Tag Archives: NEC

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

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 NEC – and NCC – has taken sides against the ‘wrong kind of Jews’

Last week I made it clear that Labour’s National Executive Committee has descended into racism in order to attack innocent party members like myself under a false pretence of anti-Semitism.

In the same accusation against me, the NEC also fell into anti-Semitism – by supporting an affiliated organisation that victimises people it considers to be the “wrong kind of Jews” (although they may not be described in that way).

By now, readers of This Site will be well aware that I attended a disciplinary hearing arranged by Labour’s National Constitutional Committee, at which a prejudiced panel arbitrarily decided that all the accusations against me were proved, despite having heard no evidence at all in support of such a claim.

One of these accusations concerns the Jewish Labour Movement and ran as follows:

On 2nd October 2016 Mr Sivier posted: ‘JLM is not a movement that represents Jews; it represents Jewish Zionists’. ‘The Jewish Labour Movement does not represent Jews who are not Zionists. It persecutes them’.

“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.

“To state that the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate does not represent Jews denies Jews the right to self-define. This conduct is abhorrent, antisemitic and falls way below the standards expected of Party members. This is clearly prejudicial and/or grossly detrimental to the Party.”

Of course I was not suggesting that the JLM does not represent any Jews; my words make it clear that I was saying the organisation – the Labour Party’s official Jewish affiliate, according to the NEC – represents only those Jews who support the political doctrine of Zionism (and even then, only those who support the interpretation of that doctrine supported by that organisation’s leaders).

I confess I was amazed to see this put forward as a charge against me, because my reasons for saying this were supported by the Jewish Labour Movement itself.

When I was interviewed by Labour investigating officer Stewart Owadally about this and other charges in October 2017 and he challenged me on this, I asked him if he had read the article – and he said that he had not. He had not read any of my articles beyond the specific parts he had been asked to highlight and question. This explained why he had not spotted the answer to his question, directly below the words he had highlighted. I simply read it out.

My article argues: “Look at the organisation’s own website. It states:

“The Jewish Labour Movement is also affiliated to the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Zionist Federation of the UK, and organise within the World Zionist Organisation… Our objects: To maintain and promote Labour or Socialist Zionism as the movement for self-determination of the Jewish people within the state of Israel.”

““Zionist”… “Zionist”… “Zionism”… “within the state of Israel”.

““It seems clear that “Jewish Labour Movement” is a misnomer. It should be “Zionist Labour Movement”.”

In my written defence, I went further: “What about Jews who aren’t Zionists, as the JLM defines them?

“How do you think the members of Jewdas – attacked as the “wrong kind of Jew” after Jeremy Corbyn attended an event organised by the group – would describe the JLM?

“Here’s how. Responding to attacks on Mr Corbyn for attending the event in late March, the Jewdas website – at https://www.jewdas.org/enough-is-enough/ stated: “What has happened over the last week is anything but an attempt to address antisemitism. It is the work of cynical manipulations by people whose express loyalty is to the Conservative Party and the right wing of the Labour Party. It is a malicious ploy to remove the leader of the Opposition and put a stop to the possibility of a socialist government. The Board of Deputies, the (disgraced for corruption) Jewish Leadership Council and the (unelected, undemocratic) Jewish Labour Movement are playing a dangerous game with people’s lives.”

“So these Jews consider the JLM to be unelected, undemocratic, and playing a dangerous game with people’s lives. Representative of Jews in general? No.”

I continue: “What about Jewish Voice for Labour, which admits full membership only to Labour Party members who identify as Jewish – unlike the JLM, which allows full membership to non-Jews, and also to non-members of the Labour Party? This organisation has campaigned against what it sees as false accusations of anti-Semitism against notable figures like Ken Livingstone, Jackie Walker, and Marc Wadsworth (as has This Writer), and also campaigns against the persecution of Palestinian people by the state of Israel.

“And JLM members hate it. Responding to Harrow East Labour Party’s decision to affiliate to JVL, JLM chair Ivor Caplin told the Jewish Chronicle it was a “stupid decision” to affiliate with an “obsessive group that is often far too generous to antisemites and Holocaust revisionists”. But at least members of JVL are all Jewish, which is more than can be said for the JLM.”

So how can we describe the claim that I am denying Jews the right to self-define?

Bogus. It is the JLM that denies Jews the right to self-define – by siding with those who treat other Labour-supporting Jewish organisations as the “wrong kind of Jews”.

In declaring support for the Jewish Labour Movement and its anti-Semitic* aggression against such people and organisations, the NEC is also declaring its own anti-Semitism.

*I know – it seems strange to describe an organisation claiming to represent Jews as anti-Semitic. But the JLM’s aggression towards the JVL, Jewdas and the others is entirely due to their identity as groups of Jews, so it is entirely appropriate to describe that organisation – and therefore Labour’s NEC – in that manner.

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


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook