Tag Archives: suspension

Why did Labour suspend members after anti-Semitism dossier leak – and keep quiet about it?

Labour: whose memberships has the party suspended?

This is peculiar.

The Labour Party has said it has suspended party members named in a leaked party report as having broken rules.

The claim, it seems, was not made voluntarily but in response to High Court litigation.

A party member named Mark Howell has brought a claim for breach of contract against the party, demanding damages as well as the expulsion of members who broke internal rules and a referral to the CPS for possible prosecutions.

He claims party funds and resources were deliberately deployed at the 2017 election, “not to win vulnerable seats presently held by rival parties but instead to increase majorities in safe seats of certain favoured party Members of Parliament.”

In other words, he says Labour breached its contract by sabotaging its election campaign in not trying to win enough seats to win a Parliamentary majority.

According to the Evening Standard:

The court heard three separate investigations have been launched by Labour since the report was leaked, while a written legal argument on the party’s behalf confirmed that members have been suspended.

“The party has promptly commenced an investigation into whether any members referred to in the Report have, based on the materials referred to in the Report, breached the Party’s rules”, it said.

“Some of the party members have been suspended from membership so far as it is necessary to do so to protect the integrity of the investigation.”

“To protect the integrity of the investigation” – to This Writer, that suggests the suspensions were of party officers who might have had a chance to interfere – such as those in the governance and legal unit, which investigates anti-Semitism accusations, among other complaints.

But it may also indicate suspensions of people suspected of leaking the report.

The party has faced multiple, insistent demands for suspensions over the allegations in the report but stonewalled – suggesting the latter is the more likely case.

Labour has insisted that no further hearings will be needed until its internal investigations – three of them – are concluded, around mid-July.

We’ll know the way the wind is blowing by then, in any event, depending on whether any of those accused of sabotaging the 2017 election or racially abusing Labour MPs end up facing expulsion or other punitive action – or if someone is named as the whistleblower who leaked the report.

And that should tell us everything we need to know about Keir Starmer’s position on this issue.

Source: Labour Party suspends members after anti-Semitism dossier leak ‘to protect integrity’ of internal probe | London Evening Standard

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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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Where are the suspensions connected to the leaked Labour anti-Semitism report?

Keir Starmer: he’s extremely relaxed about alleged corruption and racism among his party officers.

Many Labour members are named as having participated in the misdeeds chronicled by the leaked Labour report on the party’s response to anti-Semitism allegations. According to the rules, all of their party memberships should have been suspended immediately. Why has this not happened?

Keir Starmer said he was launching an investigation immediately (this was not true because I hear the National Executive Committee is meeting on Thursday to discuss that investigation’s terms of reference; it hasn’t started yet).

Anyone who has ever had their membership suspended will know that this happens before an investigation begins.

Don’t forget that while the report states none of the officers concerned were found to have anti-Semitic attitudes, the allegation that they delayed investigations into anti-Semitism (to make Jeremy Corbyn look bad) means they are believed to have actively tried to support the presence of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. If rank-and-file members had been accused of this, their memberships would have been suspended.

So, if all Labour Party members are supposed to be equal, why are these alleged racists and election-fixers getting preferential treatment?

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A taste of his own treatment: cheerleader for Labour ‘anti-Semitism’ expulsions targeted as Islamophobe

Trevor Phillips: Prejudiced? Or the victim of a prejudicial system? Or both?

Should I be happy that Trevor Phillips has been suspended from the Labour Party over allegations that he’s an Islamophobe?

Sure, as a former head of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, it casts doubt on the ability of that organisation to carry out inquiries into discrimination of any kind. Who knows who else may be prejudiced?

And as someone who has been outspoken about claims of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, the suspension casts doubt on everything he has had to say on the subject.

But then, Labour hasn’t exactly distinguished itself with its ability to tell genuine accusations from false alarms.

My own case is a perfect example; expelled from the party on the basis of false accusations, I’m taking Labour to court and expect to get a result in my favour on May 26.

