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the party.”

I think what’s “grossly offensive to those the Party seeks to represent” is the support for racism in this charge.

I stated that Ms Walker was subjected to racist abuse. In attacking me for raising that fact, the NEC clearly supports the racists who abused Ms Walker.

But the NCC panel, chaired by Maggie Cousins, who I understand to be a hard-right supporter of the Zionist lobby within the Labour Party, did its utmost to stifle evidence to this effect.

In my questions, I asked: “This refers to the racist abuse suffered by Jackie Walker, who has also been accused of anti-Semitism by the Labour Party. Does the NEC agree, on the evidence available, that her abusers are racists?”

Ms Cousins interrupted before the Presenter could answer, claiming that it was “not appropriate” to discuss another case as members of the panel may be due to hear it as well as this. But when I asked the obvious question – “are they?” – the answer was no. So I carried on.

“Does the NEC believe it is appropriate for the Labour Party to support the behaviour of racists in the manner we see here?”

The Presenter was not a member of the NEC and was therefore unqualified to comment on the NEC’s beliefs. Then she was not qualified to present the case, surely?

And so it went.

“Does the NEC accept that in saying this comment is “grossly offensive to those the party seeks to represent”, it is suggesting that the Party seeks to represent racists?”

She couldn’t answer for the NEC.

“Does the NEC accept that in supporting the racist abuse of a person who self-identifies as Jewish, it is undermining its own claim that the Labour Party “seeks to represent the Jewish community”?

She couldn’t answer for the NEC.

These are questions that should be answered, though.

The racism – and the support of racism – implied in the accusation against me is clear.

In making such an accusation against me, Labour’s ruling organisation was declaring its support for racists.

In declaring support for racists, Labour’s ruling organisation was admitting racism itself.

And, as the case was presented by the NEC, all members of that committee must take responsibility for the racism seen here.

That includes Jeremy Corbyn.

Given his own long-standing opposition to racism in all its forms, I wonder how he feels about being included in support of racism and racist abusers, against his will?

Visit our JustGiving page to help Vox Political’s Mike Sivier fight anti-Semitism libels in court


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Jewish Labour member accused of anti-Semitism during NEC elections. Connection?

As he admits himself, it is no surprise that the Labour Party membership of This Site’s friend and fellow campaigner Martin Odoni, of The Critique Archives, has been suspended – over an article written in support of me, I notice.

He had been expecting it for a while.

But the timing is interesting. Labour has waited until the party was carrying out its regular elections to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee.

I wonder how many other suspensions have occurred at this time – and whether this is intended to discourage party members from voting in NEC candidates who ever seemed to support those accused of the same offence – anti-Semitism.

Right-wing Labour officers tried a similar tactic during Jeremy Corbyn’s second leadership election, when they banned left-wingers from voting on the basis of the flimsiest possible excuses.

Is it so far beyond the realms of possibility that party officers are now trying to discourage support for left-wingers in the way I have described?

I would be interested to read your views – especially those supported by evidence.

Meanwhile, Martin has to face an accusation that he has compared Israel’s behaviour to that of Nazi Germany – and he’ll have his work cut out for him because Labour is currently kowtowing to that minority of British Jewry that supports Israel’s mass-persecution and murder of innocent people. I trust I do not have to provide examples of this behaviour.

He writes – and I agree with him [boldings mine]: “Even if one could argue that there is no such resemblance at present – a very shaky assertion but let us humour it for now – there is no reason for certainty that there never will be one in the future.

But the IHRA working definition insists that we must assume that, and that if we do not, we are anti-Semites.

“And worse, this further means that, even if Israel actually went as far as to set up extermination camps complete with gas chambers and incinerators, and started ‘processing’ Palestinians through them in their thousands (no, I am not suggesting that Israel really is doing that, or that it is likely to in the future, this is purely hypothetical), the IHRA definition would still class it as anti-Semitic to suggest a resemblance to Nazi policy. Even though, in such a scenario, Israel’s policy would not only resemble but exactly match that of the Nazis.”

You can see that Mr Odoni has a point.

