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Labour Party Shadow NEC

Demand for Natural Justice and Due Process

This is NEC Abuse. We will NOT ACCEPT WARNING LETTERS as a `resolution`! We demand an ADVOCATE system is put in place for every single member accused of breaking Party discipline rules.

Carl John Freeman:

 

So after some serious reflection I have made my decision. My battle with Iain McNicol and the Labour Party NEC is over. I was at serious risk of further damaging my already flaky emotional wellbeing. I took the whole purging thing too personally. I love the local Party and I wish them well in the sterling work they are doing fighting for a fairer society. But whilst Iain McNicol remains as General Secretary and I have an unjustified official warning hanging over my head for which I allegedly have no right of appeal, I cannot remain a member of the Labour Party.

One thing I will credit Iain McNicol with though is that he is an absolute master of irony. He accuses Jeremy Corbyn supporters of being Marxists while ruling over a Compliance Unit that would have made the Stasi blush. Plus he has the audacity to suggest that I and countless others are bringing the Party into disrepute!

My fight is not with the Labour Party itself and certainly not with local Party members. I will still urge friends and colleagues to vote Labour for a fairer society. But while that awful man remains in post as General Secretary then I feel I have no choice but to leave. Of course in posting this comment and this photo, I admit that it would constitute grounds for my suspension or expulsion from the Party. But having today written my letter of resignation, that is academic.

Sarah, the young heroine of the film Labyrinth, escaped from the emotional maze in which she had been imprisoned by the odious Goblin King when she realised that she no longer had to tolerate his mind games. She had an epiphany and declared, “You have no power over me”. And so it is with me. 2016 was an awful year for all sorts of reasons and I refuse to take crap with me into 2017.

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Here is Carl`s letter to the L.P. establishment, and specifically to Iain McNicol:

Dear Sirs

My Membership of the Labour Party

I received your latest correspondence just before the Christmas break. It merely reinforced conclusions that I had already reached:

• Under your stewardship, the Labour Party has become devoid of natural justice
• Last year’s purge of members was entirely politically motivated solely targeting people who are supporters of Jeremy Corbyn as part of a futile attempt at rigging the Leadership election

You have both consistently failed to respond to my requests for detail of allegations against me or provide concrete “evidence” of wrong-doing. You have also failed to acknowledge the hurt I felt as the result of your false and unproven accusations. I am sure you are well aware that there are numerous closed and secret social media groups of purged members who are all comparing notes. You have annoyed a great many decent people who do not take such shoddy treatment lightly. If you think your template letters unsuspending people with warnings on file are going to enable you to brush all this under the carpet, then I have news for you. It is merely the latest in a line of miscalculations you have made over the past year or so.

As I have indicated in previous correspondence, last year was particularly stressful for me. I lost both of my parents within the space of three months which magnified the negative impact your false allegations had on me. My instinct is to always fight injustice. Ordinarily in the face of an unwarranted suspension based on zero evidence and the placement of a formal warning on my file with no right of appeal I would keep fighting. But I realise that the distress this has caused me and which it continues to cause me is having a detrimental effect on my emotional wellbeing.

You and I know full well why I and countless others have been given an official warning of indeterminate length with no right of appeal. Your statement that you reserve the right to “return to the matter in the future” makes it abundantly clear that next time there is an internal election you can simply invoke these warnings and once again, disenfranchise people who have publicly declared their support for Jeremy Corbyn. I am aware of hundreds of people who continue to fight this unfair and undemocratic policy. But I personally don’t have the emotional resilience to continue the fight. Last year I lost two of the dearest, kindest, most caring and compassionate people I have ever known. I still grieve for them and I do not need this additional emotional stress.

My Dad was a great observer of life. He recognised that sometimes you have to throw in the towel, no matter how much you might want to struggle on. He would say to me that “graveyards are full of dead heroes”. I knew exactly what he meant. It is clear to me that you have a strategy of battening down the hatches and ignoring reasoned argument and so I have no chance of securing justice on your watch. As you have made it perfectly clear that I have no right of appeal against my warning and your replies to letters that I have written and into which I have ploughed time and emotional energy are impersonal off-the-shelf and dismissive. I have given up any hope that you actually care anymore and the fact that hundreds if not thousands of members are all getting standard replies is indicative of the industrial scale of the clean-up operation after the mess you have created.

Of course, you have not actually read this letter and as with all my previous correspondence, whoever has been given responsibility for dealing with it will have only given it the most cursory review. But for what it is worth, I hereby formally give notice that I am no longer a member of the Labour Party. I am deeply saddened by the actions of the NEC, the PLP and of the General Secretary in particular. The country is crying out for change. People aspire to a new kind of politics and at a time when the Party could have been building on waves of enthusiasm generated by Jeremy Corbyn’s election, sections of the Party have chosen instead to fight him and the membership rather than the Tories. I find that and the way I and countless other members have been treated to be utterly disgraceful. Hence my decision to move on with my life.

Yours faithfully,

Carl Freeman

Cc: West Midlands Regional Labour Party
Officers of Worcester CLP

 carl
We demand an ADVOCATE system is put in place for every single member accused of breaking Party discipline rules.
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Arrogance of the NEC. ENOUGH! Respect the members!

Still the NEC allow the abuse of members to continue. NO NO and NO we will NOT accept these sickening abusive Warning letters meted out after suspending members. This whole debacle has brought the Party into disrepute and what is further unforgiveable is that they KNOW they allowed a screw up to happen. And then it gets worse: they allow Warning letters to be sent out and they do this to make it look reasonable that they suspended members in the first place lol (yep first laugh then cry).

It was completely and utterly an abuse of the trust given to the NEC to suspend people should it be considered the member posed a threat to the Party. Wow. Any reasonable person with a smidgen of a sense of justice would KNOW that once that happens then natural justice and due process MUST be invoked. In short the member deserves the right of reply. BUT NO. The NEC consider themselves judge jury and executioner and worse than that no right of the member to respond to ANYTHING  and cannot appeal or question the warning.

This is even the case when alleged evidence is specifically being questioned. LOOK if a crime is sufficient to warrant a suspension then it is most definitely a crime (which is being committed over and over and over again) by the NEC to not allow a proper investigation where a member can question the evidence` and the charges.

WE WILL NOT ACCEPT WARNING LETTERS AFTER A SUSPENSION WITHOUT A PROPER HEARING AND A RIGHT OF APPEAL. This is not a spoof, but it seems incredible that it is the truth.  I am simply astonished that the Rule Book is being abused in this manner, and what is more that the members of the NEC are allowing it. Let me be real clear: any member of the LP, no matter their position, has zilch respect from me if they do not utterly condemn this!

Here is a letter to Iain McNicol from a member who was treated in this shameful manner:

Angela McEvoy:

Re: Iain McNicol Appeal my Formal Warning

Thank you for your email to inform me that I cannot appeal a formal warning, I do not countenance such Dickensian rules and I am very surprised that a supposedly modern Democratic Labour Party would support such an authoritarian disciplinary process.

After 40 years voting Labour, I joined the party in May 2015 devastated at the General Election result. My first choice for Leader was Yvette Cooper. I attended the hustings and realised she had nothing new to offer. I then listened to Corbyn and was very impressed with his alternative to the existing narrative. What finally convinced me to support Corbyn was the poster of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendal under a banner stating “Anyone but Corbyn!!! I thought I had joined an inclusive Labour Party, and was shocked how all the candidates demonised Corbyn the man, rather than the vision and direction he wanted to move the party towards.. The personal attacks on the man were disgusting, although the dignity he displayed towards his fellow candidates put their bullying tactics to shame.

Since his election September 2015, I have watched in amazement at the attempts of the Right Wing members of the PLP to sabotage Corbyn’s Leadership. This resulted in the 2nd Leadership contest and also damaged the parties credibility within the country. Divided parties don’t win elections, I believe the moderate PLP members, Progress and Labour 1st are quite aware of that fact but are willing to sabotage the next General Election rather than support the Corbyn/ McDonnell partnership. How pathetic is that? And yet, as stated in my previous email, there appears to be no impunity for these moderate saboteurs who are supported by the double disciplinary standard practised by the NEC.

