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A statement from John McDonnell

A statement from Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott MP 16th December 2020

“I fully support this important campaign to get the suspensions of constituency Labour Party officers lifted.  These suspensions are wrong and unprecedented.  Over the years there have often been issues where substantial numbers of members differed in their view with the leadership of the party.  The miners strike was one such issue.  The Iraq War was another.  But the leadership never attempted to stop people actually having a debate.  The issue is party democracy.  Save our socialists.”

A statement from Richard Burgon

Richard Burgon MP 16th December 2020

“Labour members are the lifeblood of our Party.  They are volunteers who give up their free time to try to get Labour politicians elected and to build a better society and more just world.  They should be treated with respect, especially by those who owe their positions and careers to their voluntary efforts.  Instead, the current leadership is engaging in a clampdown on members’ democratic rights and totally unjust suspensions of socialists for upholding party democracy. 

The Labour leadership needs to immediately stop this clampdown and instead to focus on taking the fight to the Tories.  I stand with you in the battle to reinstate the whip to Jeremy Corbyn, put an end to the attacks on party democracy and reverse the recent wave of suspensions.”

A statement from Apsana Begum 

December 2020

“As a former CLP secretary, I know what a painful position the Labour leadership’s disgraceful guidance will have put Secretaries in.  Members who hold officer positions give up their valuable time to undertake these roles for our Party, often making immense personal sacrifices financially and personally.  To have to choose between democracy and suspensions is not why any of us joined the Labour movement, nor is it what members have given innumerable hours of voluntary time for.  The tactics of silencing and intimidation, often used by bosses towards their workers, should never be part of the Labour Party’s values or operations.  These attacks on our members and on our democracy, the very core of the Labour movement, must end.”

 

A statement from Dawn Butler, MP

22nd December 2020

“The Labour Party was founded to be the voice of the voiceless, after working class people were wrongly left out of the political debate in this country.

We should therefore always be mindful that our members are the lifeblood of our party, and that we have a long and proud history of democracy and open debate.

There are Labour members who have fought injustice all of their lives and campaign hard for a Labour government at every election. We should be mindful and careful not to cast them aside, as we need them and we need our CLPs.

I hear the pain and anguish of Labour members being suspended and I fear that the party is taking the wrong approach. It cannot be right, for example, that members be suspended for debating issues which the party’s elected representatives are allowed to discuss publicly.

Those in power must realise that an injustice to one is an injustice to all – and it will only make it harder to unite our party and defeat this awful and corrupt Conservative government.

Of course, we can all agree there is no room for racism and discrimination of any form in our party. But we cannot be a party that shuts down internal democracy and debate without justification.

For instance, members have been told that they cannot discuss the leaked report, as the urgent Forde Inquiry was launched. However, the Forde Inquiry looking into the leaked report is now 5 months late.  Why should members be denied a conversation around something so important?

I urge those in charge to reconsider their approach immediately.”

Ian Lavery, MP

24th December 2020

“CLP officials and local members are the unsung heroes of our party, the very heart of our movement.  Many spend hours & hours, days upon days to support our party and campaign for victory at all political levels. We owe our colleagues the utmost of respect because they’ve earned this by their individual actions. Who does the canvassing? who does the leafleting? who stuffs the envelopes? who’s always there to settle membership issues? yes, our CLP officials.
As a party we face huge challenges. Why on earth is  this happening? suspending our own dedicated people, the lifeblood of our party, treating them like the real enemy, at a time when the Tory government are destroying our nation. I simply ask what is this really all about ? Let’s focus our attention and energies on the real enemy because there’s millions of people out there in great need who rely on a strong united powerful vociferous Labour Party.
Reinstate now, before it’s all too late.”

About

We are a network of socialist Constituency Labour Party (CLP) Secretaries.  Our aim is to ensure that Labour Party members are treated fairly; and to provide support for elected role holders that have been unfairly suspended.

 

Additional information

We are proud of Labour’s socialist traditions and we will work to strengthen grassroots socialism within the Party. We want Labour Party members and our communities to be heard and respected at all levels of the Labour Party system.

Treating our members’ rights with respect is also important for morale and increases the capacity of local parties to turn outwards and campaign in elections. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that was long fought for and has been traditionally upheld by the Labour Party, including in our party meetings. The right to freedom of expression is not only about the right to speak but it is also about the right to listen to others and for different views to be heard. Party members should have the right to express their views.