So, with regard to its failure to carry out any impartial investigation, it’s arguable that Phillips had a point when he called Labour a “brutish, authoritarian cult”.

The bottom line, though, is that a man who had no problem at all with the persecution of innocent people at the hands of that cult is now to experience first-hand exactly how that “bruthish, authoritarian cult” behaves.

Innocent or guilty, I think the process will prove informative.

Source: Trevor Phillips suspended from Labour over Islamophobia allegations – BBC News

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Williamson anti-Semitism suspension appeal: see how the mass media got their story wrong

Look at the state of this:

Way to make a hash of it, BBC!

How can Chris Williamson have lost his appeal if the High Court ruled his suspension was unlawful? It doesn’t make sense, does it?

The fact of the matter is this:

Chris Williamson won his appeal against being re-suspended on a charge for which he had already been through the Labour Party’s disciplinary procedure.

This means Labour may not apply disciplinary measures against him over the speech in which he said the party had been “too apologetic” when accusations had been levelled against it.

However: the court said Mr Williamson must go through the party’s disciplinary procedure with regard to a second suspension, on different charges.

At a hearing last month, his barrister Aileen McColgan told the judge, Mr Justice Pepperall, that these further allegations “for the most part concern the claimant’s measured and reasonable exercise of freedom of expression … or are premised on the idea of ‘guilt by association'”.

She added: “It appears from the timing … that the purpose of the decision to raise these allegations now, and to impose a second suspension on the claimant, is to seek to ensure that he will remain suspended even if this claim is successful and that he will therefore remain disqualified from selection in the forthcoming general election.”

It appears she was right, as this is exactly what has happened.

That is a fact that should shame those in the Labour Party who raised the second set of charges. Personally, I consider them to be nothing more than dirty victimisation.

Now the focus will be on Labour’s disciplinary procedure. Has the party cleaned up its act or with the NEC tell the judging panel to find against him no matter what, as happened to This Writer?

Whatever happens, Labour can only hope to cover itself with more shame. Remember: the judgement is that the party was wrong to re-suspend him on the original charge and the court heard that the second suspension was only – spitefully – to ensure that he could not be a candidate in a snap general election.

Source: MP Chris Williamson loses anti-Semitism suspension appeal – BBC News

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Judgement in Chris Williamson ‘anti-Semitism’ court case due TODAY

Chris Williamson.

A judge in Birmingham is to rule on whether the Labour Party acted illegally in re-suspending Chris Williamson on an accusation of anti-Semitism, after he had been reinstated into the party.

Here are the details, courtesy of Kerry-Anne Mendoza:

She is right; he does deserve our solidarity.

You may remember that Mr Williamson’s Labour membership was suspended after he made a speech saying that Labour had been “too apologetic” when faced with accusations of anti-Semitism in the party.

In the speech, Mr Williamson said: “The party that has done more to stand up to racism is now being demonised as a racist, bigoted party.

“I have got to say I think our party’s response has been partly responsible for that because in my opinion… we have backed off far too much, we have given too much ground, we have been too apologetic.”

Amid applause from the audience, he went on to say: “We’ve done more to address the scourge of anti-Semitism than any political party.”

To This Writer’s way of thinking, this is a valid opinion; the party’s leadership and disputes team seems to believe every accusation is proof of guilt.

But some took the opportunity to say he was trying to excuse racism (every accusation is proof of guilt – see?) so he issued a prompt apology for giving that impression, saying, “Our movement can never be ‘too apologetic’ about racism within our ranks.”

It wasn’t enough to stop his suspension, which was ended after a three-member National Constitutional Committee panel ruled him innocent of wrong-doing.

But this led to outrage among the witch-hunters in the party and he was promptly re-suspended.

Mr Williamson has claimed that the Labour leadership was wrong to do this and launched a legal challenge, which he crowdfunded with donations from supporters.

Now the evidence has been heard and the judge will deliver the verdict at 4pm.

This will be an important moment for everybody who has taken part in the witch-hunt against innocent Labour Party members – and for those of us who have been abused by it.

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Conservative members are suspended over allegedly Islamophobic posts – what about Boris Johnson?