I have been issued with a formal warning without the right of appeal for 1 retrospective tweet 9th July calling Tom Watson a “Traitor” I stand by my written post. Mr Watson called me as a Corbyn supporter, part of a rabble, a Trot and a Dog. Plus a number of other insults and yet these insults were not included on your list of inappropriate words. Another demonstration of Labour Party disciplinary double standards.

As stated in my previous email I am not willing to accept your formal warning and sadly have no alternative, other than to leave the Party. I believe the impasse has been engineered by the NEC with the sole aim to rid the party of a Corbyn supporter. This has left a nasty taste. Maybe I am naive, but joining the Labour Party was such a big event for me. I believed I had joined a Democratic Socialist organisation where every member was valued in the spirit of Solidarity, Tolerance and Respect as said on the membership card. The scales fell from my eyes pretty quickly after Corbyn’s Election in May 2015, the moderate Blairites have behaved appallingly. They have undermined the Leader in the House of Commons, on Mainstream Media, colluded resignations with BBC and many, many interviews where the credibility of the party was brought into question. The NEC and you personally have assisted them to undermine this honest politician to the detriment of the party, hoping to gain power at the next election. I believe our poll rating is very low….the NEC needs to examine their own role in this debacle. In my honest opinion you are not worthy of power.

I no longer believe the party puts its own aims and values into practice and I would find it extremely difficult to campaign for MPs that have totally lost my respect. I will, of course, support Corbyn independently of the Labour Party.

I have paid a full years membership up until May 2017 although I have been unable to participate in Party activities since September 2016, I would be grateful for you to refund 8 months subscription.

Thank you

Angela McEvoy

 

blog-mcevoy

HOW TO DEAL WITH DONALD DUCK

We have in our possession the document issued as guidance by the NEC for investigations of any alleged Disciplinary offenses NEC Advice Note:

`How to carry out an investigation into a breach of rule by a Member`

The document ends with an example of the bundle to be presented to the disciplinary panel.

The first paragraph refers to the member as: Mr A Member.

But after that the member under investigation is referred to as DONALD DUCK!

Model Charge Sheet

Charge Sheet for Mr A. Member (Membership Number), Anytown CLP

The charge is that Mr A. Member is in breach of rule 2.I.8 regarding the following:

Charge 1

That on 18 January 2013 during the AGM of Littletown Branch, and subsequent Littletown Branch meetings on 7 March and 4 April 2013 and also a CLP General Meeting meeting on 26 February 2013,

Donald Duck behaved in an intimidating, threatening and/or uncomradely manner towards other members present and/or encouraged other members of the ward to behave in an uncomradely fashion.

This strongly implies that whoever compiled the document thinks it’s a laughing matter when it’s not. Secondly the Donald Duck would have been removed by any conscientious discerning person as it’s disrespectful, and even if only seen by the investigating person is dismissive and patronising.

It is further extraordinary that ANYONE seeing this does not lodge a formal complaint against it. But then the Labour Party bureaucracy doesn`t provide a way to complain about them directly does it!

We cannot think of any procedural guidance issued by any organisation that would produce and circulate such a document containing such a ‘joke’ on such a serious matter.

We at the Members Compliance Support Team are astonished and incensed on behalf of members that they are referred to in such a joking fashion. We have been privy to some heartbreaking stories of the effect of the `purge` on people, and this just beggars belief.

don

NO CONFIDENCE IN IAIN MCNICOL

A motion of no-confidence in Mr McNicol over the wave of suspensions and expulsions that prevented tens of thousands of members voting in the recent leadership election on top of those excluded on the basis of an arbitrary date, was debated at the CLP’s monthly meeting, with passion on both sides of the debate but in a completely comradely fashion.

An attempt was made to neuter the motion by proposing a drastic amendment to it, effectively removing all but a couple of lines, including the no-confidence motion, turning it into a mere expression of concern and request for clarification – but this was rejected by almost all those present.

 

Those against the motion argued that members should ‘move on’ and let bygones be bygones in order to concentrate on attacking the Tories.

Those for argued that this was missing the point – that taking the fight to the Tories properly is hampered as long as people prepared to exploit and subvert proper process to deprive members of their right to vote are left in a position to do so in future and that this would discourage new members from joining, or from full, enthusiastic participation if they do join.