But we may hope that he can open up a debate about the subject – not just of Israel’s behaviour as a nation, but of the assumption that it cannot perform such abominations.

Like so many of the assumptions in the IHRA working definition, that is wide open to abuse. And Labour is in danger of supporting that abuse, at the hands of pro-Israel activists and a mass media that is complicit in publishing fake news about the party, instead of the facts.

Finally, there is the fact that Martin is, himself, ethnically Jewish. The Labour Party must, therefore, fall foul of the claim by their apparent masters in the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council – that it is for Jews to decide what is anti-Semitic, not Gentiles.

Or are we seeing double-standards? One rule for one group and a different rule for another? Is Martin ‘the wrong kind of Jew’ that the Board of Deputies and the JLC keep banging on about?

I know I’m only a Gentile, but…

That looks like racism and anti-Semitism to me.

I mentioned a couple of months back that I was expecting some kind of suspension to my membership of the Labour Party. Well, it took them a long time, but there is predictable news, and unexpected news on that front. The predictable bit (a friend and fellow Labour ‘suspendee’ even said, “Unsurprisingly” when I informed him of my suspension) is that I have indeed received my suspension notice.

The unexpected detail is what I have been accused over… it was over the cover picture I put together for an article I wrote back in February:

The offending image: Labour has taken it out-of-context in order to present it as anti-Semitic.

It is entirely possible that I am guilty, given the well-recorded problems with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of anti-Semitism, which the Labour Party has largely adopted. The dangerous flaw in the definition – that comparing the policy of The State of Israel to that of Nazi Germany is inherently anti-Semitic – would probably apply here.

I am quite pleased that I have been suspended over this though, because it may force Labour to have a close look at the absurdity of this clause in the definition. What is likely to force the matter is the obvious, big drawback in the allegation against me; it is directed at someone who is ethnically Jewish.

As I have said more than once in the past, it is quite possible to be prejudiced against one’s own race, but it is very counter-intuitive and rare, so when the suggestion is made, it needs a very strong supporting case. In other words, if anyone wishes to accuse me of being a Jewish anti-Semite, they had better come up with some ultra-solid reasons why.

Anti-Semitic feeling will never be the only possible motivation for condemning Israel’s treatment of Palestinian Arabs. Nor is it the only possible reason why people might see resemblance between the deeds of modern Israel and the deeds of Nazi Germany.

Source: Hurrah! I’ve been suspended by the Labour Party. I was wondering if they’d ever get around to it. | TheCritique Archives

My Labour branch wrote a motion to Labour’s NEC, Mr McNicol – where is it?

NEC chair Paddy Lillis. Here he is unhappily announcing Jeremy Corbyn’s retention of the Labour Party leadership, despite his NEC’s best efforts to prevent it [Image: BBC].

Yes, this is about the motion I wrote after Labour’s former NEC chair, Paddy Lillis, acted unconstitutionally in overruling the will of the party conference last year.

He refused to accept demands that a package of 15 changes, including the addition of unelected representative of Scottish and Welsh Labour to the NEC, should be considered individually.

This means that the additions – along with the other 14 changes – are not valid and party members should not consider themselves bound by them or any decision made as a result of them.

Steve Walker, who writes SKWAWKBOX, contacted me with the information he had received from the NEC member, and I said it would be better for him to write the article about it, as I am too closely involved.

I did ask the Brecon and Radnorshire CLP secretary if he could cast any light on the matter, and he told me the information he had received was that the motion had gone to the NEC for “noting”. He speculated that this could be the limit of any discussion as the motion asks the NEC to do something it cannot constitutionally do – overrule conference.

But then, Mr Lillis overruled conference too – something he could not constitutionally do, in order to get his changes passed.

So, in constitutional terms, if my CLP secretary is right, I think the NEC is on very thin ice indeed!

As for the motion… Time is moving on. It would probably be better to bring a new resolution to this year’s conference, calling for the nullification of the package of 15 changes, and for each measure to be re-considered individually; for those responsible for pushing through the package, against the will of conference, to be reprimanded and for an ad hoc, independent body, separate from the NEC, to be set up to consider whether these people should be removed from any positions of responsibility.

