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Labour Party Shadow NEC

Demand for Natural Justice and Due Process

WARNING LETTERS following a suspension when no proper investigation has occurred and there is no right of appeal are NOT ACCEPTABLE. And will not be accepted. What is it that the NEC doesn`t get about that huh?

Keith performing at a Labour Party fund raising gig.

Another member treated so appallingly by the disgusting disciplinary system which is abusive to members (and continues to be even after they know the injustices they meted out)

Well this is odd. In September I was auto-excluded (expelled) allegedly for supporting another political party. I’ve just had a letter saying my administrative suspension (?) for allegedly contributing to a crowdfunding website (?) has been lifted with a formal NEC warning?! Both letters are from Iain McNicol.
As others have said, this is outrageous to be told it will be kept on file when I haven’t done anything and have had no chance to defend myself! But I’m more staggered by the sheer incompetence of lifting something that was never placed on me in the first place and for a different reason than initially given. I also can’t believe I’ve been through three months of hell with no apology!

Response to the suspension lifting with a warning letter:

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Dear Mr McNicol,


Thank you for your letter dated 19th December 2016. In the letter you state ‘I am pleased to inform you that your administrative suspension from the Labour Party has been lifted and that you are now free to resume active membership.’ You also state ‘You were suspended following allegations that you contributed to a crowdfunding website which directly contravened party rules by paying for membership of others.’


This is somewhat confusing, given that it contradicts the previous correspondence I received from you on 16th September 2016. In that earlier correspondence you stated ‘It has been brought to our attention with supporting evidence that you have publicly shown support for Socialist Worker.’ You go on to say ‘You are therefore ineligible to remain a member of the Labour Party.’


So in September I was auto-excluded for one charge, of which I am innocent, and in December you unsuspended me for a different charge of which I am equally innocent.


So was I re-admitted and then suspended without being informed? If so, can you tell me when this was? Or have you, in effect, dropped the first charge, re-admitted me, suspended me for a second charge and then unsuspended me all on the same day and this is what you are now communicating to me?


You claim there is an allegation I ‘contributed to a crowdfunding website which directly contravened party rules by paying for membership of others.’ This is untrue. Who made this allegation? Do you have evidence that was not revealed to me at the time of my recent Subject Access Request under the Date Protection Act (your letter dated 26 October 2016 from Mike Creighton)?

Or are you relying on the screenshot of a Momentum page on Facebook? If you are relying on the screenshot, you will clearly see that this does not demonstrate anything of the sort. The comment immediately before mine is not complete because it is too long to be displayed. If you were able to open that you would see that the person talks about being too poor to afford groceries. In context, my offer of ten pounds is clearly meant to go towards his grocery bill. In any event, he did not take me up on the offer and no money was paid. No crowdfunding website was ever involved; nor was the money anything to do with his membership. So every single word of the allegation is untrue.

Furthermore, in your letter dated 19th December, you say you ‘have considered it necessary to issue [me] with a formal NEC warning’. The rule you quote, ‘6.1.C’, states the NEC may issue a warning, but you say ‘I… considered it necessary’ to issue the warning. So was this issued by you or the NEC? Have the NEC discussed my individual case?


Either way I wish to raise an objection to this and request that this warning be removed, on the grounds that the allegation is unproved and therefore inaccurate. Additionally, no investigation into this allegation appears to have been undertaken and as a result, I have not been able to challenge the allegation or contribute any evidence to the investigation of it.


The Data Protection Act, within the provisions of Principle 4, states that information held by an organisation in relation to an individual must be accurate.


It is incumbent upon you as a data controller to ensure that this is so.
If you will not be undertaking an investigation into this allegation which I can contribute to then I feel I must point out to you that if an individual is not satisfied that you have taken appropriate action to keep their personal data accurate, they may apply to the court for an order that you rectify, block, erase or destroy the inaccurate information.


Please let me have a response to this letter within 14 days from the date of this email.

Keith Shilson

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Di, resigned from LP for fear cancer would return

di

Unforgettable memories. It was a privilege to have met Jeremy and to have talked to him at length about Cornwall's housing problems. How on earth he made time for us at the phone bank that night following his demanding day at Heartlands, I'll never know. He is an inspirational man - a politician who truly cares about people. I may no longer be in the Labour Party but I'll support him through Momentum and the social media to the best of my ability.

This woman suspended from the LP for `vile racist etc tweets`. Left waiting and waiting and waiting to have it overturned – no chance to get it sorted out. Untrue accusations. Di is very ill (cancer) and has spend decades supporting and working for the Labour Party 😦

She finally had to give up because the stress has started to affect her health – so she has resigned from the Labour Party.

I condemn the Labour Party for their whole extraordinary marathon suspension ` purging` of members without any care for due process or respect for natural justice.

This is unforgivable.

Shame on the Establishment Labour Party. Contact this woman NOW!
Re-instate her NOW.

Anyone involved at any time at any stage in this woman`s suspension is culpable in my opinion. I condemn the whole (non) process on the basis of this case alone – and I have many other equally appalling examples.

.

Today I received my Subject Access Request (SAR) details and it appears my Facebook posts did not, as previously stated by McNicol, bring about my suspension. It was my tweets and re-tweets that brought about my downfall.

I attach pics and apologise for none of my comments except that had I noticed the words, “angela eagle rat”, I would not have re-tweeted it. All my tweets and re-tweets were made in response to the despicable conduct of those Labour MPs who have venomously attacked Jeremy Corbyn from the moment he was first elected as leader in September 2015.

If my tweets and retweets have been considered so abusive as to warrant my suspension, I am very glad I recently made the decision to quit the party and spare myself the ordeal of defending my online comments at a regional tribunal.

