Tag Archives: NEC

Leading left-winger quits Labour’s ruling body over hostility to socialists

Laura Pidcock (right) with Jeremy Corbyn: there’s more genuine for-the-people politics in this image than in the whole of Keir Starmer’s shadow cabinet.

Keir Starmer will be happy to see her go – but that is a mistake.

Laura Pidcock, one of the leading lights of Labour’s left wing, has quit the party’s ruling National Executive Committee, citing “irreconcilable differences” between the behaviour of the party’s current leadership and the traditional Labour principles on which she was brought up.

In a statement, she said Keir Starmer’s leadership had made Labour “hostile territory for socialists, from those of us on the NEC, to those in CLPs across the country”.

“What I have witnessed on the NEC has been immensely frustrating,” she wrote.

“This leadership is devoid of ideas, lacking vision. I can’t and won’t negotiate with these people any more. The summit of their ideas are just small tweaks to the status quo.

“They challenge virtually nothing, but are noticeably determined when it comes to rule changes that alienate the left. They have demoralised thousands of people who were awakened to politics for the first time in their life. I am sure this is part of their larger strategy.

“When there is so much devastation caused by this Government and the economic system we live under, when poverty is endemic, when people are hungry, when finance capital is tightening its grip on the NHS, with a Government entrenching the hostile environment, and when the ravages of climate decay are obvious for all to see, we cannot go on giving our energy to people who want to block fundamental, positive change.”

She stated that her unease with the Labour leadership was “crystallised” by the cheering of Tory right-winger Christian Wakeford (“an MP who has voted against everything we believe in”)  as he crossed the floor of the House of Commons to join Starmer.

“What I immediately felt was pain for all of those who are forced to use food banks, all of those who are going through the punitive ‘social security’ system, for all of the amazing activists protesting against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, including Gypsy and Traveller people, who are also at the heart of resisting the racism in this legislation — some of the many reasons why this whooping by elected representatives of my own party, on that day, was so inappropriate and jarring for so many,” she wrote.

And she said attempts to restore the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn were futile under Starmer’s leadership: “Perhaps with the best of intentions, some people seem to think that we can negotiate our way to justice by appealing to the right of the party to do the right thing. That has never worked and certainly will not work in the current circumstances.”

A Labour spokesperson said: “We thank Laura for her service and respect her decision.”

It will be interesting to see how Ms Pidcock is replaced; under current Labour Party rules, her position would be taken by the runner-up for her seat at the last NEC election – Ann Henderson.

But she is also a left-winger like Ms Pidcock. Should we expect Starmer to seek a loophole that will allow him to install one of his right-wing cronies instead? (I think we should.)

Ms Pidcock’s resignation has triggered a wave of support for her from other politicians, commentators and organisations. Here are some of the comments:

Their words are undoubtedly echoed in the thoughts of many thousands of people across the UK.

And therein lies Keir Starmer’s dilemma – because he relies on the votes of left-wingers and socialists across the UK to keep himself and his fellow right-wing squatters in Parliament, and in power within the Labour Party.

His belief is that the Left has no alternative other than to vote for his Tepid Tories; the First Past The Post voting system means that is the only way to get the Tories out.

But genuine left-wing organisations are springing up across the UK to challenge him; its representatives calling on those socialists remaining in Labour to desert Starmer’s hollowed-out zombie party and join a movement where their achievements will not be neutered by his suffocating presence.

The first test of his ability to resist the new wave of socialism will be the local elections in May – but it won’t be the last.

Is Ms Pidcock’s resignation the first pebble-fall leading to a landslide that will bury Starmer and his traitors forever?

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Labour leaders keep Corbyn out of Parliamentary party after welcoming right-wing Tory

Philosophical: Jeremy Corbyn may not have regained his place in the Parliamentary Labour Party but he retains the high ground.

