LAW’s lobby of the Labour Party NEC

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Around 40 supporters (and a few witches) showed up today, January 23, to help us lobby the Labour Party NEC to demand an end to the witch-hunt against left-wing and pro-Palestinian Labour members. Expelled and suspended members (amongst them Jackie Walker, Marc Wadsworth and Tony Greenstein) spoke to NEC members and lots of press.

Here are a couple of reports from people who were there:

Of course, we welcome the election of Christine Shawcroft as chair of the Labour Party Disputes Panel. But more is needed: now that there is a clear left majority on this leading body of the party, the witch-hunt against the left needs to come to a swift end! We want to speak to all NEC members and tell them about our demands to democratise the Labour Party:

1. A moratorium on any new NCC witch-hunt cases
2. The withdrawal of all outstanding NCC witch-hunt cases
3. The immediate implementation of the Chakrabarti report recommendations on Labour’s disciplinary procedures in respect of natural justice and due process

These are LAW’s founding principles:

1. We demand the Labour Party ends the practice of automatic, instant, expulsion or suspension of Labour Party members;

  • that all those summarily expelled or suspended from membership without due process be immediately reinstated;
  • that a member accused of a breach of rule be informed of who their accuser is;
  • that a member accused of a breach of rule be given all the evidence submitted against them by their accuser;
  • that a member accused of a breach of rule be regarded as innocent until proven guilty;
  • that membership rights must not be removed until disciplinary investigations and procedures have been completed;
  • that disciplinary procedures must include consultation with the accused member’s CLP and Branch;
  • that disciplinary procedures must be time limited. Charges not resolved within three months must be automatically dropped.

2. We demand that the Labour Party rejects the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism, which in its list of examples conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism and support for the rights of the Palestinian people. Instead, the Labour Party should adopt a simple, straightforward, definition of anti-Semitism, such as by Professor Brian Klug: “Anti-Semitism is a form of hostility to Jews as Jews, where Jews are perceived as something other than what they are”.

3. We demand the immediate abolition of the Labour Party’s “Compliance Unit”. Disciplinary decisions should be taken only by elected bodies, not by paid officials.