The full motion is available at the end of this article, but the crucial part reads as follows:

As general secretary, Mr McNicol has legal responsibility for the Labour Party and must ensure that everything done by the party is legal. He has not ensured that the processing of complaints against members has achieved an acceptable standard and – because this directly relates to the leadership ballot – this means he has not ensured that the processing of ballots to members has been carried out properly.

We therefore call for a vote of no confidence in Mr McNicol as general secretary of the Labour Party. The CLP resolves for the process of suspensions/expulsions to be transparent, fair, clear and completed in reasonable timescales due to members not being able to particpate in meetings and the distress and damage to members mental health.

The result of the vote was ‘against’ 14, ‘for’ overwhelming (i.e. no full count of the ‘for’ votes was taken because the vote was so clearly carried. Ms Eagle voted against, as is to be expected.

MOTION CARRIED:

1. Retrospective code of conduct and suspensions/expulsions This CLP notes with alarm the imposition of new rules of conduct by the National Executive Committee which were supposed to be used to prevent abusive behaviour between members but which seem to have been used as a tool to purge people from the party prior to the leadership election, by suspension or expulsion.

There seems to have been no clear standard or even guidelines and the NEC ‘panels’ enforcing the new rules seem to have relied on their own arbitrary judgment. This means that people have been purged for things they have said on social media in the distant past even when the comments do not relate to their political lives in any way.

Some have been purged over previous support for policies put forward by other parties – but when we need to win over those who have voted for other parties in the past, why should anyone be barred from Labour just because they have expressed support for a policy proposal by another party?

Others have been purged for reasons that can only be described as ridiculous – such as the person who expressed her support for a particular rock band in a forceful way. All of the letters notifying members that they are no longer members had Iain McNicol’s name attached to them.

As general secretary, Mr McNicol has legal responsibility for the Labour Party and must ensure that everything done by the party is legal. He has not ensured that the processing of complaints against members has achieved an acceptable standard and – because this directly relates to the leadership ballot – this means he has not ensured that the processing of ballots to members has been carried out properly.

We therefore call for a vote of no confidence in Mr McNicol as general secretary of the Labour Party. The CLP resolves for the process of suspensions/expulsions to be transparent, fair, clear and completed in reasonable timescales due to members not being able to particpate in meetings and the distress and damage to members mental health.

Garston and Halewood: overwhelming no-confidence in Iain McNicol

The SKWAWKBOX

As of this evening, Garston & Halewood Constituency Labour Party in Liverpool – Maria Eagle’s constituency – officially has no confidence in the party’s General Secretary, Iain McNicol.

mcnicol-noconfA motion of no-confidence in Mr McNicol over the wave of suspensions and expulsions that prevented tens of thousands of members voting in the recent leadership election on top of those excluded on the basis of an arbitrary date, was debated at the CLP’s monthly meeting, with passion on both sides of the debate but in a completely comradely fashion.

An attempt was made to neuter the motion by proposing a drastic amendment to it, effectively removing all but a couple of lines, including the no-confidence motion, turning it into a mere expression of concern and request for clarification – but this was rejected by almost all those present.

Those against the motion argued that members should ‘move on’ and let bygones…

View original post 458 more words

DON’T MENTION THE PURGE

Summer 2016 saw the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn to the position of leader of the Labour Party.

It also saw many lose their democratic right to vote for various reasons and by various methods. Some because emails were not received, some told they couldn`t be found on the electoral role (when an easy search established they were) and other examples where the administration fell short. Thousands were `purged` by use of immediate admin suspensions that is a facility that should only be used for exceptional circumstances – and most of these have now been unsuspended but lost their vote. Then we have the extraordinary 6 month freeze date; and also the increase from £3 to £25 fee to vote and only 2 days to use that option.

In the warm after-glow of Jeremy Corbyn’s win (with an increased mandate) there seems to be a rash of letters lifting suspensions but with the proviso that a warning stays on file.

A warning issued without an investigation ever taking place. This must be like appearing in court and being found guilty without the police ever conducting an investigation. No one would ever accept that and an appeal would obviously follow.