Leaders of the political party that falsely claims to provide an alternative to the hard-right Conservative government but welcomes the most right-wing of Tories to its ranks with open arms has voted to extend Jeremy Corbyn’s banishment from its Parliamentary membership.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee agreed by 23 votes in favour, 14 against and one abstention not to restore the party’s Parliamentary whip to Mr Corbyn after hearing from Chief Whip Alan Campbell, who said the party’s former leader had not apologised nor addressed any of the issues raised against him when his membership was suspended unilaterally by party leader Keir Starmer in November 2020.

Starmer decided to throw Mr Corbyn out after the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) had found that Labour had not been institutionally anti-Semitic under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, but right-wing factionalists had interfered with the party’s handling of complaints in order to bring the socialist then-leader into disrepute.

The EHRC examined 70 cases, of which 42 (60 per cent) were found not to have been investigated in line with the party’s policies at the time.

Mr Corbyn’s response to the EHRC’s finding was wrongly said to be offensive to Jewish people by Starmer. Let’s just check that…

So, right-wingers – with whom Starmer aligns – had tried to mislead the public into thinking Mr Corbyn was responsible for failures to address complaints of anti-Semitism when in fact they were to blame, having done so in order to falsely create an impression that the amount of anti-Semitism in Labour was far greater than was in fact the case – and Mr Corbyn was suspended as a member of the Parliamentary Labour Party for pointing this out?

If anybody should apologise, it seems that person’s name is “Keir Starmer”.

His resignations as party leader, MP and Labour member should follow (in This Writer’s opinion).

But we know that isn’t going to happen. He has spent far too much of the nearly two years he has been leader perverting the party’s rules and procedures to favour himself and his cronies to ever do that!

There is an alternative, though:

Mr Corbyn himself retains the higher ground:

This Writer would certainly agree that it is time for Mr Corbyn to join the left-wing movement that rising outside the Labour Party, which needs socialists far more than they need tepid Tories.

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Beckett’s ‘silly cow’ comment shows Starmer has turned Labour into a cess pit

The shenanigans after yesterday’s (March 11) meeting of Labour’s National Executive Committee make This Writer glad not to be a member of that party any more.

The fact that Margaret Beckett is being allowed to continue as chair of the NEC after calling fellow committee member Laura Pidcock a “silly cow” on a Zoom meeting is unacceptable.

Pidcock had made a perfectly reasonable point after a motion to recall Labour’s party conference had been rejected with no vote taken, in a snub to party democracy.

The motion sought to recall the full party conference, possibly to coincide with Labour’s women’s conference in June, for reasons This Writer set out in a previous article:

The motion… reads: “Discussion in local Labour Party meetings has been suppressed; motions banned; scores of activists suspended; and anger and disillusionment is exploding across our lay membership across the party.

“Members are leaving in droves and many more are expressing frustration and dissatisfaction at the attack on democracy and free speech. Many members are saying it doesn’t feel like the Labour Party anymore.”

There is also frustration after several ex-officials suspended over the contents of a damning leaked report have been let back into Labour. 

These are serious, party-splitting concerns, and it is unacceptable that Laura Pidcock, asking how members could have this out-of-hand rejection of those concerns explained to them, was dismissed as a “silly cow”.

The reaction on the social media was unequivocal:

The last commenter is right: this is indeed Keir Starmer’s Labour.

And he has made it a cess pit.

I am delighted that I am not a member of an organisation that puts Starmer and Beckett in positions of seniority that they clearly do not merit. I have a feeling that many other Labour members will also abandon the party in the face of this ill-treatment.

And I expect the general public will do the same at the May elections.

Source: Labour MP Margaret Beckett apologises over ‘silly cow’ remark – BBC News

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Corbyn calls in the lawyers – just as This Site asked him to

What a coincidence!

The day after This Writer called for Jeremy Corbyn to take court action to stop the current Labour leadership from playing fast-and-loose with party rules to persecute him – he did just that.