I still cannot believe the party I have supported for decades has been responsible for closing down freedom of speech for its members while giving full rein to Corbyn’s PLP detractors to bad mouth him on TV and in the Tory press.

The ‘old guard’ NEC and Iain McNicol have a lot to answer for.

UPDATE: Someone kindly pointed out something I had missed. The words ‘Angela Eagle rat’ were words the snooper software translated from the words, ‘Angela Eagle’ and ‘rationale’. So I hadn’t missed the word “rat” after all. Gawd – it’s beyond a farce now.


Di Coffey:

.This is a powerful piece of writing from Georgie Harrison who explains in graphic detail, the shock, the shame and the pain of being suspended from the Labour Party:

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‘My reply to someone who is mystified over why those of us suspended from the LP feel hurt as “Corbyn got elected anyway”

It hurts because it’s unjust. It hurts because we are viewed with suspicion by others – ” no smoke without fire” and all that.

It hurts because prior to the shenanigans of the NEC & the 172 PLP members treacherous behaviour we had thought that the Labour and Trade Union movement was the one body we could rely on for democracy and fairness. It hurts because many Corbyn friendly delegates were unable to attend conference with resulting voting rights.

.It hurts because many of us were booked into conference and then informed we were non compliant and refused entry. It hurts because we are not able to attend LP meetings or have official contact with our comrades in the party.

It hurts because we cannot get involved in campaigning. It hurts that we have not been given proof of our alleged misdemeanours. It hurts because the LP are still removing our subs via direct debit.

It hurts that we are forgotten and unfairly dismissed as abusive or racist – particularly galling when we have been victims of racism and abuse ourselves. It hurts because nobody replies to our emails.

It hurts that you question why we are hurt. Most of all it hurts that our integrity has been brought into question when we are all decent and loyal human beings. Does that answer your question?’

Georgie Harrison :

My family and work deserve the best of me and this will not be possible if I succumb to another breakdown courtesy of the LP.  My medication has already been doubled due to the LP efforts to discredit me.

peer

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Natural Justice NOW

Demand for Natural Justice and Due Process

CLICK HERE TO SIGN STATEMENT

This Group is dismayed by the actions of Iain McNicol in his role as General Secretary and the manner in which the administration of the Labour Party has been used to suspend or expel thousands of members.

The NEC has fallen short in ensuring that any and all suspension and expulsions are carried out with respect for due process and natural justice.

We have been made aware of a list of tweets and posts supplied to NEC members and used to justify and rationalise the manner in which the Compliance Unit and the NEC panels conduct the disciplinary affairs of the Party.

We wish to make it clear that we condemn any process used by the Labour Party that is not in deference to due process and natural justice. Due process and natural justice MUST be the over-riding framework for all and any investigation.  We hold the NEC and the General Secretary responsible for the way this large scale action is affecting thousands of our members.

Regardless of whether we personally, or collectively, condemn many, the majority, or all of the tweets and posts provided to the NEC members as a justification we wish to categorically state that we condemn the process that has been used to deal with the problem.

Mr McNicol cites the rule book and the right for the NEC to automatically suspend a person if they are bringing the Party into disrepute.  Firstly to use this as a justification for immediately suspending members is an abuse of the trust given to the NEC to deal with any clear cut case that meets that criteria. It is obvious to the `man in the street` that the spirit of that option is given in good faith and trust to allow for instant action in exceptional cases. We consider that the Labour Party itself has been brought into disrepute by the use of this trust to suspend or expel FOUR THOUSAND members.

We have had brought to our attention dozens of cases of people being suspended or expelled for spurious reasons, for retweets or reposts which may show support for the sentiment of another Party on for example, green issues, or even to express displeasure of the sentiment (for example UKIP tweets and posts).  Equally we have examples of people whose health and wellbeing is affected to the extent they have taken the decision to resign from the Labour Party because the stress of the long drawn out process is aggravating their condition. We condemn the use of instant administrative suspensions by the Labour Party.

There are many issues related to this debacle: the lack of due process; the lack of natural justice; the issue of data protection violations.  Just one case where any single of these is lacking is sufficient to bring the whole system into question.

Further, we have been told that the NEC considers that `this should never happen again`. INDEED. To that end we wish to make it clear that we expect an open and transparent investigation to look at how this came about, how it is allowed to continue and what went wrong.

We are very concerned, dismayed, that such trust given to the General Secretary to apply instant suspension or expulsion has been applied to justify the expulsion or suspension of 4,000 members. We therefore also consider that Chapter 6 of the rule book is completely overhauled to reflect the members disquiet on what we consider to be an abuse of this trust.

We demand that the Labour Party now constructs a transparent, clear process of dealing with any cases of discipline. We must have a new system that has at its very foundation: Natural Justice.

click here to sign statement

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Callous disregard of Iain McNicol and the NEC toward members

Chris Billings:

With disappointment, but not surprise, I sent the following by post and email to Mr McNicol this morning:

Mr Iain McNicol, General Secretary,

Sir,

I am writing to ask you why I have received no substantive reply to my letter to you dated 14th November last year. The letter was sent by post and email simultaneously. You acknowledged receipt by email the following day, stating “The letter and email have been received and will be responded to in due course”.

More than three months have now elapsed since that communication. Given the very serious nature of the allegations that you made against me, this is stretching the limits of “in due course” beyond what is reasonable, and into the realms of unprofessional discourtesy.

Following a submission of an SAR request soon after my suspension, the Party was obliged to provide me with all the data it held concerning me. When it arrived, I noted that it did not contain any evidence to support any of the allegations that you had made. My letter of 14th November gave you another opportunity to comply with the request. The fact that you have still not provided any evidence relating to any alleged offence, or any details of the investigation that you stated would follow my suspension, leads me to believe that no such evidence exists, and that there was no investigation.

In view of the above, I am inclined to suspect that you made serious allegations against me without checking their validity, and despite your clear and unequivocal statement regarding an investigation, you have made no subsequent attempt to determine the facts. What motivated you to make allegations which impugned my character, and to ignore your own stated intent to investigate them?

Without any contrary explanation having been offered by you, I have no option but to conclude that the allegations were made either erroneously or maliciously. If it is the former, why are you showing such reticence in communicating with me? If you or others have acted in error, I would welcome an explanation, and retraction of the formal warning, and be pleased to consider the matter closed.
In addition, I would appreciate an apology.

Unfortunately, my experience, and those of others I know in very similar (sometimes eerily identical) circumstances, lead me to conclude that my suspension was not the result of an honest mistake. Although I would be delighted to learn of an alternative explanation, your words and deeds in relation to my suspension and reinstatement, and your silence since, makes it impossible for me to conclude that the actions of the Party in suspending me were anything other than a malicious and undemocratic move to prevent me voting in the recent leadership election.

What’s done is done. I am anxious to move on, and do all I can to help ensure that Labour form the next government. I am sure that we share that goal. However, despite what you and/or others in the Party might hope, I refuse to rest while the sanction of a formal warning remains hanging over me – particularly when no one in the Party has provided, or made any attempt to provide, any reason why that sanction might be justified.

Again, I must insist that you retract the formal warning against me without any further delay.

It might be desirable for some in the Party to hope that I will either give up and meekly submit to an injustice, or resign my membership of the Party. I hope that you are not relying on me taking either course of action. I will do neither. I am not going to go away. With that in mind, please do not ignore me, or inform me again that I will receive a reasonable response to a reasonable request “in due course”.

I believe that I deserve an answer to my questions. I am certain that I deserve to be treated with basic courtesy – which has been conspicuously absent in my dealings with the Party in recent months.

Good day Sir,

Mr C Billing

The disciplinary process and the rule book has always been perfectly well administered in the past. That was before the Election Procedures Committee thought, in their arrogance, that they could adapt the disciplinary procedure and the rule book to suit themselves.

As a result all and any semblance of fairness, justice, due process and natural justice was thrown out the window.  The resulting `purge` of thousands and thousands of members on spurious grounds is sickening. It disgusts me on all levels: for the individuals subjected to the abuse by the procedures committee, the lack of responsibility of the NEC (who allowed this in the first place by handing over the reins of the disputes panel to the procedures committee) who, in my opinion, demonstrated a dereliction of duty, and continue to do so, by not highlighting how the disciplinary process put in place by the procedures committee breaks all the rules of the rule book and simply has, and continues to have no regard for common decency.

Arrogant Procedures Committee V. Disputes Panel

 

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Arrogant Procedures Committee V. Disputes Panel

The disciplinary process and the rule book has always been perfectly well administered in the past. That was before the Election Procedures Committee thought, in their arrogance, that they could adapt the disciplinary procedure and the rule book to suit themselves.

As a result all and any semblance of fairness, justice, due process and natural justice was thrown out the window.  The resulting `purge` of thousands and thousands of members on spurious grounds is sickening. It disgusts me on all levels: for the individuals subjected to the abuse by the procedures committee, the lack of responsibility of the NEC (who allowed this in the first place by handing over the reins of the disputes panel to the procedures committee) who, in my opinion, demonstrated a dereliction of duty, and continue to do so, by not highlighting how the disciplinary process put in place by the procedures committee breaks all the rules of the rule book and simply has, and continues to have no regard for common decency.

Up until this fiasco the disputes panel looked at any possible disciplinary infringements and spoke with the member, decided whether there was any evidence to support the need for an investigation, and then arranged for an investigation to clarify the issues. Only if there was a real threat of abuse, and or a real threat to the reputation of the Party, did the disputes panel suspend a member during the investigation stage.

The Procedures Committee, however, thought in their arrogance they will just suspend all and everybody that anyone reported or that the bot they used threw up as ABUSE  such as blairite or rat.  The pathetic check that the bot was not being unreasonable resulted in the panels confirming the suspension because it was a real abusive threat to an individual or the Party`s reputation.

WOW. The result was, and the abuse by the Party to individuals continues on unchecked, is that members were suspended and their votes taken away from them, and their right to attend conference taken away from them, when, if it had followed the established manner of the disciplinary process simply would not have happened.

Suspending members in this way is unprecedented and is not what the Disputes Panel would have done, and neither therefore, would the Disputes Panel have deprived people of their votes and lost them hundreds of pounds in hotel and booking fees for conference.

THEN having dug this hole the procedures committee went on to lift the suspensions and merely issue a warning letter.NO. this is not the process that should be used.  The disputes panel instigate an investigation, and only if there is any evidence that they consider warrants a punishment do they act – and what they do is PASS IT TO THE NCC to make a decision on.

SHAME on the procedures committee for behaving in such an abusive manner. The procedures members: 

PROCEDURE COMMITTEE: There shall be a Procedures Committee to oversee the election process. The Procedures Committee will comprise of: • General Secretary (Returning Officer) • NEC Officers (Ann Black, Keith Birch, Diana Holland, Jim Kennedy, Paddy Lillis, Ellie Reeves, Mary Turner, Tom Watson) • Margaret Beckett MP • Glenis Willmott MEP

Now the sickening fallout is manifesting, still they care more about covering their butts than addressing the abuse they have visited on members treated in this manner.  The NEC are now looking to fudge it, sweep it all under the carpet by saying it wont happen again`.  BUT the point is it did happen, and unless the rules on the rights of the NEC to hand over the duties of the NCC to some any committee of their choosing is stopped then it will happen again. If not on the disciplinary process (and there is nothing to stop it happening it seems) then it will be on something else. First they came for …

This is the correct process, and the one that the disputes panel follows, but that the NEC allowed the procedures committee to throw out the window:

1. The alleged instances of that are investigated. All and any alleged evidence is compiled and sent to the member asap.

2. At the investigative stage of the process, it is not our practice to disclose the identities of anyone who has brought complaints to our attention. If the NEC Disputes Panel finds that further action is to be taken, the case would be referred to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), a quasi-judiciary body. At this point, all such information is made available to respondents.

3. Informal interviews take part during the investigative stage of the disciplinary process. These are an opportunity for the member in question to respond to and rebut allegations that they have contravened Labour Party rules (example: 2.I.8 of the Party Rule Book: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”).

The format for the interview is laid out for Party Staff by the NEC.

The “outcome”, as it were, of the interview, is that the investigating officer presents a report on the content and findings of the interview to the NEC Disputes Panel, along with a summary of the evidence brought against that member.

The Disputes Panel then comes to a decision on whether action is to be taken. If no action is to be taken, the member is informed and there is no change to their membership status whatsoever. If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

If no action is to be taken, the member is informed and there is no change to their membership status whatsoever. If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

If, however, the Disputes Panel decides that further action is to be taken, they refer the case to the NCC, who conduct a full hearing with all relevant parties and reach a decision, with a range of sanctions available to them.

BUT IN 2016 THE NEC HANDED OVER THE WHOLE PROCESS TO THE PROCEDURES COMMITTEE WHO SIMPLY THREW THIS OUT OF THE WINDOW.

The Procedures Committee not only showed no respect for the rule book, they showed no respect for the established process (and how the disputes panel interpreted the rule book re discipline as per conference), but surprise surprise, showed no respect for the tried and tested manner that unions hold employers too:

Employee suspensions Unison

`Your employer should give you a clear reason for the suspension and explain what other options have been explored instead of suspension. If you are suspended because of allegations against you, you are entitled to know what the allegations are.

Length of suspension: Your employer needs to do what they can to resolve the issue swiftly and keep the suspension to a minimum. Your employer should keep the suspension decision under review.`  

The Procedures committee immediately suspended members, took away their vote, did not consider other avenues, did not check context. Timely manner? Hahahaha  MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS and many still suspended.  Under review – nope FAIL months and months of members trying to gain the alleged evidenced, palmed off, ignored on and on and on.

It is the Procedures committee that needs investigating, and its powers curtailed so that such an appalling abuse of thousands of members by the Party cannot happen again.

aone

Are YOU prepared to tolerate the abuse ther Party metes out to members?

 

Ben Sellers: Duty of Care

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I don’t think it’s an outrageous suggestion that the Labour Party and other institutions of the Labour movement have some kind of a ‘duty of care’ for it’s members. I’m also going to suggest that, as a movement, we have a moral duty to protect, defend and support those who are picked off, bullied and witch-hunted, irrespective of the finer details of any disagreements we might have with them. Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

I’m also going to suggest that, as a movement, we have a moral duty to protect, defend and support those who are picked off, bullied and witch-hunted, irrespective of the finer details of any disagreements we might have with them. Recently, one of the members of our Red Labour group has had their suspension rescinded, without an apology or explanation. We’ve seen the Labour members in Wallasey exonerated and countless examples of members who have had no information on their exclusions and suspensions, who have spent months in limbo. Some have even become notorious by their suspensions. I’m thinking of friends who have been abused in the street, shouted and spat at, have had lies told about them in the local and national press. But if they are ‘pardoned’, if things are swept under the carpet, is that all ok? Is it ‘natural justice’ to be defamed, to have been caused mental and even physical distress? Is that a situation we can tolerate and a party we can be proud of? I think not.

You see, much of this vile treatment has a political root: huge parts of it are caused by nasty, vindictive and bitter people within the party machine and local officials and “representatives” with a sense of entitlement which means that they think it’s ok to screw anyone over to preserve their power.

All this is done with impunity in “our” Labour Party, yet it has done untold damage to people’s reputation and people’s mental health. And while the blame lies firmly with these bitterites, whose goal it is to punish those responsible for taking their ball away, there’s something else going on: for what has “our side” of the party done about it? Mostly kept quiet, with some going even further – actively helping the people who are doing this to our comrades. Is this, in turn, acceptable? No, of course it isn’t – but some people, supposedly socialists, have made a Faustian pact to rid them of a temporary problem. Sod the long-term damage, there’s a scrap to win. I can’t think of a more disastrous strategy. That ‘duty of care’ extends to everyone who has taken part in this ‘revolution’. It’s not “owned by one, privileged group. It’s all of ours – and it’s not anyone’s to throw away.

Ben Sellers

 

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The disaster that is the Compliance Unit and the disciplinary (non) process carries on unabated. We have unnecessary suspensions (even where there was evidence of unsavoury words to simply suspend someone is ludicrous – at most all that was and is needed is a letter asking that the member desists – if they don`t then a warning letter).

But what is especially appalling is that the NEC knowingly allow the trust given them to use immediate suspension for an individual in extreme circumstances: of real threat to an individual or the reputation of the Party – for this mechanism to be used for thousands and thousands of members.  And this is an abuse of power, and the irony that it abuses members is not lost on us. Not to mention the irony that by this (non) process the reputation of the Party has been, and continues to be damaged. It is unbelievable that the Party for justice and fairness is guilty of meting out such treatment, and even when known, continues and cannot be stopped.

Then when the catalogue of errors comes to light the Party tries to cover its butt by LIFTING suspensions BUT issuing a Warning letter -EVEN THOUGH NO INVESTIGATION OCCURRED AND THE INDIVIDUAL DISPUTES THE ALLEGATION.  So we advised people to not accept the warning. Not only did the Party drag on the (non) investigations for month after month after month, failing to send alleged evidence to those they suspend, then not allowing a participatory investigation, then sending warning letters, then refusing to acknowledge a letter refusing the warning letter, then also refusing any appeal, they do all this to cover their own butt disregarding  the effect on members and with absolutely no respect for due process or natural justice. AND IT STILL CONTINUES.