But it appears that people simply don’t want to talk about this. Some appear to be blissfully unaware of the dirty tricks employed to disenfranchise thousands of members. Is this because it doesn’t affect them directly or because the Labour Party has not been open about it, keeping things behind closed doors and trying to find a rug big enough to sweep this under?

Our party was founded on the principles of standing up for those that can’t do so themselves, giving a voice to those that are too fearful to speak for themselves.

Where have those values gone? I recently tabled a motion at my CLP calling for suspensions to be lifted and a proper process of investigation put in place. As I looked around the room I saw many blank faces, faces that suggested that they didn’t have a clue what had been going on.

Some struggled to find a defence for the actions of the NEC or to come up with facts to counter those presented to them. The motion was passed with only one vote against. The conversations in the pub afterwards also pointed to a lack of knowledge of the situation and a true desire to find out more and ask questions of those responsible.

People seem scared within their own party. Scared (or simply not aware) to support fellow members in what has been a massively difficult time for those “purged”. A lot of people have felt very alone, filled with self doubt and unsure who to turn to for support as they were banned from attending their own CLPs and some report that they were even removed from Facebook groups and forums. Mud sticks. Right? No smoke without fire? This has come about through lack of knowledge, poor communication and a desire by some to ignore it because “it’ll all sort itself out”. Well it won’t sort itself out on its own and it won’t go away either.

Why haven’t the NEC issued a statement? Why are they trying to keep us in the dark? Do they not realise that this is causing great division and mistrust within the party? Why does there appear to be no due process and an obvious lack of natural justice? Even the Torys have a default position of natural justice in their disciplinary process.

Members seem to be fearful of showing support for the suspended/expelled in case their membership is at risk. Some appear to be in complete denial that their beloved party would ever do such a thing to its membership.

This is a membership that will turn out in all weather to campaign.

The same membership that will canvas for and promote parliamentary candidates, exactly the same as the purged members have done in the past. We need to talk about the elephant in the room (or the large lump under the carpet).

We need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow members and tell the NEC that things need to change quickly Obviously anyone who is found to have breached rules must have some level of sanction against them There is a strong desire for unity within the party but I fear that we will never achieve this until the truth comes out in a public way. How can we expect to govern the country when our party appears to be so underhanded with its membership? I’m sure more will be suspended but that will only make our voice stronger.

If you hurt one of us you hurt us all.

Craig Fraser 

 NATURAL JUSTICE for Labour Party Complaints Procedure LINK TO PETITION

Report on Labour Party Rule Book 2016

We asked a number of people to do a critique on the Labour Party Rule book – and focusing at this time on Chapter 6 which is concerned with the Complaints Procedure. Here Glynis Millward, a suspended Labour Party member gives her critique.

Report on Labour Party Rule Book 2016

Background

  1. I have read the copy of the Rule Book 2016 (the rules) which was in force at the time the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Labour Party suspended the vast majority of Labour Party members on or around the period July 2016 to September 2016:-
  1. https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2972711/Labour-Rule-Book-2016.pdf Throughout this report, I have used the rules contained in the link above.
  1. Chapter 6 (pages 24 – 25) under the heading Disciplinary Rules, is made up of Clause I and Clause II, with the former headed National Action by the Party and Action by CLPs respectively.

Clause I – National action by the party

  1. The NEC shall take such disciplinary measures as it deems necessary …”
  1. There is no explanation of these “measures”, other than to say that “such powers shall include …”
  1. At first glance, it is suggested to the reader that the NEC can do what it likes. Although some details are shown at Chapter 6 Clause I parts A, B and C, there are clearly other powers that are not referred to either in the rules or anywhere else, regarding ordinary members.

suggestions

  • Bullet point specific nec powers in relation to ordinary members or provide details in an appendix where they may be found.

  • overreliance on acronyms and abbreviations could lead to confusion; key to be provided at start of each section explaining acronyms and abbreviations.