Jeremy Corbyn’s solicitors have written to Labour calling for his suspension as one of the party’s MPs to be lifted, the BBC has been told.

I can’t take credit for the move – this is a tiny website with a very small readership – around 16,000 a day on average – but I think it is worth recording my gratitude to everybody who did pass my message on to Mr Corbyn, just in case.

Keir Starmer has built up a reputation, in a very short time, for conceding court cases Labour’s legal advisers say the party should win. In this instance, the opposite should apply – so I fear he’ll decide to fight.

Possibly mitigating against this is the letter to the party’s acting general secretary, David Evans (his appointment has yet to be ratified by a Labour Party conference), demanding that the Parliamentary party whip be restored to Corbyn.

According to Skwawkbox, the letter

  • condemns the ‘double jeopardy’ and ‘deliberate political interference’ of withdrawing the whip from Corbyn after he was reinstated by an NEC panel
  • makes clear that the decision of the panel was based on independent legal advice and the recommendation of Labour’s disciplinary investigative unit
  • implies that their advice was that there were no valid grounds for Corbyn’s suspension
  • confirms that the whip had been restored to Corbyn on the lifting of his suspension, making an utter mockery of Starmer’s excuse that he was ‘not restoring’ the whip rather than withdrawing it
  • makes clear that the meddling in the disciplinary outcome is exactly that kind of ‘political interference’ the EHRC has ruled unlawful
  • accuses Starmer and other right-wing MPs of smearing the NEC panel members who acted in accordance with the party’s rules and the legal advice they gave
  • says that Starmer has put NEC members in a legal bind – and that as a highly-qualified barrister he has no excuse for his ‘unconscionable’ choice
  • demands that Evans rebuke Starmer for his political interference in party processes and undermining public confidence in Labour’s disciplinary process
  • ‘requires’ Evans to immediately ‘demand’ that Starmer upholds the NEC panel’s decision and restores the whip to Corbyn

So now Starmer is well and truly caught between a rock and a hard place.

I wonder what sanctions will be carried out by the NEC members who signed the letter, if they don’t get what they demanded?

Perhaps Starmer’s decision will be made easier by the continuing rebellion of party members across the country, who continue to ignore his diktats that they should not speak up on Corbyn’s behalf or campaign for him.

This Writer is delighted to see that Bristol South CLP (I’m from that part of Brizzle) has just voted to support Corbyn:

I understand Brent Central CLP has also passed a motion demanding the restoration of the Labour Parliamentary whip to Corbyn.

And it seems another CLP has passed a motion calling on the NEC to take all steps possible to remove David Evans from office.

November 19 has been a disastrous day for Keir Starmer and his cronies.

How much worse can it get before he bows to the inevitable?

Source: Jeremy Corbyn’s lawyers challenge Labour over MP suspension – BBC News

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This week, Corbyn, next week – Vox Political’s Mike. But will Labour admit its ‘anti-Semitism’ blunders?

 

Has the Labour Party followed its own rules for investigating the complaint against Jeremy Corbyn?

After any party member is accused, they have to be given warning of the claim against them, with questions to answer in order to give their side, and two weeks to answer them.

Then the party has to investigate the validity of the complaint – a matter that can take several months.

Then the issue goes before a panel from the National Executive Committee.

As far as we know, Jeremy Corbyn still doesn’t know the accusation against him. How could he? Keir Starmer hasn’t been able to get it right in any of the many interviews about it in the two weeks and five days since it happened.

Starmer keeps saying silly things, such as that Corbyn had said anti-Semitism had been exaggerated. He didn’t; he said the extent of A/S in the Labour Party had been exaggerated by certain people for political reasons.

Starmer’s insistence on exaggerating what Corbyn did would suggest that he is one such person. Wouldn’t it?

I’ve already touched on the next point: nowhere near enough time has passed for a proper investigation, according to Labour’s rules, to be carried out.

