On 20 June last year, mere days before the referendum result that threw UK politics into turmoil, led to an immediate increase in racist attacks across the country and started a process that threatens the cohesion of the United Kingdom, a limited company called ‘Labour Leave’ made a substantial political donation – £18,500 – to UKIP:
Labour Leave is run by a man named John Mills, who has been a major donor to the Labour Party. Mr Mills was also a director of Vote Leave Limited, alongside UKIP’s Suzanne Evans, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin, former Tory Party Treasurer Peter Cruddas and others, so Labour Leave has more than one UKIP connection.
Labour’s 2016 rulebook, section 2, clause 4B states:
This is known as ‘auto-exclusion’, a penalty that can be applied on various grounds specified in section 2 – and which was spuriously applied to many Labour members last year in order to prevent them from voting in the leadership election even though the party’s functionaries knew they were doing it wrongly, as the SKWAWKBOX exclusively revealed.
Mr Mills and his fellow director Brendan Chilton, if he is a Labour Party member, clearly have broken this rule by donating a large sum of money to UKIP. But they are not the only ones.
Labour Leave’s website lists its ‘supporters’. It’s not a very impressive list, either in content or size – including Mr Mills, it has just four names. But the other three in that list are all Labour MPs, including two of the worst in the party:
Frank Field, as I’m sure you’ll know, is the ‘Labour’ MP who mocked his own (Birkenhead) constituents last year, pouring scorn on the idea that they might even have a view, let alone that he should give it any weight:
Field has worked closely with the Tories on more than one occasion, for example working on David Cameron’s review into poverty, which recommended doing away with the measurement of poverty and instead measuring ‘life chances’, and advising right-wing think-tank Reform, the driving force behind much of the Tories’ privatisation of the NHS.
John Mann is the boorish lout who subjected Ken Livingstone last year to a staged, vicious, utterly reprehensible – and factually wrong – bullying attack with TV cameras ‘coincidentally’ ready to film the whole thing:
Both of these MPs should arguably (or not) have been expelled from Labour before now for their misdeeds, but they have escaped censure so far.
Regardless, if the claim on the Labour Leave website is genuine – and there is no reason to think it is not – all three of the above MPs have now broken the rules of the party by continuing to support a plainly political (non-Labour in spite of its use of Labour’s name and logo) organisation that has provided undeniable material support to the most odious party in (what now passes for) mainstream politics: UKIP.
And that is something for which the rules mandate automatic exclusion.
Even if they claim they didn’t know about the UKIP donation, the mere fact of supporting Labour Leave breaches the same rule. As a Political Scrapbook article this week showed, most of Labour Leave’s money comes from right-wing donors:
while the same article showed Labour Leave creating a dodgy poll to boost UKIP’s chances in the Stoke by-election – against Labour:
Mr Mills’ status as a Labour donor should not protect him from the consequences of his company’s donation to a foul political party diametrically opposed to Labour ‘aims and values’; likewise, the status as MPs of Frank Field, John Mann and Kate Hoey should not protect them either.
Genuine Labour members were expelled from the party last autumn for reasons that Iain McNicol subsequently admitted were wrong – and which the functionaries involved knew to be wrong before they did it.
If prominent members escape censure for brazenly flouting the party’s rules just because they are donors or MPs, that is not only a travesty but a slap in the face for the innocent members who suffered expulsion or suspension on no grounds at all – and for the vast majority of members, who support you and are heart-sick of seeing Labour’s Establishment treat them with contempt.
As Mr McNicol and the NEC’s Disputes Panel, having done nothing to date and having abused justice in the cases of expelled/suspended members along with the suspended Wallasey and Brighton parties, clearly cannot be trusted to administer disciplinary proceedings to the individuals above, this blog asks you to do one thing:
Exercise your prerogative as leader of the party and withdraw the whip. Immediately, please – with formal disciplinary measures following if you are able to arrange it.
Your supporters, and members who care about justice and the name of the Labour party, need you to do it. Thank you.
In solidarity always,
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