We have laughed and cried at the same time at the manner and attitude of the NEC regarding this (non) process. The damage it has caused many individuals mentally and emotional is shocking.

Now they have stopped sending out Warning letters and have started blackmailing individuals. Same situation but not a warning letter but telling them we are lifting your suspension  but only if you sign a Pledge. The Pledge is:

Member’s Pledge:

I pledge to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour Party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members and I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour Party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party
This is so Wooley and allows the NEC to interpret abuse how it wants. And if it does that in the manner it has to date then more damage will be done to the Party by them.  BUT what is worse is that they are sending this out as a blackmail condition, so changing the contract between some members and an unincorporated org (the party) but not for ALL members. And if anyone signs this on that basis when they are ALREADY a member (and so already in contract as per the rules like any other member) then they will be in effect allowing the Party to get away with branding them guilty – otherwise why else would the party demand they sign it? NO. Yet again Iain McNicol shows no regard for due process or natural justice. Members WILL NOT SIGN THIS!!

As for the interpretation and definition of abuse – clearly that must now be looked at – and most definitely a written definition of abuse, and it must be equitable. As it stands if a member calls an MP who took part in the attempted coup (something they did in such a disgusting manner by back room conspiring and linking with MSM rather than legitimately in an acceptable manner openly within the party) a BLAIRITE traitor then they are deemed such a threat that they are instantly suspended, BUT if you say how you could easily beat a party member physically, so long as , to the best of your knowledge you do it privately, even if it then becomes public, you are not guilty of abuse.

If the party wants to find you guilty they will manipulate and distort so called evidence to point that way, BUT if they want to find you innocent, likewise they will manipulate and distort, using different criteria, to find you innocent. WOW.  When they want to find you innocent they say `the context of how those comments were made, both her emotional state at the point the offending comments were made and who she was making the comments to, must be taken into account.` and we find ` we do not believe that Ms X is in clear breach of rule 2.I.8. As such, the Labour Party considers this matter closed. BUT if you call someone a blairite traitor then you ARE in breach of it.  How extraordinary that you can posture your physical ability to beat someone and not be in breach, BUT you can call someone a blairite traitor (after they have plotted and schemed outside of the accepted method of challenging a leader) and you ARE guilty.

ANY MEMBER WHO DOES NOT CONDEMN WHAT IS HAPPENING IS COMPLICIT. Evil flourishes when good men do nothing. The NEC cannot be entrusted with policing themselves on the disciplinary procedure. They have demonstrated that the rules are not sufficiently structured to ensure JUSTICE.

We demand that every member that is suspended or even just being subject to  investigation is notified and IMMEDIATELY sent the so called evidence to support the suspension. AND each such member must also be given the right to name an Advocate to look after their interest and to ensure that the Party uses due process, carries out any investigation in a reasonable time frame,  demonstrates respect for duty of care by responding to emails and letters and phone calls concerning the issue in a reasonable time frame. The full process must not be allowed to take months and months and months and months. If there is any situation that requires months that that should be obvious, and not  like the thousands of situations of months in this `purge` months for each person. and many STILL WAITING. WOW.

 

ajustice

STOP DIGGING – now the NEC and McNicol are effectively blackmailing members

That feeling when you have dug a hole for yourself but instead of stopping you continue digging.  Labour Party disciplinary (non) process: Australia, here we come!

New attempt to get out of the mess they created is to demand members who were unjustly suspended to sign the social media pledge before being unsuspended – even though the original accusation is not being upheld.

Most members will have heard about the appalling abusive (non) process adopted by the NEC against members.  We have laughed and cried at the irony of them accusing members of abuse, providing no evidence after months of demanding evidence, suspending people leaving them hanging unable to participate in meetings, ostracised by the Party with the accusation hanging over their heads. Yes the Labour Party abusing its own members with complete disregard for due process and natural justice – not to mention sheer common decency.

After many months people were having their suspensions lifted (and this still continues) having had no right of input, no participatory investigation, and still no evidence BUT unbelievable a paragraph in the letter unsuspending them saying the accusation will be left on file – a WARNING letter! So there we have the Party disciplinary system assuming GUILT and crazily offering no right of appeal. NO no and no. These Warning letters issued under these circumstances are not being accepted. It is mind boggling to know that Iain McNicol and the NEC actually thought that it was OK to assume guilt in this way.

Now we have a new development.  Initially they dug a hole for themselves by suspending people when that option was never used other than for real threats of physical violence or profound damage to the Party. It was an option that was given in trust to be used with a responsible attitude. Iain McNicol and the NEC failed and continue to fail in both – they have broken trust and failed in responsibility. They suspended THOUSANDS of members at the drop of a hat. One crazy example  resulting from trawling social media with auto search apps was suspending someone for using the word `RAT` which they decided without it going through proper process was and is now a proscribed word lol BUT what is even crazier is that a member made a tweet using the word `democrat` and got suspended for it. Now even if you consider the disciplinary dept has the right to discipline someone for using the word `rat`, to use the option to SUSPEND pending an investigation is appalling. And then it gets worse, they don`t actually bother with a participatory investigation.

So they sent out Warning letters based on assumed guilt, and members said No we are not accepting the Warning letter – take it off or, having suspended me, give me the right to defend myself against the accusation.

It now seems they have stopped sending out Warning letters in such circumstances (wonder whether they actually saw how unjust that is huh?) and are trying the tac of sending out letters saying the person is unsuspended BUT before that can be fully processed they have to sign and return a letter stating that they agree to respect the new social media pledge thus:

Dear,

.
I am pleased to inform you that your administrative suspension from the Labour Party will be lifted and that you will be free to resume active membership conditional upon receipt of a signed copy of the Members Pledge (attached).

