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.
`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 matter` Martin Luther King