That sort of thing. We take our democracy seriously in the Labour Party nowadays.

Last October the Welsh CLP of Brecon and Radnorshire (B&R), approved a motion declaring the unlawful addition of two unelected members to the NEC during Labour’s annual conference in Liverpool.

In accordance with normal procedure, as soon as it was approved the B&R motion was sent forward by a member of the CLP’s executive for the NEC to discuss – and acknowledged by the General Secretary.

But the SKWAWKBOX has obtained emails between a north-west Labour member and a well-known member of the NEC, which culminates in the latter denying that the motion was ever received by the committee.

Either Mr McNicol appears not to have sent the motion forward to the NEC or he sent it to someone in the NEC and they didn’t give it to the rest of the organisation committee.

Another NEC member, in a separate discussion, commented that

“CLP motions never get to the NEC.”

If the latter NEC member’s claim is true – and the confirmed instance involving the Brecon motion tends to support that conclusion – then it is further evidence of the apparent disdain with which many at Labour HQ regard their members.

Source: McNicol/NEC ‘disappearing’ inconvenient Labour documents? | The SKWAWKBOX

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Never mind the lifted Labour suspensions – what about everyone who was EXPELLED?

Former Labour Party member Krystyna Koseda out campaigning for Labour with Sadiq Khan (that's her, just to the left of him). She was expelled from Labour in September, on the grounds that she had campaigned for George Galloway.

Former Labour Party member Krystyna Koseda out campaigning for Labour with Sadiq Khan (that’s her, just to the left of him). She was expelled from Labour in September, on the grounds that she had campaigned for George Galloway.

I received a message today from a former Labour Party member who was booted out in the NEC’s summer purge after around six years as an active member. Her question: Where’s the justice for Labour members who have been expelled?

Krystina Koseda was active in Hornchurch and Upminster Labour Party, and spent spring campaigning with Sadiq Khan for him to become Mayor of London (and, as we all know, he succeeded).

But in September, as she prepared to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election, she received notification that her membership had been terminated – because she is a personal friend of George Galloway.

161105-kk-with-george-galloway

She wrote: “I am friends with George Galloway; my CLP were aware of this and there was no problem.

“I posted a photo of George on my personal Facebook account. It was George’s mayoral candidate photo but I cropped out the wording and placed it as my cover picture so it just showed his face as I liked the photo.

“My personal Facebook account is non political and all my friends and family are aware George is my friend. I thought nothing of it.

“I received a letter on September 10 to say I was expelled as, in March, I had placed this photo on my Facebook account. This was deemed as campaigning for a rival candidate to Sadiq.”

She told me: “I campaigned all spring for Sadiq as my CLP can vouch – and have in their letters to the NEC. I was even out with Sadiq and am pictured on his Twitter account. I was out campaigning for him with Jeremy when he came to Dagenham in March.”

She was indeed:

161105kk-with-jeremy-corbyn

“I worked so hard for the party this year. I have written and appealed as have my CLP but I have not even received any form of acknowledgement which I feel is very unfair.

“I feel I have been victimised due to my contact with George Galloway which is pretty bad considering he was Labour for 36 years and is an active campaigner for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

“I believe Labour hacked into my Facebook account as my privacy settings were on. I have asked where they got their evidence from as they also had my personal photos including those of my deceased parents, but they have failed to respond in any way.

“I feel they have broken data protection rights and I would like someone to highlight my case and the many others that were expelled.”

Ms Koseda’s expulsion letter is copied below.

161105-kk-expulsion-letter1

It states: “It has been brought to our attention with supporting evidence that you have publicly advocated support for George Galloway as a candidate for Respect on social media on 6 March 2016.

“You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party.”

This is why organisations like the Labour Party are supposed to allow accused members a chance to defend themselves against any claims made against them.

How many more innocent members have been thrown out by the former NEC’s (several members were replaced after elections over the summer) kangaroo court?