CLAUSE I – A

  1. It is stated, “ In relation to any alleged breach of the constitution, rules or standing orders of the Party by an individual member or members of the Party,…” No links are provided in relation to;
  1. What constitutes a breach and
  2. Where the constitution, rules or standing orders may be found.
  1. This section continues with, “The NEC may pending the final outcome of any investigation and charges (if any) suspend that individual from office or representation of the party”
  1. In this report authors experience of assisting suspended members through the process of their suspension, most ordinary members do not hold office within the party or indeed consider themselves to be a representative of the party and are therefore under the impression that this does not apply to them.
  1. The section continues with …” The General Secretary or other National Officer shall investigate and report to the NEC on any such investigation”
  1. It is not stated what form this “investigation” will take or indeed, what part the ordinary member will play in it.
  1. It is then stated that when the report is submitted, “The NEC may instruct the General secretary or other National officer to formulate charges against the individual concerned and present such charges to the NCC for determination in accordance with those rules
  1. No timeline is provided in relation to this process and no details are provided as to what the members rights are in relation to this process.

 suggestions

  • The terms used should include the words “ordinary members”, this will raise awareness of the fact that these clauses also apply to them.
  • Again, there is a reliance on abbreviations and acronyms
  • A flow chart which shows the process and progress of a “standard” investigation would be helpful. Some people find reams of text difficult to digest, particularly when everyday language is not being used. A visual representation of this process will greatly aid understanding of it.

CLAUSE I – B

  1. In relation to any alleged breach of Labour group rules and standing orders by a group member or members, the NEC may, pending the final outcome of any investigation and charges (if any), suspend that individual or individuals from the group in question”
  1. This sub clause appears to relate to “groups” that the individual may be a member of. However, it does not refer to which “groups” these are likely to be.

suggestions

  • An explanation of the groups referred to, in list form, should be provided.

CLAUSE I – C

“…the NEC may issue written 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.”

  1. It is not clear from this section if the letters sent to members who were suspended constitute the “warning” or if it refers to those members who had their suspension lifted and were issued with a “warning” that their alleged breach of the rules would remain on record idefinately.
  1. In the opinion of the author of this report, the wording in this section is unnecessarily confusing, cumbersome, convoluted and open to misinterpretation by the ordinary member.

suggestions

  • The process/procedure in respect of the issue of warnings should be clarified.
  • It would be helpful if ordinary, everyday language was used not just throughout the rules, but certainly in relation to this section as it would be hoped that the issue of suspensions and charges would not be of such a regular occurrence that the ordinary member would be familiar with it.
  • Avenues of support (where they exist) should be communicated to the member in this section; being suspended, expelled or rejected is likely to be an upsetting experience for the ordinary member and details of individuals or groups that they can discuss this matter with would be helpful.

CLAUSE 1:2

  1. This section concerns the readmission of the member following their expulsion and states “such application shall not normally be considered by the NEC until a minimum of 5 years has elapsed”
  1. There is no explanation as to what breach by the member would warrant expulsion from the party.
  1. Five years is a significant amount of time in anyones’ language and there is no explanation as to why that minimum period is applied.
  1. There is no information about an expulsion appeals process or support process.

suggestions

  • The process/procedure in respect of the issue of expulsions should be clarified especially in relation to appeals against the expulsion. It is the opinion of this author that expulsions are far more serious than suspensions and there should be a clear and robust process for appeals and complaints for members who find themselves in this category.
  • Avenues of support (where they exist) should be communicated to the member in this section; being suspended, expelled or rejected is likely to be an upsetting experience for the ordinary member and details of individuals or groups that they can discuss this matter with would be helpful.

CLAUSE 1:3

  1. It is stated; “require the membership rights of the individual member concerned to be confined to participation in their own branch meetings”
  1. Ordinary members, especially those new to the party, may not be familiar with the party hierarchy, and may not understand the meaning of a “branch meeting”
  1. Similarly, where it is stated; “in such ballots of all individual members as may be prescribed by the NEC” clarification is required.

suggestions

  • A “hierarchy” chart showing how the party is organized would be useful for new members

CLAUSE II – Action by CLPs

CLAUSE II – 1

  1. Again, there is no reference to where the constitution, rules or standing orders may be viewed by the member.
  1. The impression is given that in the matter of a third party complaint, it is the CLP who enforce compliance.