Boris Johnson’s comments about the clothes worn by Muslim women may be considered Islamophobic. As other Tories are suspended, is he immune to criticism just because he happens to have got himself elected Tory leader – and prime minister by default?

This is welcome, but we’ve been here before. Will these Tories have their memberships restored after a fortnight?

And in case anybody has forgotten, all the Tory leadership candidates – including new PM Boris Johnson – agreed to an independent inquiry into Tory Islamophobia –

But then, Mr Johnson has committed blatantly Islamophobic acts himself. Will he really authorise an investigation that may condemn him?

A number of Conservative Party members have been suspended for posting or endorsing Islamophobic material online.

The BBC highlighted over 20 new cases to the party, who said all those found to be members who shared or supported anti-Muslim posts on Twitter and Facebook were suspended immediately.

However, the officials would not reveal the exact number of members suspended.

A Conservative spokesman said the party was now “establishing the terms” of an investigation into the wider issue.

Perhaps those terms will exclude examination of Mr Johnson’s behaviour.

Source: Islamophobia: Conservative Party members suspended over posts – BBC News

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Scottish judges rule prorogation unlawful. Is it a bit late for that now?

Appeal court judges in Scotland have ruled that Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament until mid-October is not legal.

The decision overturns a previous ruling that courts did not have the power to overturn Mr Johnson’s political decision to prorogue Parliament.

But they did not issue an injunction or interdict ordering Parliament to reconvene after the prorogation came into effect early on Tuesday morning (September 10).

Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, said the Scottish tribunal was deferring a final decision on an interdict to the UK supreme court, which will hold a three-day hearing next week.

The UK government will appeal at the UK supreme court against the latest ruling, which also contradicts a decision in BoJob’s favour by senior English judges last week.

So it seems an appeal against the Scottish judges’ ruling that prorogation is unlawful will take place at the same time – September 17 – as an appeal against the UK judges’ ruling that it isn’t.

What if both appeals succeed?

And let’s not forget that another challenge is to be heard at a court in Belfast.

Meanwhile, as the courts go through their slow deliberations, Parliament remains unable to sit; unable to get on and deal with the important issues facing the UK.

I fear that the end result will be a decision that the prorogation was unlawful – delivered after it has ended.

What good will that be?

Source: Scottish judges rule PM’s suspension of parliament is unlawful | UK news | The Guardian

EXTRA: It seems the governent has not moved to have the effect of the Scottish court’s ruling delayed until after the Supreme Court in London delivers its decision on Tuesday (September 17).

This means that the prorogation is not currently in force and Parliament may meet again.

But will it?

It seems likely that soon-to-retire Speaker John Bercow may look kindly on the possibility.

But if the Tory government refuses to take part, won’t this only complicate matters even more?

And should that worry us – or should we embrace it as the possibility of even more embarrassment for Boris Johnson?

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Challenge to Parliament suspension rejected. Johnson will have a job to do, though… 

This Writer predicted that Gina Miller’s high court challenge against Boris Johnson’s five-week prorogation of Parliament would fail, and I was right.

I was also right about the challenge in the Scottish courts, which also failed – so I’ve scored two-for-two.

It shouldn’t worry anybody.

Boris Johnson has painted himself into a corner.

Parliament has decided that the UK cannot leave the EU without a satisfactory withdrawal agreement – or at least, it will have done so by the time the suspension comes into force.

As Mr Johnson seems not to want to start a new session afterwards, but to have a general election instead, he has an opportunity to use all this extra time by securing just such an agreement.

That’s if he still wants the UK to leave the EU on October 31, of course. If he doesn’t – and we don’t – then his premiership will be confirmed as the biggest failure of any UK prime minister’s, ever.

(It already is, but this will confirm it.)

Brussels has said it is still waiting for any overture at all from Mr Johnson.

It will be interesting to see if he can be bothered to do anything – or if he has already given up.