So it seems any discussion by any NEC members today (November 17) can only take the form of a “show trial”. If he loses his party membership as a result, the party will be accused of holding a kangaroo court.

Mention of kangaroo courts brings This Writer to my own mistreatment by Labour and the fact that my case against the party, for breaching its contract with me by failing to mount a proper investigation and by passing false information about me to the newspapers, will return to court in a week.

The hearing at 2pm on November 24 will take place by telephone – but space is being made available at Bristol Civil Justice Centre for interested members of the public to attend and hear the verdict.

This hearing may take an unexpected path as the Equality and Human Rights Commission published its own report on the way Labour has handled accusations of anti-Semitism since the trial.

I think some of that report should have been included as evidence. I am concerned that the Labour leadership postponed its publication until after the trial took place – possibly in the belief that the verdict would be announced on the same day.

It wasn’t. I hope to bring the judge’s attention to Chapter Six of the report, which gives details of serious failures of the Labour complaint investigation process, and to another part that is pertinent to my case.

I also submitted a request for information to the EHRC, about whether it considered my own case. The organisation has promised to respond before the hearing on November 24.

(This means it will have replied within two weeks of receiving the request. Contrast that with Labour’s response when I sent the party a Subject Access Request: it took the party two years and two months to deliver only a partial response.)

If the verdict goes in my favour, then doubt will be cast on the relevance of Labour’s decision today. And I expect the verdict to go in my favour.

Source: Anti-Semitism: Labour ruling body to meet over Jeremy Corbyn suspension – BBC News

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Labour NEC elections: should Electoral Commission investigate Starmer vote-rigging claims?

Stymied: Keir Starmer has failed to increase his power on Labour’s ruling NEC – and may face an investigation by the Electoral Commission over the possibility that his leadership team interfered with the votes, binning many that should have been counted.

Perhaps Labour Party members – the few who remain – should be grateful for small mercies: after the NEC election left-wing Grassroots Voice candidates took five of the nine CLP seats.

It means Keir Starmer’s ‘Stalinist Right’ (apparently) faction has been denied a chance to consolidate its power over the party; he will continue to face opposition to his more extreme right-wing policies in the party’s ruling committee.

But do these results really matter, when they come amid allegations of vote-rigging?

The claim is that Starmer’s leadership has been disregarding votes by people who subsequently quit their membership of the Labour Party in disgust at the undemocratic decision to suspend Jeremy Corbyn for no reason at all.

And it seems this claim may have validity. The number of votes counted in this election is said to be around 117,000 – 27 per cent of the membership, according to the most recent figures we have. Last time, 68 per cent of the membership voted.

That’s a huge difference.

It is entirely possible that the 117k figure represents 68 per cent of the current membership, after the party haemmorrhaged members following Starmer’s election as leader and his immediate choice to betray those who voted for him by ignoring his 10 pledges and turning the party’s direction sharply to the right.

But if Starmer’s people have been binning votes from people who were members before they quit in disgust, then it seems they have acted unconstitutionally by removing votes that should have counted; these people were members when they voted and had every right to vote at the time.

Fortunately for democracy in the UK, we have an organisation dedicated to ensuring that elections are carried out in a free, fair and legal way.

So here’s the question:

Should the Electoral Commission be called in to investigate this election?

And if so:

Should the result of the NEC election – as currently reported – be ignored until the Electoral Commission is able to confirm (or deny) it?

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Outraged Labour members want to know why Starmer supports illegal torture by UK armed forces

Keir Starmer: if he was really a soldier – as in this mock-up image – he might be less inclined to support illegal torture by members of the armed forces.

The Tories aren’t the only ones getting a hammering from the public over plans to break international law.

Party members are calling on their representatives in Labour’s ruling NEC to debate why MPs were told to abstain from voting on a Bill to allow servicepeople to commit acts of torture.

Labour leader Keir Starmer demanded that MPs should abstain, rather than opposing the plan, which should be abhorrent to any right-thinking human being.