.
I would like to draw your attention specifically to Chapter 2 of the Labour Party Rule Book which states:

.
“No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any way in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”.

.
We look forward to receiving a signed copy of the Members Pledge attached to your email (please send either by post to the London address above or a scanned copy by return email). We hope that this matter is now behind you and we welcome you back to full membership of the Party.

.

Yours sincerely,
Iain McNicol
General Secretary of the Labour Party Labour Party

.
Member’s Pledge
I pledge to act within the spirit and rules of the Labour Party in my conduct both on and offline, with members and non-members and I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour Party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party

Firstly this pledge has never been discussed and adopted and agreed by conference BUT even more chilling is that they are sending this out to members who were suspended and demanding they sign it even though they have not had a proper investigation – so again assumed guilt.

NO, not acceptable. Our advice to anyone being blackmailed in this manner is to write back and say that you do not understand why you are specifically being asked to sign this pledge. Firstly the suspension is lifted and so there is no case to answer so why the pledge. 

Secondly, my membership is continuous and unless you tell me that all current members are being send the same pledge to be signed in order for their membership to be continued then I shall not be signing it. 

 

holememe

Hearing today. We will update as news comes in.

`It is scandalous that Wadsworth was suspended by the general secretary, Iain McNicol, because he dared to challenge a Labour MP who was a high-profile opponent of the democratically elected Labour leader, and raise the issue of black political under-representation at the launch of the Shami Chakrabarti report into antisemitism and racism. Fortunately, the moment when Wadsworth spoke out was captured on a video that has been widely publicised by the media. It clearly demonstrates he is not guilty of antisemitism.

We note that Wadsworth has a long record of fighting against racism and antisemitism, inside and outside the Labour party and trade union movement, and demand that he is reinstated immediately.`
Herman Ouseley Chair, Kick it Out, Linda Bellos, Peter Tatchell, Prof Paul Gilroy, Prof Gus John, Prof Pat Thane, Suresh Grover The Monitoring Group, Stafford Scott Tottenham Rights, Dr Iqbal Scram, Peter Herbert Society of Black Lawyers, Simon Woolley Operation Black Vote, Jackie Walker, Orson Nava, Gary Younge

 

We call on Labour’s general secretary to lift the unjust suspension from Labour membership of veteran anti-racist campaigner Marc Wadsworth. Guardian letter

 

amarc

 

At the launch of the Shami Chakrabarti report into anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, black activist Marc Wadsworth said:

“I saw that the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP so you can see who is working hand in hand. If you look around this room, how many African Caribbean and Asian people are there? We need to get our house in order.”

You can see the video of him saying it on the Independent website here.

Sky News has been reporting this, I think gleefully is the word, in its headlines all afternoon as an “anti-Semitic attack” on Ms Smeeth. Sky have not however shown what he actually said, although they had cameras at the event, and their journalist who was present described the comments without qualification as anti-Semitic without saying what the comment actually was.

Mr Wadsworth denies knowing Ms Smeeth is Jewish. I have no idea if that is true; I didn’t know myself, nor care. But neither what Wadsworth actually said, not his denial that he knew she is Jewish, is being reported by the broadcast media. What is being reported very widely is Ms Smeeth’s subsequent statement:

“I was verbally attacked by a Momentum activist and Jeremy Corbyn supporter who used traditional anti-Semitic slurs to attack me for being part of a “media conspiracy”. It is beyond belief that someone could come to the launch of a report about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party and espouse such vile conspiracy theories against Jewish people.”

Ms Smeeth’s statement contains one stark dishonesty. She puts “media conspiracy” in inverted commas, when Mr Wadsworth did not use the phrase, or even either of those two words separately. Ms Smeeth appears to have deliberately misrepresented what Mr Wadsworth said, which I presume she checked.

Sky News has been reporting this, I think gleefully is the word, in its headlines all afternoon as an “anti-Semitic attack” on Ms Smeeth.

 

The REAL spirit of the Labour Party in action. Oh the irony!

This is from the Group set up to support those abused by the NEC and the Compliance Unit with the sickening distortion and abuse of the rule book on the disciplinary procedure. SHAME ON THEM.

Apart from the abuse meted out by the Compliance Unit and the complete and utter disregard for due process and natural justice, they have the audacity to lecture members over social media behaviour WOW. They need to get their act in order. We must demand that every single person under disciplinary so called ` investigation` is automatically allowed a participatory investigation and allowed to assign an Advocate to watch their backs from the abuse that this system has, and continues to use.

We know how members of the PLP have abused members on twitter and yet they are not challenged, yet immediately they complained about someone calling them out on their traitorous coup attempt and disrespect for members THEIR complaint resulted in immediate administrative suspension. The majority of those suspended given no right to participate in an investigation and yet sent a Warning letter! WOW. Yet the M.P.`s  were allowed to call members trots rabble dogs and nothing done – and still selectively these terms are not on the proscribed list.

Recognition of the work done by the Group set up to give support morally, emotionally and practically to those abused by the NEC:

Maria Carroll in a thread summed up the support and atmosphere of this Group:

It’s all the work of this group, all you wonderful people who despite your personal pain and despite the fact that people you believed to be colleagues stabbed you in the back, shared your experiences.

You all held your heads up high and kept fighting, kept refusing to allow such unfair processes to be used to destroy you. And you all have never judged or scorned each other, have understood that not everyone has the personal resilience in storage to be able to keep going, and so much more.

Together you have achieved better and better outcomes as the process gathered pace. Never, ever forgot what you have all achieved.

First we saw suspensions lifted even though the majority were issued warnings.

