Question: Would you expect the L.P. to respect the following:
In English law, natural justice is technical terminology for the rule against bias (nemoiudex in causasua) and the right to a fair hearing (audialterampartem). While the term natural justice is often retained as a general concept, it has largely been replaced and extended by the general “duty to act fairly”.
Well, it doesn`t. The lack of known procedure for complaints, the lack of fairness, the lack of due process, the lack of communication – the L.P. under the General Secretary Iain McNicol and with the support of the current NEC shames us all. We need a complete overhaul of the system to ensure that it is impossible for this to happen again, and that means an acknowledgement that the NEC is also currently not fit for purpose.
They have allowed this debacle of the purge` and the injustices implicit in it to continue despite having a clear knowledge of the injustices meted out, and that continue to be meted out. Members being branded guilty without any right of reply, with any hearing is deplorable.
Kevin Safford: It’s been a week since I sent Iain McNicol my letter, so I rang Labour HQ, and spoke to someone called Ben from the governance and legal unit.
I said I disagreed both with the decision to suspend me, and with the imposition of a penalty (the warning letter). McNicol had been slow to respond in the past, and I was ringing to find out what was happening, and what I needed to do to take things forward.
(“Mr McNicol is the general secretary of the largest political party in Europe. It takes him a long time to respond to members because there are a lot of them.” Me – “He’s quick enough to suspend us.” That pretty much set the tone.)
They insist that I contributed to a crowdfunding site to buy votes. When he referred to my “offence”, I pointed out that it was at this stage an alleged offence – I’d been found guilty without being given the chance to put my side of the story.
The upshot was that I sent the following email, with a copy of my letter:
“As discussed in my phone call with Ben in the governance and legal unit, I am forwarding the letter that I sent to Mr McNicol regarding my suspension and subsequent warning letter. I’d appreciate an early reply.”
I got the following automated reply:
” Thank you for your email. Please note: Due to staff shortages, it may take up to 10 days to respond to your email.If your query is urgent, please call 020 7783 1498 otherwise we will respond in due course.”
Incidentally, although Labour Party feels at liberty to record phone calls, if you tell them you’re doing the same, they refuse to take the call or put you on to someone who will, and hang up.