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Labour Party Shadow NEC

Demand for Natural Justice and Due Process

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November 2016

Suspension Lifted with a Warning: an affront to natural justice. Letter to Iain McNicol.

In your letter of 16th September, which informed me of my suspension, you stated that "it is important that these allegations are investigated and the NEC will be asked to authorise a full report to be drawn up with recommendations for disciplinary action if appropriate".

Where is the record of the investigation? Where is the report? If these documents exist, surely they should have been included with the information that was supplied to me following my Subject Access Request? Without them, how do you justify disciplinary action?

 

The above is a perfect example of how the NEC allow Iain McNicol to ride roughshod over the DPA. It is extraordinary that he has treated members in this way – it is gobsmacking that the NEC has not stopped it once they saw what is happening. The whole system must be overhauled. It quite simply is not fit for purpose – well not if the purpose is to reflect the very values that we imagine the LP is all about. 

Dear Mr McNicol,

Thank you for your letter of 31st October which informed me of the lifting of my administrative suspension.

 

While I am delighted with the lifting of the suspension, I am dismayed to learn that I have been issued with a formal warning, and that a note will remain on my file despite having had no charges proven against me. Indeed, no charges have been made!

I wrote to you via email on 20th September to remind you that I was entitled to see the specifics of the allegations that had been made against me. I received no response to the message, nor to the repeat of the message, sent on 28th September.

Your letter of 31st October makes some rather nebulous allegations. I am not sure which, if any, you believe apply to me. I must assume that you think some do, but it is clearly a standard pro forma letter that you have sent out to a large number of people, and the specifics of your allegations are unclear. This is not a trivial matter. Given the gravity of the accusations that you make, I feel entitled to expect a more lucid communication from a senior Party official.

It beggars belief that sanctions have been applied to me despite, by your own admission, there being nothing more than allegations facing me. That is an affront to natural justice.

In your letter of 16th September, which informed me of my suspension, you stated that “it is important that these allegations are investigated and the NEC will be asked to authorise a full report to be drawn up with recommendations for disciplinary action if appropriate”.

Where is the record of the investigation? Where is the report? If these documents exist, surely they should have been included with the information that was supplied to me following my Subject Access Request? Without them, how do you justify disciplinary action?

Also absent from my SAR data is any record of complaint against me for any alleged offence.

Given that significantly longer than 40 days have now elapsed since my original data request, I must insist that you forward, BY RETURN, any records relating to any investigation and/or report in connection with any offences that I am alleged to have committed, together with all alleged evidence pertaining to same. Please include details of the complaints made by the person(s) whom you claim in your letter were offended by my alleged offences. I intend to vigorously challenge any charges that may be brought against me.

If you are unable or unwilling to bring formal charges against me, I must insist upon the immediate and unconditional retraction of the formal warning, together with written confirmation of same from you.

I trust that you will understand why I am not prepared to drop this matter while unsubstantiated and defamatory allegations continue to be used against me. As you suggest in your letter, I would very much like to put the matter behind me, but that is not possible in view of the above, and while an intolerable threat of further measures remains in place. I hope that you will respond to this letter without delay.

Best regards,
Chris Billing

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Video: Charley Allan, columnist on the Morning Star speaks with George Galloway about `The Purged`.

Charley Allan speaks with George Galloway about the Suspended and Expelled:

`And, we ask what’s next for the purged, the expelled, the damned in today’s scarcely functional Labour Party. Literally thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, were suspended (mainly), and in some cases expelled, by the anti-Corbyn Labour National Executive Committee. Many are being “welcomed” back by the same people who suspended them, now that the voting is over and Corbyn has been re-elected. One of those suspended and now welcomed back is Charley Allan, columnist on the Morning Star, and we welcomed him to the show this week.`

From 12 mins 20 secs:

Click here for video

RT: we ask what’s next for the purged, the expelled, the damned in today’s scarcely functional Labour Party. Literally thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, were suspended (mainly), and in some cases expelled, by the anti-Corbyn Labour National Executive Committee.