CLAUSE II – A

  1. The 3rd party complaint process in relation to the member complained of is not included, especially in respect of informing the member that an allegation has been made against them

CLAUSE II – B

  1. There is no mention as to what the Executive Committee of the CLP take into account when deciding if an investigation into the complaint is warranted.

CLAUSE II – C

  1. No mention of the members part in this process.

CLAUSE II – D

1. No mention of the members part in this process.

CLAUSE II – E

Nil of note

CLAUSE II – F

Nil of note

CLAUSE II – G

Nil of note

CLAUSE II – H

  1. It appears from this section, that the member complained of may not be allowed the opportunity to submit their own evidence.

CLAUSE II – I

  1. Details as to how the investigators may arrive at a “prima facie” case is not clear; there are no details of any checks or balances, such as an independent audit in respect of these investigation.

CLAUSE II – J

Nil of note

CLAUSE II – K

Nil of note

CLAUSE II – L

  1. It appears to only at this stage, with the “charge” being referred to the NCC, that the member complained of has an opportunity for an oral hearing.

Summary

It is the opinion of this author, that throughout both the suspension and appeal process, the member appears to be of minor importance.

There is a lack of support and a lack of communication throughout both processes.

It should be acknowledged by the NEC, NCC and EC CLP that both old and new members are not likely to be familiar with either the suspension or expulsion process as by their very nature, these processes should be a rare occurrence.

It is important, says this author, that there needs to be information available to and support for members, both old and new who find themselves in the situation where they are suspended or expelled.

It is concerning, that despite the 2 tick disability logo which appears on the bottom of suspension/expulsion letters, the committees do not appear to be complying with their obligations within the Equality Act by making reasonable adjustments especially for those members who are vulnerable or suffer with mental health issues. Support MUST be made available for these members – as it is a lawful requirement to do so.

The wording used in the rules is obtuse, confusing, onerous and untidily drafted. If it is not possible to rewrite it (due to cost and/or resources), then at the very least, an easy to read summary should be available to members either on line or in hard copy form. The Plain English website gives excellent tips on drafting information leaflets and will even proof read and edit forms and publications for a small fee.

Glynis Millward suspended Labour Party member

                          

We asked a few other people for their opinion of the accessibility of Ch. 6 and Appendix 6 which deals with procedures related to Ch. 6  here are their responses:

`I could not bear to read this document (too much for my poor brain) but dipping in here and there, it seems to me that whoever did the dirty work – ie expelling people – didn’t read it either. There are some complicated things that have to be done that it seems were not done at least in some cases.`   

`As a solicitor I find it relatively straightforward but I don’t blame anyone for finding it rather wordy and inscrutable. But I don’t see in the rules any justification for suspending a person, then lifting the suspension, without any investigation in which the person has the right to speak and to challenge the suspension. If there has been a secret investigation leading to a secret report leading to a decision to un-suspend, then I think we must assert that the suspended person must have the right to see the report.`

` Hmmm….two degrees and a professional qualification and I need to lie down in a darkened room with a cold flannel before reading this again.` 

` I am a university graduate with two post-graduate qualifications and rarely have I found anything that is as impenetrable as this! I would be more interested in something in plain language that the average person can understand. I am also wondering if there are members’ rights akin to a grievance policy in the workplace. Eg – if I do something wrong, I can be subjected to disciplinary proceedings. However if I am badly treated by a manager or colleague, I can take out a grievance. I certainly feel that I have been treated very badly and am seriously thinking of taking out a grievance if such a system exists and can be understood!`

`I’m PhD level and I have continually suggested there has to be a grievance procedure for members to follow and no one has found one! I work for a teachers union and frequently have to use this method with considerable success. There must be procedures in place and the ordinary rules published by LP only protect the NEC and CLP which are top down. By law LP must have a procedure for members. Where is it?`

` Not sure about anyone else but I find this draconian in places and open to abuse by then authorities as they can pretty much do whatever whenever`

A Critique of the Disciplinary Rules of the Labour Party and

            A Legal Look at the Labour Party Rule Book by

Duncan Shipley Dalton LL.B(Hons) LL.M CPLS MPA (Harvard) Barrister-at-Law  Labour member Southampton Itchen CLP

