On the case of David Watson: Open letter to the NEC, Compliance Unit and Constitutional Committee

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To the NEC, Compliance Unit and Constitutional Committee

Sisters and Brothers

23 January 2018

We have waited for 19 months for the Chakrabarti Enquiry’s recommendations to be put into practice, and give our party the fair disciplinary procedures it needs and deserves. We hope that the NEC will make a start today by clearing David Watson of unfounded charges and letting him return to Walthamstow where he was a valued officer.

We have seen so many good comrades across the Labour Party suspended on the basis of anonymous accusations, and still waiting to be reinstated. There have been waves of factional purges which are shameful in a democratic party. First members were accused of being Green, then trade union militants, then antisemites and then transphobic. Accusations seem to have come down most heavily on people of colour, thus further excluding them from our party which we say that we want to reflect the society we live in.

We are all members of the Labour Party in Holborn & St Pancras and Hampstead & Kilburn. Many of us have Jewish heritage. We are concerned for Labour in future government to have a real ethical foreign policy including international co-operation and fair trade. This includes confronting the internationally condemned actions of the state of Israel and reining in its unfair trade privileges, creating equal rights for Palestinian citizens and more. We strongly deny that supporting the international nonviolent campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions is antisemitic, or that questioning the colonising actions of Israel shows that the Labour Party harbours hatred of Jews. This is not our experience.

We are still waiting for suspended active members like David Watson to get a fair hearing and be reinstated. We need their abilities to win the next election.

Signed (in alphabetical order)

  • Ruth Appleton, Highgate branch, GC delegate from Unite
  • Simon Burton, Kings Cross branch
  • Prof Miriam E David, Highgate branch
  • Daphne Davies, Kings Cross branch
  • Harriet Evans, Vice-Chair, Highgate branch
  • Pete Firmin, CWU delegate, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  • Sam Gisagara, BAME officer, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch
  • Alice Gray, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch
  • Owen Holland, Bloomsbury & Kings Cross branch
  • Agnes Kory, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  • Richard Kuper, Political Education & Training officer, Highgate branch
  • Marie Lynam, West Hampstead & Fortune Green branch, GC delegate GMB
  • Bernard Miller, Gospel Oak branch
  • Moshe Machover, Queen’s Park branch
  • Tom Muirhead, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  • Gareth Murphy, Kentish Town branch, GC delegate from Unite
  • Barbara Rosenbaum, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch
  • Jo Rostron, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch
  • Linda Sayle, GC delegate, Kings Cross & Bloomsbury branch
  • Amanda Sebestyen, GC delegate, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch
  • Prof Tom Selwyn, Vice Chair, Camden Town with Primrose Hill branch