Many are being “welcomed” back by the same people who suspended them, now that the voting is over and Corbyn has been re-elected. One of those suspended and now welcomed back is Charley Allan, columnist on the Morning Star, and we welcomed him to the show this week.

alleged-evidence

NO NO and NO: More evidence of INCOMPETENCE by Iain McNicol and the NEC

Members will not accept a WARNING from Iain McNicol on their assumption of guilt without even bothering to speak to the person. TAKE IT OFF THE FILE OR WE EACH WILL DEMAND A HEARING.

The affect this is having on members is UNFORGIVABLE –  the sheer incompetence and arrogance displayed by Iain McNicol and the NEC on this debacle continues unabated.

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CLICK HERE TO READ (and if you agree, SIGN) the Statement/Petition that the L.P. operates in deference to NATURAL JUSTICE and DUE PROCESS from this point on. Extraordinary that this even needs to be mentioned.

The L.P. is Guilty of Abuse!

Gill Day:

What distresses me as much as anything is not just the unfairness of this, but the fact that I have on my file, to be kept in perpetuity, that I have been found guilty (without any hearing) of abusive conduct. I not only lost my vote, but suffered the indignity of being one of the suspended, who in the eyes of many (who knew no better) were deserving of our punishment.

Here is the “evidence” of my crime: An opinion expressed politely I think, and a “punny” facetious comment on STVs wrongly labelled caption in one of their news programmes. I don’t consider either of these to be offensive, and have wondered whether I should contact Ed Miliband to see if he was in any way offended by my opinion!

CLICK TO SIGN STATEMENT: NATURAL JUSTICE for Labour Party Complaints Procedure

Then I had my SAR through when they reiterated my offense with regard to expressing my opinion on not wanting Tory lite etc, and then accused me of calling Angela Eagle a conservative when it was STV who got the caption wrong.

 

CLICK TO SIGN STATEMENT: NATURAL JUSTICE for Labour Party Complaints Procedure

We did not have access to appeal the charges in time to get our votes back, and the many weeks which have passed when we wait for our judgement have been incredibly upsetting and stressful. I have lost much sleep over the whole affair, and a lot of faith in the Party machine who would inflict this on their loyal members.

NEC warning – Unacceptable `sword hanging over my head`

Member Carl Freeman`s letter to Iain McNicol

Dear Mr McNicol

Thank you for your letter dated 31 October 2016 lifting my suspension and restoring my membership of the Labour Party. I am relieved that I will now be able to attend the Annual General Meeting of Worcester CLP on Monday 14 November.

However, I have major concerns about the process and in particular, about the penultimate sentence of your letter. Your letter of 31 October contains no reference whatsoever to previous allegations that I had made abusive comments on social media but it does introduce a new allegation that I “showed support for another political party on social media.” There is no explanation behind this allegation. No evidence is offered.

Your letter also contains a formal NEC warning helpfully underlined presumably in case I missed it. I can only assume that there is a word or two missing from the party rule that you cite in relation to the warning as it makes no sense grammatically. “…the NEC may individual warnings to any individual member of the Party drawing attention to the conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is either incompatible with continued membership of the party or may be in, or may lead to, a breach of the constitution, rules or standing orders of the party…” It is also profoundly ironic as it is abundantly clear that this in not in fact an individual warning, but a blanket warning issued to many thousands of members at the same time.

Given the amount of time it has taken to respond to my letter of appeal, it is almost unbelievable that when it was eventually written, it was grammatically flawed. Your penultimate sentence states that: “This letter will remain on your file and we reserve the right to consider this matter in future, should it be necessary.” It is this part of your letter than concerns me most. Please consider it from my perspective.

I am in a Kafkaesque situation in which I am first accused of making abusive comments on social media (which my suspension letter explains may relate to racist, abusive or foul language”) and am then informed several weeks later that my suspension has been lifted but in relation to expressing support for another political party.

Finally, I am effectively threatened that the NEC can resurrect the letter at any time it so chooses and use it against me. Given the nature of the process to date, I am sure that I could be forgiven from inferring that this effectively means that if the NEC wishes to remove my membership rights in future, including my right to vote, it can simply cite your letter of 31 October 2016 and suspend me once again.

That is a totally unacceptable state of affairs and one that I am formally challenging.