A Critique of the Disciplinary Rules of the Labour Party by Duncan Shipley Dalton

Incompetence of L.P. Admin. Not fit for purpose. This is the responsibility of Iain McNicol and the NEC

The incompetence of the L.P. administration – most specifically in relation to the administration of the (non-existent) process concerning those members Suspended or Expelled makes it clear and urgent that the whole system needs to be dismantled and rebuilt. It quite simply is not fit for purpose. Worse than that it is not merely creating a shambles record wise but is seriously damaging members health and wellbeing. SHAME ON MCNICOL AND SHAME ON THE NEC.

Three new examples:

1.`Even though I received a letter 2 weeks ago to say my suspension was lifted (with a warning of course), my CLP have politely told me I am not welcome to attend tomorrow’s meeting as “Unfortunately, in accordance to the membership system, your status today is still “suspended” “. Why am I wasting my precious time?`

2. `I got the same email today!  … I haven’t written back yet complaining about the warning on file and in the meantime I get the interview/ suspended email *after* the unsuspended letter`

3. `Here is an example of the complete inefficiency of this band of tossers. Having unsuspended me they have now sent me ANOTHER LETTER about interviewing me!

This is unreal.

Dear  xxxx

As you will be aware, you are currently administratively suspended from the Labour Party pending an investigation.

The General Secretary has appointed me as investigating officer. Would you please let me know if you are available for interview on Monday 12th December 2016 at 11:30am. The interview will take place over the phone.

Please reply to this email confirming the best number to reach you on. If you have not received the evidence used in this case or if you have any questions about the process, reply to this email.

Regards

Sam Matthews
Investigations Officer
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party

 

[Have now received an apology!!! From Sam Matthews fir sending me the letter in error!]

This particular member was unsuspended BUT with the caveat of a Warning and the threat of `left on file` – and has written refusing to accept the Warning and demanding that the assumed guilt is removed from the file. No response except to issue another letter saying they want to carry out a telephone interview!  Can you see yet NEC just how this is tantamount to harassment? Can you see yet NEC how you are guilty of a dereliction of duty? NO? Maybe it is simply you don`t care about the effect your

Can you see yet NEC just how this is tantamount to harassment? Can you see yet NEC how you are guilty of a dereliction of duty? NO? Maybe it is simply you don`t care about the effect your non actions in allowing Iain McNicol to continue with this debacle. Non-action on your part makes you equally culpable!!  We need a complete overhaul of the whole system. It is not fit for purpose. It is damaging to the Labour Party, let alone to the health of the individual members.

The Sickening Slur Against Me – How Ironic!

Ceri Brabham

There is a petition doing the rounds about scrapping the fee charged to dv victims by GPs when a report is needed for court. I’ve already signed the petition but they want me to send it on to five other people by email and Twéet Watson when I’ve done it.

Tom Watson’s Digital Manager sent an email to me regarding scrapping the fee for domestic violence victims. This is my reply:

Attn Claire Hughes Digital Manager and

Tom Watson MP Deputy Leader of the Labour party

I support this campaign but I do not support Tom Watson – and cannot tweet him since he has blocked me for having the temerity to tell him that I disapprove of his disloyalty to Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour party.

It has obviously escaped your notice that I am one of the thousands of Labour members who have been rejected by the Compliance Unit. The allegation of ‘abusive behaviour’ has been levelled at me solely because I retweeted two tweets that had hash-tagged words which the Compliance Unit chose to ban – three weeks after I had used them.

How ironic that I stand accused of ‘abusive behaviour’ by one unit of the Labour party – whilst receiving emails from another unit asking for my help in supporting people that have been abused – people that in my thirty-year career in social care I have fought for – victims of domestic violence, child abuse, adult protection – there is not much that either of you can tell me about abuse that I have not already experienced.

When you work with people who really have been abused, then the misuse of the word by a bunch of unqualified clerical staff is laughable – were it not such a vile slur on my character and that of others.

I have always been a believer in natural justice.’ I sat on this for three days but today I thought ah what the hell…

The Labour Party Complaints System has No Respect for Natural Justice

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