Then a few of you challenged the warnings and found that the warnings were indefinite – we would not have known that if you hadn’t challenged the warnings.

Then you brought forward evidence of the exact reasons people were being suspended for. You challenged the rhetoric of the right that the party is infested by anti semites, trots, rabble, dogs etc.

You ended that label by contesting it being brace enough to show and share the total sham the evidence being used against you was.
Then you all discovered the hard way the unfairness of the processes used against you and the abuses of those processes by the procedures committee.

Then you share your experiences so that those behind you in this rat race were better prepared, more able to counter the attacks.

But more than anything you all inspired each other to keep going and despite how hard that has been you have achieved a commitment that the procedures will change, will include a commitment to natural justice.

You won the hearts and minds of many of us for whom you bore this dire persecution with honour.

Everyone on this group has made a contribution from the very visible – Caroline Tipler who really has the best organisational skills of anyone I’ve ever met – we should make her our General Secretary – Glynis Millward who has made the most boring subject in the world (for me) data protection not only understandable but helped us use it as a tool to get justice. She should be our legal and compliance director – Sarah Thomson site monitor and trend watcher who should be running campaigns for the leaders office – Craig Fraser who has steadfastly taken our messages out to CLPs and is now going to be a labour councillor – I’m sure of it – he gets the LG leader role – Duncan Shipley Dalton and Jon Grünewald who have given freely of their legal expertise and guidance for no personal gain or reward – they are our Supreme Court nominees and we need to find them a silk to carry!

Then there’s the more silent members of the group who shared our campaigns, liked everyone’s posts, took the truth out to social media.

I can’t name you all but you have all been so brave, have given so much. You are all stars. No honour can do you justice or repay you for what you have done to ensure this never happens again.

But without one person I certainly would not be here enjoying (despite the anger, the despair, the hurt) had it not been for the fact that one person gave me inspiration to stand against bullying. Who stood and carried on despite the most vile and shocking public personal attacks and smears. And that person is Jeremy Corbyn.

No matter what anyone’s personal opinion of that man and his politics is he has inspired those who have been harassed and vilified. Showing us all that we can overcome.

Sorry I’ve gone on and on but I had to get that out!

Glynis responds:

Well said Maria I agree with all that and NEVER forget what you have done too, you are one of THE most supportive people I know. You drove down to Cardiff to support me at the investigation meeting – you would not take any money for petrol, I even had to fight you at the cafe counter to pay for your coffee and muffin 😀 – what a beautiful soul you are x x x

Caroline: I would like to add the appreciation of the Group to Jeni Swift Gillett Kay Meades and Annette Harrison who helped create the wonderful supportive atmosphere and crucially were stalwarts at ensuring every person was fully vetted before joining the Group to ensure we had a safe space to share our thoughts and feelings and explore options and strategies.

In this Group I have been heartbroken on occasions to hear about the suffering caused by the callousness of the disciplinary process adopted by McNichol and the NEC – but the wonderful thrilling irony is that there is not another group on Facebook where I have experienced such a consistent non-abusive REAL best of humanity – it is without comparison.

And Glynis and Maria this is not something I would say lightly – you each hold a special place in my heart. Your compassion, your wonderful doggedness, your incisiveness, your humour … your ALL is something I have rarely come across and I admire you both deeply.

It is clear to us all that this is about more than loss of vote, this is even about more than the appalling individual pain suffered (and ongoing), it is about the exposure of the distorted and manipulative core of the Party, it is about its heart and soul, and right here in this Group we experience how the heart and the soul of the Party should be XXX

It is unbelievable and unforgiveable that the conservative party and yep haha even Inland Revenue have systems of discipline that respects natural justice and yet the Labour Party disregarded it, and even now it knows the heartache and suffering it has caused CONTINUES TO DO SO.

It is wonderful to be a part of a supportive caring compassionate intelligent group of Party members and astonishing that that is found in the very group that exists for people who the Labour Party have pushed aside and disregarded.

TIME THAT THE NEC ADMITTED THEIR COMPLICITY IN THIS AND APOLOGISED.

As it stands they are saying oh we are not going to do it this way again lololol0l – Er, hold on a min – first you need to admit to your wrongdoing. We need an objective enquiry on this – not one carried out by the very people who caused it in the first place. The police policing themselves.

The group has contacted NEC members offering to work with them and to share our experience with them to ensure this cannot happen again and that a proper process is put into effect. WE ARE WAITING.

.

 

Not even justice delayed it is totally non existent!

Martin Luther King: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Angela Mcevoy: I believe your point about advocacy is a good one. I would also suggest the evidence is examined by NEC + a representative from members CLP who can then provide a copy of the evidence immediately. I would also stress how insulting it is to be suspended, deprived of a vote without being told the reason. Then after weeks of chasing appeals, how insulting it is to have your suspension lifted with approx 2500-3000 others en masse but with a sting in tail. The formal Warning to remain on file without being allowed the right of appeal.

Eddie Clarke: I was amazed the evidence could not be provided immediately with the suspension letter and it took weeks and weeks and a formal SAR request to get the data, which in my case took the form of one tweet and two retweets over a couple of weeks. I was unsuspended with a warning letter along with most other people.

The unsuspending letter identified one retweet as being particularly bad; however it was very apparent that whoever wrote the letter completely misread the tweet as I did not do what they claimed I did. Moreover, whilst my twitter profile makes no claim of my political affiliations, other tweeters of the same tweet who are publicly LP members weren’t suspended.

The process was so drawn out and so unhelpful I just lost the will to carry on pushing this on the issue of the open-ended warning, which is deeply unfair. Complete reform of the process needs to be made, together with clear and simple user-friendly guidelines for members. What occurred this summer was a breach of free speech and I feel Orwellian scale intimidation. Certainly not the democratic values we hope to uphold. I think a system which includes advocates is a good step forward.