Alleged support for another political party The report generated by my SAR (Subject Access Request) largely consists of mundane administrative internal communication … and a single sheet of paper containing what appears to be a 22-word extract from a table. That information does not feature my name but does allege expression of my support for the SNP. There is no date, no source (eg, Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Email?). I will admit that there have been times when I have admired a range of politicians or the policies of alternative political parties. I have the utmost respect for Lord Soames of the Conservative Party in relation to his stance on Israel/Palestine and I much admired Charles Kennedy’s approach to the vote on the Iraq War (quite rightly adjudged to have been vindicated by the Chilcot report). But as you well know, it is not uncommon for people to be able to admire certain traits in political rivals. After all, Tony Blair praised Margaret Thatcher on more than one occasion.

I feel that there remains some ambiguity over my membership status. You have suspended me once from the Labour Party without presenting any evidence and I need reassurance that this will not happen again. That penultimate line of your letter does feel a little like a sword hanging over my head.

Outstanding Issues

In the closing sentence of your letter of 31 October you wrote, “We hope that this matter is now behind you and we will welcome you back to full membership of the Party.” Well I wish it was behind me too, but it is not. There are some outstanding issues which I would like to be addressed. Four days after receiving my ballot for the Labour Party leadership election, I was accused of making abusive comments on social media. That allegation seems to have disappeared but I have yet to receive an apology for those false claims.

No doubt like your letter of 31 October, your letter of 19 September will remain on file. Anyone reading that letter at some point in the future may believe that I am guilty of having used racist or foul language on social media and that would represent a stain on my character.

Therefore I respectfully request an official letter of apology stating either that the accusations were made in error or that they were investigated and found to be untrue. I am requesting clarity on the recent accusation that I expressed support for another political party and more importantly, evidence.

Precisely what am I alleged to have said or written? When was I alleged to have said or written it? In what medium or on what social media platform was I alleged to have said or written it? If you are unable to produce such evidence then I request a letter acknowledging that my suspension was wrong.

I am prepared to accept that in a busy office, mistakes do get made and that people make errors of judgment. But it is unfair that I should continue to be penalised for such a mistake. If I have made comments in that past that are deemed to be incompatible with Labour Party membership I can only assume that they predate my membership of the Party. If I am correct in that assumption, then surely that has no bearing on my membership? I ask, because on 16 March 2005, Quentin Davies made the following remarks in the House of Commons about Gordon Brown.

“I trust and believe that something nasty will happen to the Chancellor in electoral terms before too long.”

Now to my mind this is a clear indication that he hoped that Gordon Brown would lose his Westminster seat in the May 2005 General Election. I assume that this falls foul of one or other of the Labour Party’s rules. But two years later, the man who said these things in a very public place not only joined the Labour Party but became a Labour MP and subsequently a Labour Lord.

Therefore if it turned out that I had made comments prior to joining the Labour Party (which, had I been a member would have been a breach of the rules), surely those comments cannot be stored and pulled out at any time the NEC wishes to suspend me? I guess what I am seeking is reassurance that going forward the NEC will not use any proven or alleged historical expressions of endorsement of a rival political party against me.

In summary, I am requesting from you a letter containing the following:

an apology for the unwarranted accusations that I made abusive comments on social media as set out above; EITHER detailed evidence of any wrongdoing which justified my suspension from the Party OR acknowledgement that my suspension was wrong; an explicit statement that the slate is wiped clean and that there is nothing on file up to and including Sunday 6 November that the NEC can or will use to suspend me in future.

I am sure that you can tell from my letter of 23 September and from this letter that I am not the kind of person who will simply let things go in the face of ambiguity or unfairness. I look forward to hearing from you in relation to the outstanding issues flagged up above and assuming that I receive a satisfactory reply, then finally putting this matter behind me.

Kind regards,

Carl Freeman

Carl John Freeman:

I have a number of friends who were Owen Smith supporters and who probably believed the hype about “nasty Corbyn supporters”.

But when I got suspended they were genuinely shocked. I have had offers from them wanting to act as a character witness for me. Very sweet of them, but I have never done abuse.

Whilst waiting outside the B’ham hustings (I didn’t get a ticket) while some were booing Owen Smith and calling him a traitor, I shook his hand and welcomed him and genuinely told him it was nice to meet him. It’s who I am and how I am. At 55 I am hardly going to change now.

But that is not the same as “rolling over”. Far from it. When I feel strongly about an injustice I do not let go. It is usually about other people, but this time I guess I am the one feeling oppressed!

