Defend the Left! No bans, no proscriptions!

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There are alarming reports that the July 20 meeting of the Labour Party NEC will discuss a motion proposing the proscription of four left-wing groups: Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour in Exile Network, Socialist Appeal and Socialist Resistance (or Resist, there are different reports).

We are holding an emergency meeting tomorrow evening with other Labour Left groups to discuss the possibility of a joint defence campaign. We are also proposing to hold an emergency meeting of all members of Labour Against the Witchhunt next Saturday, July 24 at 6pm to discuss our response to this dangerous development. More details below. 

We have yet to see the wording of the motion. Apparently, according to an article on the website of Socialist Appeal (here), the motion states that membership of the four groups is “incompatible with membership of the Labour Party”, as they have their own programme, membership, and structures. But the purpose of that constitutional clause is to exclude people from Labour membership who campaign against the Labour Party; and/or who actively support political organisations or candidates who stand against the Labour Party.

None of our organisations do that. The same cannot be said for the right-wing factions within Labour. Progress, Labour First and the Jewish Labour Movement have consistently and openly campaigned against Labour under Corbyn’s leadership and the JLM even refused to support Labour candidates at the 2019 general election – there is enough evidence of this in the ‘leaked report’. Yet none of these groups are threatened with proscription. 

This will not be the final effort by Keir Starmer to attack and get rid of the left – this is just the latest salvo in his full-blown attack on what remains of the pro-Corbyn left in the Labour Party. We have seen a very dangerous silencing of free speech and democracy in the Labour movement, with whole branches and CLPs being suspended and whole areas of discussions being suppressed or ruled out of order, including legitimate demands to express no confidence in Starmer and David Evans. False charges of ‘antisemitism’ have been used to prevent any discussion or expression of solidarity with Palestinians. 

There should be no room for automatic expulsions without due process, everybody deserves the right to a hearing. The whole left must stand in active solidarity with these four organisations and oppose this latest purge. No doubt, other groups will be added to the list, should this first round of proscriptions go through without a hitch. 

What you can do:

1) Come to the Labour Party NEC protest on Tuesday July 20 at 12noon (more details here and below)

2) Join Labour Against the Witchhunt here and attend our emergency meeting on Saturday July 24, p6m

3) Contact left-wing NEC members to oppose the motion and campaign against any proscriptions:

July 24, 6pm:
Emergency LAW members’ meeting

All members of Labour Against the Witchhunt will receive a Zoom invite in the next few days – if you join LAW before July 24 here, you may attend. If you are unsure if you’re a member, you can check your status here – login with your usual email address, then make sure to select ‘Labour Against the Witchhunt’ from the drop down list (a few groups use membersmojo and your email address gives you access to all your memberships managed by that system). You can of course also email us and we’ll check if you are a member. 

We totally understand if you wish to attend the meeting with your camera switched off or by using a false name (but please email us if you do so:

Please be assured that the Labour Party has of course no access to our membership lists.

Please send any motions or proposals in writing asap to