This site is to illustrate the lack of Due Process and lack of Natural Justice in the system used by the Labour Party to suspend/investigate anyone it considers has broken the rules of Party membership.
Apart from the pain caused to people by being suspended, trying to get information on the process being used, and the lack of communication, has been like rubbing salt into an open wound.
And NOW, with people being notified of investigations, or being unsuspended (but without any evidence of allegations being WARNED not to do it again) it is causing even further agony.
The reason is that there seems to be no set procedure being followed, and if there is one, people generally are not being made aware of it, and not being made aware of what is going to happen to them in the process: what stage they are at, what rights they have etc This rule book process please:
The 2016 rule book the procedure is:
1. Allegation is made of breach of rule, constitution, standing orders per Chapter 6 Clause 1
2. Allegation goes to NEC for determination. Or delegated sub unit e.g. 3 NEC members in Compliance Unit.
3. NEC can suspend pending investigation. This power can be delegated to national Officer per Chapter 1 Clause VIII (5)
4. NEC appoints National Officer/s to Investigate
5. If after Investigation NEC determines Offence committed refers to NCC for determination.
6. NCC considers case makes ruling on if committed and the penalty 7. If the member appeals the NCC or panel thereof conducts appeal in writing or at
7. If the member appeals the NCC or panel thereof conducts appeal in writing or at oral hearing.
8. Final decision uphold penalty or rule no offence and discharge.
HOWEVER, people are being suspended automatically (administrative suspension) by a panel of the NEC. There have been no published details about who decided this, why it was decided, how it differs from the rule book.
As fas as I’m aware, none of the cases that have arisen during the leadership election have gone to the NCC yet. The procedure has been somewhat different from usual, inasmuch as complaints against members or supporters have been considered by a panel of the NEC Procedures Committee (it is questionable, in my view, whether they should have taken on that role).
It is generally accepted and understood that there may be the occasional situation that arises which requires quick action and an automatic suspension awaiting further investigation. This could be where there is a clear case of abuse and a very distinct clear cut case of bringing the Party in disrepute.
The ability to do this was given to the General Secretary in trust for an exceptional case. Even then, in the spirit of the option, it would be expected that an investigation is put into action immediately. We have THOUSANDS of people who have been automatically suspended and left without any contact on where they stand in (any) process for WEEKS.
Emails asking for evidence and details of any right of reply are left unresponded to unless chased up day after day after day. When the alleged evidence is supplied is is, at best, flimsy, and of the dozens I have seen I have not seen one that can be labelled Abuse.
Some strong words of anger in some, but most certainly not abuse. I have also seen ones of mistaken identity, many where people have simply agreed with a policy (for example) of the Green Party – suspended or even expelled for SUPPORTING the Green Party.
The absence of due care, natural justice and due process is causing not just mental and emotional anguish but some people have had mental health or physical health seriously threatened – and at least one person having to resign from the Party because she feared the stress would cause her cancer to flare up (currently in remission).
There are many issues that need to be dealt with – for the individual people directly affected; for the reputation of the Labour Party itself (ironically being brought into disrepute by this shambolic administrating of the suspensions and expulsions; and clearly by the whole working of the NEC in this regard – and the Rule Book itself concerning investigations of allegations of breaking the rules of membership.
I have tried to get clarity on the system being used but nothing is forthcoming. We have had promises made of all people being advised by November 1st of having suspensions lifted or that an investigation will be started – but the majority have heard nothing so far (23.00 hrs Nov. 1st 2016).
It is our Mission to push for transparency and an overhaul of how any and all expulsions or suspensions are administered with a total and complete deference to Due Process and Natural Justice. This is something that I would have considered a default position for a Party that is for the many and not the few and seeks justice for all in society.
SO, we demand Natural Justice, a transparent process and rigorous checks on all aspects of the Complaints Procedures
The NEC have a responsibility to ensures checks and balances are used to ensure Natural Justice and they have fallen short of doing so. They have now said this can never happen again – but it is STILL HAPPENING, and we have had no announcement on the mistakes they have made and where they fell short. Unless and until there is an admittance of failure then no progress will be made toward a decent and respectful system.
Tony Benn’s five democratic questions:
1) What power have you got?
2) Where did you get it from?
3) In whose interests do you exercise it?
4) To whom are you accountable?
5) How can we get rid of you?
I was suspended near to the end of the 2nd election campaign, just two days after I finally got an email vote and voted Corbyn! I haven’t had any explanation, and to be left like this in limbo, I consider an insult to all my efforts in supporting and working with Labour (mobilisation officer for In Campaign in my area) campaigning, attending meetings, standing up for Jeremy Corbyn as leader. Just to be left like this, really hurts.