Click here to sign statement to Labour Party

 

`Do the decent thing and go purge yourself, Iain.`

Freshly reinstated to the Labour Party, CHARLEY ALLAN writes an open letter to general secretary Iain McNicol accusing him of bringing the party into disrepute

Letter to Iain McNicol in answer to his letter lifting a suspension:

In your letter, you state that I was “suspended following posts [I] allegedly wrote on Twitter” and that my “comments may cause offence to some party members.”

So here’s my first question: did these comments actually cause any offence to anyone or was this all just a hypothetical crime?

———————-

Maybe it’s an honest mistake on your part — and that of Labour MPs Chris Bryant and Jim Murphy, both of whom have also falsely raised the spectre of anti-semitism to hurt the left wing of our party.
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But it’s only fair that the three of you should be suspended while your cases are investigated — after all, that’s what you did to me and thousands of other members.`
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And how can the public be expected to trust a party that betrays its own members in such a callous and cynical way?
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By abusing your constitutional powers and violating natural justice in multiple ways, I believe you yourself have brought the Labour Party into disrepute.
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Therefore I shall be urging my branch to make a formal complaint against you under rule 6.ii.1.a, calling on your local party to take urgent disciplinary action — and I hope that branches across the country follow suit.
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Do the decent thing and go purge yourself, Iain. Maybe then we can all “put this matter behind us.”
 .
Yours comradely,
Charley
 .
PS you can follow me on Twitter: 
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@charleyallan

— but you probably already know that!

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—————

The report by Shami Chakrabarti, now shadow attorney general, on June 30, which you quote, claims that this shorthand for “zionist” — someone who’s in favour of Jewish nationalism — is a “term of abuse, pure and simple.”

And you state that, “to use the pejorative term ‘zio’ in the way it is alleged you have done is something that has caused offense to many members of the Jewish community.”

But there are two problems with this, Iain. First, I am Jewish myself and was discussing anti-semitism with two fellow Jews when I used the word — all of us part of the same community which you allege has been offended.

And second, I didn’t use it as an insult — in fact I put the word in quotes, just like you did in your letter.

As anyone can see from the Twitter thread in question, I had been challenged for writing about “baseless accusations of anti-semitism, which actually empower the real anti-semites.”

And the example I gave was “insisting that it’s AS [anti-semitic] to use the word ‘zio’ (which is rude, like calling someone a ‘commie’).”

That tweet saw me personally purged by you on September 14 — four months after I wrote it but 10 days before the leadership election result.

This meant I lost my vote, was banned from annual conference and have been unable to attend local party meetings — including our long-delayed AGM, which caused me to lose my place on the executive committee.

All because I disagreed that a particular word — weeks before it was banned — was racist.

I accept it’s rude, though no more so that any pejorative political slang. And I don’t use it myself because it unhelpfully lumps left- and right-wing zionists together when as socialists we should be trying to drive a wedge between them.

But the only people who could possibly be offended by my tweet are those who just want to shut down all debate on the subject.

EXPELLED by INCOMPETENCE -NEC Not Fit For Purpose!

Former Labour Party member Krystyna Koseda out campaigning for Labour with Sadiq Khan (that’s her, at his right).

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Krystina Koseda spent spring campaigning with Sadiq Khan for him to become Mayor of London. Now EXPELLED because the NEC claim her having a photo of George Galloway means she is endorsing him!!! He is a FRIEND of hers, and she spent all Spring out campaigning for Sadiq Khan.

But in September, as she prepared to vote for Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour leadership election, she received notification that her membership had been terminated – because she is a personal friend of George Galloway.

Krystyna Koseda:

“I am friends with George Galloway; my CLP were aware of this and there was no problem.

I posted a photo of George on my personal Facebook account. It was George’s mayoral candidate photo but I cropped out the wording and placed it as my cover picture so it just showed his face as I liked the photo.

My personal Facebook account is non political and all my friends and family are aware George is my friend. I thought nothing of it.”

“I received a letter on September 10 to say I was expelled as, in March, I had placed this photo on my Facebook account. This was deemed as campaigning for a rival candidate to Sadiq.”

