This is the response of the LIEN Steering Committee to the resignation letter from 4 members of the LAW Steering Committee
To the Resigned Comrades in LAW in response to your email to members dated 30th November 2021.
As members of the LIEN Steering Committee, we would like to respond to your letter to LAW members dated 30th November. It is our view that our response should be shared with members of LAW because we believe that the email to members misrepresents LIEN.
In response to your letter:
1.) We do not accept that LIEN lacks focus. The aims of LIEN are clear, and are set out below
**AIMS** The aim of Labour in Exile Network is to connect all those on the left, both inside and outside the Labour Party, who want to fight back against the current attempts to push the party to the right and keep together in comradely solidarity all those who believe in “For the Many, Not the Few.”Its members include those who remain in the Labour Party, those who have been unfairly suspended or expelled in the last six years, as well as those who have resigned from the Labour Party in despair of the party’s direction of travel under Keir Starmer and David Evans. LIEN’s Plan for Change was agreed at our founding conference on February 27, 2021 and has three main aims.
These are to:
1. Democratise the Labour Party
2. Stand up for free speech
3. Stop the witch-hunt.To help achieve its aims, LIEN is working to support the setting up of “Shadow CLPs.”
These are groups of left activists in local areas who want to continue their activism regardless of the direction of travel of the Starmer leadership, adhering to the essential rallying call of “for the many, not the few.”LIEN urges all those who oppose the witch-hunt against the left to expose and fight it — whether from inside or outside the party.
2.) You state that LIEN is politically diverse. It is not clear what you mean by this, but we are confident that the LIEN membership is principally socialist, with many drawn from the cohort that supported Corbyn. We draw your attention to the LAW aims which state:Labour Against the Witch-hunt was founded in October 2017 to oppose the purge of pro-Corbyn supporters in the Labour Party.
3.) You state that LIEN is committed to the 2019 and 2017 Manifestos. This is not the case. In joint meetings of LAW, LLA and LIEN Steering Committee members, it was suggested that the Manifestos could be a starting point for a future Left policy platform, but this is not a position either endorsed by the LIEN membership, nor by its Steering Committee.
4.) LIEN has not formally taken a position as to whether “Labour is dead.” Many members who have been exiled may well think that Labour is dead to them, but that is another matter.It is our view, as will be apparent from the LIEN “AIMS” above, that there is material overlap with the aims of LAW. This was one of the reasons for the consolidation. As was the overlap in membership.It is also our view that we should respect and trust the democratically expressed will of members. As such, we do respect your decision to resign from the current SC, given that the vote appeared as a vote of no confidence in the Steering Committee steer to members.We intend to work with LAW SC comrades to plan for an All-Members’ Meeting of the consolidated organisation and its new working and leadership arrangements such that there will be a clear focus on LAW work. We hope that you will be able to Support this work
**Labour In Exile Network Steering Group**
30th November 2021