Marilyn Browne: I was reinstated after being excluded on the grounds of repeatedly supporting another party on twitter. This was on the basis of one retweet and one taking part in a poll. I don’t call this repeatedly but also as it was based on a trawl for the phrase green party was misconstrued and out of context. SAR did not show any discussion at NEC and who reported or decided to exclude. In fact not very much sent to me on my SAR at all. I now have this on my record which they may use against me in the future. No one spoke to me about my intentions on the tweets and no one contacted or notified my branch where they actually know me and know that I supported the Labour Party all my life.

Anon (my decision as person is very fragile due to this abuse allowed by the NEC): I have never been abusive because that simply isn’t my style. My mother brought me up to behave properly at all times and my career was built on acting appropriately and sensibly. I also don’t swear.
When I got the letter, I was in actual shock. I cried solidly for about an hour. I had never been accused of anything like this before. And then I got angry. Before being accused of anything, I always want proof – you need to show where I did this. So I sent them an email and demanded my proof.
Around 3 weeks later, I got a letter. I had apparently insulted John McTernan & grievously damaged his reputation. He had said during a Sky interview that trade unions are trying to destroy & damage the country. My reply on Twitter was that I was incredulous that a Labour party member could say that.
That was enough to warrant a slur on my reputation & character.

(my decision as person is very fragile due to this abuse allowed by the NEC): I was a complete mess. I’d really never been accused of anything like that before. All I could think of was all the work my mother had done to bring my brother & sisters up properly. She always used to say ‘whatever you do, don’t ever bring police to my door’. And that’s exactly what that letter felt like. As if I’d let her down.

Sheree Bell: I was accused of Abusive Conduct and told that my actions were detrimental to the Labour party. My crime was expressing an opinion about an MP in a private message that nobody else could see! I am a qualified Social Worker, with a 40 year career in safeguarding vulnerable adults, who fights for equality and social justice constantly, and so to be labelled an ‘Abuser’ was one of the hardest things I have ever had to read.

After complaining to Iain McNicol I was reinstated to the party but with ‘a warning’ on my file. Can you imagine how this feels for a public servant working in Health & Social Care to have it recorded on a government system somewhere that I have engaged in abusive and detrimental behaviour? And that recording has been done with no investigation and no access to appeal? I am furious and devastated at the same time.

Linda Meehan: Unequal treatment. Members and supporters are treated as scum. Whilst the poisonous ones like Jess Phillips get rewarded with media attention. And they’ll use the old ‘lessons will be learned’ crap but no actual change to benefit the members will take place. I too have been suspended then unsuspended with a warning on my file. A warning. Are they joking. We pay their undeserved salaries and yet they treat us with utter contempt. For the most part the initial suspensions was bang out of order in the first place. I joined the party to make a difference and all that’s happened is a denial of my, and others, vote. The process sucks because there isn’t a fair process. It’s guilty until proven innocent and even then, your card is marked. I believe in due process, that’s the basis of the law of our land. Yet we have been abused, accused and denied basic rights of reply.

Pat Roberts: After going 69 years without a stain on my character My beloved party put one there! I’ve stopped my membership and monthly donation until they remove a warning for something that was a retweet of someones opinion!! They can also do their own doorstepping, admin work and envelope licking in future, as well as their telephoning and running people about on voting day!!

Mal Sainsbury: I continue to be disgusted by the disgraceful and completely unwarranted accusation of ‘abusive conduct’ by nameless people I don’t know targeting members who they believe support Corbyn, including myself. I now firmly believe this was in order to remove their votes and voices as delegates in conference.

The people who orchestrated this ‘purge’ must be brought to account with an independent enquiry. I will remain in the Labour Party but will not rest until this slur on my character has been removed with full apologies and the assurance that this kind of behaviour can never be allowed to happen again, and that those responsible are stopped from bringing the party into such disrepute.

To suppress freedom of speech, an open and honest exchange of ideas and defame the character of so many Labour Party members through such underhand procedures must be stopped if we are to see Labour in power again.

 

d5058-einstein-justice-quotes

 

`The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy`  Martin Luther King 

`In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends` Martin Luther King 

`Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matterMartin Luther King 

 

What a loss to the Labour Party due to the unacceptable open ended Warning letter

Carl was accused by the LP of abuse. The case is quite pathetic and to call it abuse is an insult to people who have been abused. Carl demanded that the Warning letter was withdrawn and the abuse by the Party disciplinary procedure meant they simply ignored him.

Given his appalling treatment and the stress and pain it has caused him, and the refusal of the Party to allow a proper hearing and an appeal, he resigned from the Party.  Here is his resignation letter:

Although he resigned he continues to do good humanitarian work – but you now no longer have him as a valued member of the Party because of the abuse from the Party toward him and the sickening disregard for due process and natural justice.

Any member, no matter their station, and especially any member of the NEC who does not condemn this has ZILCH respect from me.

What Carl is up to now:

As well as advertising our events on line, we put up posters in key places around the city but have always wondered if they are effective. I found out last night when a gentleman turned up declaring that he had seen our poster in a local shop and thought he would come along to see the film. It’s always satisfying to reach new people.

The film we screened (Palestine Blues) is an incredibly powerful indictment of the abuses committed by an occupying power but also a reminder of the steadfastness of the Palestinian people desperately trying to hang onto land their families have farmed for generations.

There is something obscene about the use of giant bulldozers to destroy the citrus groves and olive trees that those families depend on them for their livelihood under the gaze of heavily armed Israeli soldiers. I am grateful to Sarah W for adding to her already packed itinerary to travel to Worcester to be with us and for taking these photos. I didn’t get around to taking any myself.

Carl`s resignation letter

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