So when NEC member Rachel Garnham asked what members wanted to hear discussed at today’s meeting, this was the response:

Some have used it as a subject for humour – with a strong underlying criticism of Starmer, who many party members now consider to be no better than a Conservative:

Starmer’s leadership is too weak to brook any such criticism of his decisions, so it seems unlikely that any such discussion will take place.

This Writer certainly doesn’t expect to hear about any such deliberations.

So much for Labour Party democracy. Jeremy Corbyn tried to roll it back out to the members, but now Starmer is in charge, the people are losing their voice once again.

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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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Tory muckraker Kuenssberg is trying to undermine NEC statement on Brexit

Labour’s NEC has released a statement of support for Jeremy Corbyn’s preferred policy on Brexit – and the BBC’s Tory-supporting political editor is already doing everything she can to undermine it.

The statement shows that a Labour government would negotiate a new Brexit deal with the EU and put it before the people in a new referendum within six months of coming into office.

This deal, following discussion with industry, trade unions and the EU, would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of three million EU nationals in the UK and one million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

And Labour would decide how to campaign in a referendum on this deal – or remaining in the EU – after a special one-day party conference, to ensure that the will of party members is upheld.

Here’s the meat of the statement:

Labour will put control of Brexit back in the hands of the people in a new referendum with a real choice between a sensible leave deal or remain.

The NEC further welcomes the role of the Labour Party in Parliament to work cross-party to legislate against crashing out on 31 October. There is no mandate for No Deal.

A Labour government will get Brexit sorted one way or another within six months of coming to power, allowing us to concentrate on all the issues that matter to people most.

A Labour Government would secure a sensible leave deal with the EU within three months, and within six months would put it before the people in a referendum alongside the option to remain.

Jeremy Corbyn is right to say that as a Labour prime minister he would implement the will of the British people in that referendum.

The Labour frontbench has consulted with industry, trade unions and EU leaders and officials on a deal that protects jobs and investment, while respecting the 2016 referendum result.

Labour’s leave deal would include a new UK-EU customs union, a close relationship with the Single Market, protections of the Good Friday Agreement with no hard border, securing the permanent rights of 3 million EU nationals in the UK and 1 million UK nationals in Europe, guarantees of workers’ rights and environmental protections, and membership of key bodies to ensure joint co-operation in areas like climate change, counter-terrorism and medicines.

If people vote to leave on those terms, Labour will deliver that and leave the EU with that negotiated deal. If people vote to remain, Labour would implement that and seek to reform the EU as members. A Labour government will deliver whichever decision is made by the people of the UK.

The NEC believes it is right that the party shall only decide how to campaign in such a referendum – through a one-day special conference, following the election of a Labour Government.

It’s a strong policy, ensuring that the people of the UK have the opportunity to determine their own future – unlike the policies of the Boris Johnson’s Conservatives or Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats.

https://twitter.com/ToryFibs/status/1175733913668542464

So of course BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg – who already crashed the BBC switchboard with complaints after she outed a concerned father who challenged Boris Johnson over the collapse of the NHS as a “Labour activist” and told Twitter’s Tories where they could dogpile him – had to try to cause trouble.

In a series of tweets, she claimed that the Labour leadership had emailed the statement to NEC members with a request to get replies in before 1.30pm:

But her claim doesn’t take in the realities of conference participation. Was she suggesting that NEC members should have abandoned their commitments to appear, in order to have a meeting about it?

In practice, a round-robin email was the easiest way – and the deadline was late enough that everyone involved would have had time to respond, between conference appearances.

As it was, there was a majority for the statement before midday, so it was released.

So much for the threat that Brexit divisions would overshadow the conference. But how many people will dwell on Ms Kuenssberg’s distortion rather than the facts?

Source: Breaking: NEC statement ratifies Corbyn’s Brexit position – and post-GE special conference plan | The SKWAWKBOX