At a time when a great deal of attention is being focused on members who were suspended but have now been allowed back into the party, these people should not be forgotten.

Ms Koseda stated: “I passed the rigorous selection programme to become a councillor for the London Borough of Havering. I was shortlisted to the final three and was the only woman to get this far. Why did I pass all the selection criteria with them knowing about my friendship with George but then was expelled?”

She’s right; it doesn’t make sense. But then, very little about the Labour ‘purge’ ever did.

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Thousands of Labour members have suspensions lifted. They should protest

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

[Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images.]

I know. It runs against common sense to protest against the lifting of a suspension – from any organisation.

But the way the Labour Party has organised the thousands of suspensions that were handed down in the run-up to the leader election on September 24 is a disgrace that wronged far too many people and shamed the party as a whole.

Here’s a fairly typical reaction:

Restitution is required – for several reasons.

Firstly, the mass lifting of these suspensions indicates that they were only imposed to prevent people from voting in the election, in an attempt by the party’s main organising committee to influence the result.

Secondly, in support of the first reason, the grounds on which many of these suspensions were made had no substance to them.

Finally, although the suspensions have been lifted, they are to lie on each affected member’s file, and may be used against them in the future. This is unacceptable. It suggests guilt where none has been proved.

This Blog urges Labour Party members, whose membership had been suspended but who have had their suspension lifted under these unacceptable conditions, to unite and challenge this unjust, prejudicial and discriminatory treatment.

Constituency Labour Parties should be preparing motions to the NEC, demanding the reversal of the actions details in the letters and a full apology for members who have been assumed guilty even though no evidence has been tested in any disciplinary hearing.

Here’s a copy of one letter, used as an example by the Skwawkbox blog:

161105-labour-letter-1
161105-labour-letter-2

The blog states:

Note that there is no trace of apology in the letter and that a ‘formal NEC warning’ is issued – in this instance, nonsensically. The tweet in question put a caption on an image of a senior Tory MP, showing the MP in question calling a homeless person ‘scum’ who is homeless because they deserve it – in other words, it was attacking Tory attitudes, had no bearing on any Labour member and was certainly not in any way ‘detrimental to the Party’.

If it had, in fact, been the person receiving the letter who had called a homeless person ‘scum’, they would have no place in the Labour party. But they didn’t. To issue a formal warning in those circumstances is both ridiculous and confirms that no proper investigation was undertaken.

Those suspended – even for the most flimsy of reasons – have a sword hanging over them. The letter will remain on file – no time limit is given – and any future infringement (for example pointing out the arrogance of Tories to the homeless) could, as the preceding page makes clear, result in the end of ‘continued membership of the Party’.

The fact that these letters are being sent out in huge batches – and the fact that the real, obvious point of some of the supposedly-offensive messages has so obviously been missed – shows that no proper investigation took place. The fact that so many suspensions could be imposed and then just be lifted at the same time, suggests forcefully that the reasons for them were never the point and are now being lifted because they’ve served their real purpose.

And with a threat hanging over members who are overwhelmingly pro-Corbyn, just for good measure.

This behaviour on the part of a section of the party bureaucracy reflects extremely poorly on the party. It’s their behaviour that brings the party into disrepute – and which needs sanction.

Apparently the letters will continue to be issued until November 17. Anybody who has been suspended but has not heard anything within several days of that date will need to take action to find out what is happening with their case.

While Iain McNicol’s name is on each letter, some have argued that he is only carrying out the will of the NEC as general secretary. He cannot be absolved of all responsibility, however, as he has a responsibility to ensure that everything Labour does is legal and the suspensions weren’t – a recent court case showed that combining publicly-known information (such as that from Twitter or other social media) with confidential information held by the Labour Party (such as membership details) breaches the Data Protection Act.

This Blog therefore recommends pursuit of both Mr McNicol for carrying out the NEC’s orders without checking their legality, and those members of the NEC who voted in favour of this heavy-handed election-rigging in the first place.

Source: Labour’s suspension-lifting mass mailing makes mockery of process | The SKWAWKBOX

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