Source: Brexit: Challenge to UK Parliament suspension rejected – BBC News

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Labour has covered itself in disgrace with the Chris Williamson controversy

Chris Williamson: It seems he’s doing the Labour version of the Hokey-Cokey. You put your left leg in, you take your left leg out…

The re-suspension of Chris Williamson amid renewed – and malicious, in This Writer’s opinion – screams of “anti-Semite” is a scar on the face of the Labour Party.

The Labour MPs, peers and party employees who have vilified Mr Williamson – without any real evidence, let’s remember – all deserve to be subjected to the same disciplinary procedure, with the threat of being thrown out. Every single one of them. They have done more to bring the party into disrepute than he ever did.

Here are the names of the MPs and peers involved: Tom Watson, Holly Lynch, Stella Creasy, Anna Turley, Rosie Duffield, Louise Ellman, Ruth Smeeth, Jenny Chapman, Roberta Blackman-Woods, Stephen Dought, Karin Smyth, Baroness Thornton, Lord McNicol, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, Lord Turnberg, Gloria de Piero, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, Yvette Cooper, Baroness Massey of Darwen, Baroness Kingsmill, Lord Soley, Madeleine Moon, Kate Green, Ruth Cadbury, Owen Smith, Seema Malhotra, Liz Kendall, Chris Matheson, Margaret Hodge, Stephen Kinnock, Jeff Smith, Chris Bryant, Wes Streeting, Julie Elliott, Lord Levy, Lord Knight of Weymouth, Lord Harris of Haringey, Ali McGovern, James Frith, Lucy Powell, Bridget Phillipson, Pat McFadden, Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall, Lord Triesman, Lord Dubs, Ian Murray, Darren Jones, Alex Sobel, Karen Buck, Neil Coyle, Lord Mandelson, Anna McMorrin, Chi Onwurah, Baroness Taylor of Bolton, Lord Willie Bach, Susan Elan Jones, Ged Killen, Baroness Ramsay of Cartvale, Lord Livermore, Kevin Barron, Dan Jarvis, Jess Phillips, Martin Whitfield, Rachel Reeves, Peter Kyle, Baroness Armstrong of Hilltop, Lord Young of Norwood Green, Ellie Reeves, Baroness Maggie Jones, Rushanara Ali, Debbie Abrahams, Daniel Zeichner, Lilian Greenwood, Graham Jones, Toby Perkins, Lord George Robertson, Baroness Mary Goudie, Barry Sheerman, Tonia Antoniazzi, Ian Lucas, Lord George Foulkes, Lord Wood of Anfield, Cat McKinnell, Ben Bradshaw, Lord Haskell, Lisa Nandy, Gareth Thomas, Lord Brooke, Sharon Hodgson, and Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

Of course, context is everything. If any of them can demonstrate that they were misled and did not understand that they were supporting false accusations, I would certainly advocate leniency. But they all deserve to have their cards marked for this particular abomination.

The letter they signed provides absolutely no evidence in support of their demand.

The most relevant line – ironically – is “It is clear to us that the Labour Party’s disciplinary process remains mired by the appearance of political interference.” Of course, their letter is the most blatant example of political interference there could be. They didn’t like the result of the party’s investigation so they’re trying to change it.

That is how the public sees this and the public has responded with disgust at Mr Watson and his co-plotters.

On the basis of that letter, one may be forgiven for thinking that these Labour MPs and peers are attacking Mr Williamson because they don’t like him. That is the limit of the information in their letter.

Fortunately, The New Statesman‘s Patrick Maguire has provided a letter from 68 anti-Semitic – yes, anti-Semitic – Labour Party staffers, providing details of their accusations against Mr Williamson.

These details include claims that Mr Williamson:

“Shared a platform with Tony Greenstein, suspended from Labour for using terms such as ‘Zio’ and describing a Jewish member of the Labour Party as a ‘Nazi Bitch’.”

I have bad news for these Labour staff – who should know better: Tony Greenstein is himself a Jewish man. He was suspended from Labour for standing up and saying that, as a Jew, he did not accept the way certain prominent members of the party – not all of them Jewish – were making claims of anti-Semitism that did not stand up to scrutiny. You might not like the language he has used but the vilification of this man by these people is clear hatred against a Jew, as a Jew. That is anti-Semitism and everybody who signed this letter is therefore an anti-Semite.

