This case cuts to the very heart of the problem. I think it is crucial to demand an apology.
This should, at most , have been put in a file to issue a possible warning (and then dismissed) – certainly not an instant suspension for abuse.
4th November 2016
I was suspended just before the leadership ballot because (I was told much, much later) of a tweet I sent on 26th June and had forgotten about. Addressed to one of the resigning MPs, the text was:
‘@RhonddaBryant Thanks for the long pompous resignation letter. If only you could shit outside the tent instead of in it! Bye’.
Since then, I’ve waited and waited for the promised full investigation by the Investigating Officer who was supposed to contact me “with details as to how the investigation will proceed”.
Nobody contacted me, though. I could only wait to see whether I’d get a letter asking me to apologise and promise not to do it again, or whether they’d ask me to come and be interviewed, or how else they would bring this to a conclusion. I certainly wasn’t intending to apologise for anything. I had decided I’d rather be expelled than promise not to exercise my right to free speech again.
In today’s post, a letter arrives from the Labour Party.
“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 were suspended following posts you allegedly wrote on Social Media which may have caused offence to some members.
The NEC has since taken into account the wider context in which your comments were made and has seen fit to lift your suspension with immediate effect. We welcome you back to full membership of the Party”.
It is tempting to demand an apology and an explanation of why the decision was made in the first place, but my guess is that they have a huge administrative task to deal with all the suspensions and I’ll bet that my letter is one of hundreds that have been sent out or are about to be sent out.
The fact remains that my vote for Corbyn won’t have been counted. However I am now free to resume canvassing, leafletting and making tea.
There is still an overwhelming case for a Labour Party inquiry into how these suspension decisions were made, who exactly the decision makers were and -----whether they foolishly relied on nothing more than a list of bad words. I would like my account to be used by anyone who wants to campaign for a formal inquiry into the way the Party has behaved in disallowing votes and suspending so many party members.
I have had exactly the same letter come to me. I feel very disturbed by the way they have done this, and not relieved at all, as I thought I might be.
They stole my vote and then have deigned to let me back in with a bit of a ticking off and a warning not to let it happen again. All for calling Margaret Hodge a traitor in a private email.
I would like to see us all make a joint statement to McNicol and crew about our outrage about being treated like this. I want an apology for this.