I campaigned all spring for Sadiq as my CLP can vouch – and have in their letters to the NEC. I was even out with Sadiq and am pictured on his Twitter account. I was out campaigning for him with Jeremy when he came to Dagenham in March.”

“I worked so hard for the party this year. I have written and appealed as have my CLP but I have not even received any form of acknowledgement which I feel is very unfair.

“I feel I have been victimised due to my contact with George Galloway which is pretty bad considering he was Labour for 36 years and is an active campaigner for Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party.

I believe Labour hacked into my Facebook account as my privacy settings were on. I have asked where they got their evidence from as they also had my personal photos including those of my deceased parents, but they have failed to respond in any way.

I feel they have broken data protection rights and I would like someone to highlight my case and the many others that were expelled.”

 

161105-kk-expulsion-letter1

WE DEMAND NATURAL JUSTICE NOW

The sheer incompetence and disregard for Due Process is unforgivable. The whole process needs to be dismantled and then rebuilt with Due Process and Natural Justice being deferred to at every stage and at every level. It must now be run in a transparent and accountable manner.

Ms Koseda stated: “I passed the rigorous selection programme to become a councillor for the London Borough of Havering. I was shortlisted to the final three and was the only woman to get this far. Why did I pass all the selection criteria with them knowing about my friendship with George but then was expelled?”

MEMBER RESPONDS TO SUSPENSION LIFTED LETTER

Mr Iain McNicol
The Labour Party
105 Victoria Street
London SE1E 6QT
,
5 November 2016
 .
Dear Mr McNicol
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Suspension from Labour Party
 .
I have received your letter dated 31 October 2016, informing me of your decision to lift my suspension, and issue me with a formal NEC warning.
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Normally I would start by thanking you for your letter, but the tone and content have left me angrier than the original decision to suspend me.
 .
You suspended me on 14 September. I wrote to you on 15 September, asking you to supply the following details:
. ..
• The precise allegation against me
• The precise date of the allegation
• The source and copy of the allegation against me e.g. copy of the twitter or other publications relied upon to make the decision to suspend me
• Copies of minutes of meetings, internal emails, reports, when the criteria for the suspensions were discussed
 .
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You never answered.
,
 .
To this day I do not know what I am accused of, by whom, and when. I have never been asked to comment, and yet you have taken it upon yourself to issue me with a formal warning that remains on my file.
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Your conduct is, prima facie, incompatible with the principles of natural justice, let alone the way I expect a socialist party to operate.
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I therefore do not accept the warning, and require you to remove the warning, and confirm that this has been done, in writing. If you are unwilling to do this, I require the following information from you:
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• How long the warning is to be kept on file
• Whether the warning has any conditions attached to it, including but not limited to, monitoring of social media by the NEC
• Why the warning is being kept on file, given that there has been no attempt by you to get at the truth, and prove wrongdoing
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Should you fail to remove the warning, I give notice of intention to appeal to the Disputes Committee.
 .
Yours sincerely
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Kevin Safford
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ajustice

Conference 2017 Retrospective Declaration

I`ve been thinking (yes, I know 😛 )
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Apply Retrospective Natural Justice in the Labour Party  
– it needs it!
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The NEC and McNicol keep citing `evidence` for suspensions and expulsions that they found AFTER they excluded people. And then we have the ridiculous 6 month freeze day for voting …
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So clearly they are not adverse to retrospective action in order to attempt to achieve their mission.
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I therefore use this precedence to declare that at the LP Conference 2017 it was agreed that the current NEC be disbanded as not fit for purpose along with the Compliance Unit. It was also passed that Iain McNicol should be replaced as General Secretary by someone who respects the membership of the L.P.
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Further it was declared that the Rule Book be completely re-written and be very clear that:
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Any and all decisions made by the Gen Sec or the NEC (and any unit under their banner) be minuted and transparent to all members so that it can be seen that such units complied with the general ethos of the LP.
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The general ethos of the Labour Party has been declared as the very embodiment of NATURAL JUSTICE. It was noted that members were dismayed that such a statement needed to be made as all agreed that it was assumed by them that the default of the LP in all matters would be to defer to NATURAL JUSTICE.
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This declaration was made and passed at Conference in 2017 and is retroactive. Any persons that have acted in any way that is considered by the membership to be against NATURAL JUSTICE is hereby expelled from the Labour Party.
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alight

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