They also complained that Mr Williamson:

“Attended events in solidarity with individuals suspended from the Labour Party for antisemitism.”

How kind of these Labour officers to confirm what many of us have known for years – that those accused of anti-Semitism are automatically assumed to be guilty by the party machine. There’s no justice in Labour’s disciplinary procedures while these people are around!

They said he

“campaigned for the reinstatement of Marc Wadsworth, who attacked Ruth Smeeth MP at the launch of the Chakrabarti Inquiry and accused her of ‘working hand in hand with the press’.”

Mr Wadsworth was well within his rights to accuse Ms Smeeth, as is well-documented. She instantly accused him of anti-Semitism, despite the fact that he did not even know she was Jewish at the time. Labour’s disciplinary procedure led to his unfair expulsion – a decision that created a wave of disgust at the party’s biased system.

You can read this article for more information. It includes Mr Williamson’s tweet in support of Mr Wadsworth, pointing out that he is an anti-racism campaigner who was instrumental in the campaign for justice after the death of Stephen Lawrence.

They said he

“reasserted his support for Pete Willsman, after a recording surfaced of an antisemitic rant about Rabbis and that antisemitism in the Party was manufactured by Israel, an antisemitic conspiracy theory.”

How many times do we have to repeat that criticism of Israel is not anti-SemiticThere is a wealth of evidence to show that the Israeli government habitually interferes in Labour Party affairs – read this article for a taste of it.

They said

“just hours after 11 Jewish people were murdered in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Chris Williamson tweeted a conspiracy theory article from the website Skwawkbox, accusing the Board of Deputies of British Jews of using antisemitic language.”

Here‘s the Skwawkbox piece. As you can see, it was reporting on claims in the Jewish Chronicle that Marie van der Zyl, chair of the self-elected Board of Deputies, had used an anti-Semitic stereotype in a speech.

And you know what Mr Williamson’s comment was? It’s in my article here: “Wow, well blow me down with a feather.” That’s an expression of surprise or shock – not of anti-Semitism. Maybe he was being sarcastic but, in context, that should be no reason for vilification either.

I don’t have personal knowledge of the claims regarding a petition in support of Gilad Atzmon or endorsement of Scott Nelson. I have heard that he was asked to support a petition against calls to boycott a concert by Mr Atzmon, who is a musician by trade. For some reason, at the time of writing, I am unable to access that petition on the Change.org site, so I cannot tell whether there is any mention of his political views. If not, it’s possible Mr Williamson was not aware of any accusations of anti-Semitism against that person. In Mr Nelson’s case, my understanding is that this is a person who accepted he had made anti-Semitic comments in the past and apologised for them – and Mr Williamson was calling for people to accept the apology and move on.

So, on the face of it, the evidence against Mr Williamson is spectacularly weak.

There was no anti-Semitism in the speech that prompted his suspension in the first place. See my article here for the facts about that.

The manufactured anger over that speech seemed to be part of a co-ordinated campaign against Mr Williamson; he was also attacked for trying to host a screening of the film Witch-Hunt, that covers the false claims of anti-Semitism against Jackie Walker (and others). Not mentioned by opponents of Ms Walker is the fact that she is herself Jewish. Like Mr Greenstein, she stands up – as a Jew – to denounce the misappropriation of anti-Semitism accusations. Those who accused her, in turn, of anti-Semitism were in fact guilty of the offence themselves.

But they always seem to get away with it, don’t they?

Mr Williamson has tweeted his own impatience with the inconsistency in Labour’s disciplinary process:

As a resident of Brecon and Radnorshire, where Labour is about to field a candidate in a by-election, I am deeply concerned about the misbehaviour of party members and officers who should know better.

It will undoubtedly reflect on the campaign and people may decide not to support Labour because of it.

And then who will be to blame?

It won’t be anyone who has been falsely accused of anti-Semitism but I can’t see Tom Watson biting the bullet. Can you?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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