JVL’s Secker’s Labour suspension lifted after just five days – with no apology

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JVL’s Glyn Secker

Last Wednesday, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) Secretary Glyn Secker received a shock letter from the Labour Party advising him that he was being suspended for “comments made on social media that may be in [sic] antisemitic“. The notification sparked outrage, among other reasons because Mr Secker is Jewish:

secker susp

Note that the suspension was ‘administrative’ and was exercised unilaterally by the current-but-outgoing General Secretary, Iain McNicol – Secker was not suspended as a result of last week’s controversial meeting of the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) ‘Disputes Panel’. The letter clearly implies that Mr Secker himself had made comments that ‘may be’ antisemitic.

JVL was formed in 2017 and formally launched during Labour’s annual conference in Brighton. Secker is a veteran of the 2010 “Jewish Boat to Gaza” that was stopped by the Israeli navy after an attempt to break the blockade of Gaza.

On Monday, just five days after the date of the suspension letter, Secker received a new letter from the Labour Party – reinstating his membership:

secker lifted

According to this new letter, Secker was suspended because of an investigation into a Facebook group, rather than because of alleged personal comments. No explanation was given why his personal suspension was necessary for an investigation into a group – nor why an investigation into a group could be completed within just five days if there was sufficient evidence to warrant suspensions in the first place.

No apology was offered.

JVL issued a statement last week attacking the suspension as ‘absurd‘ and ‘appallingly vague‘ – and accusing Matthews’ Disputes unit of bringing the Labour Party into disrepute by ignoring the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report adopted in 2016 by the NEC. The group’s response to the lifting of the suspension welcomes ‘a great victory’ but attacks the letter’s failure to apologise or to explicitly rescind allegations of antisemitism.

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  1. Gly Secker, a campaigner for human rights, has fallen victim to McNicol’s ‘guilty until proven innocent’ witch hunt, operated on behalf Zionists who are trying to destroy Jeremy Corbyn.

  2. This is further evidence of why the Chakrabarti report recommendations must be implemented in full and immediately.

    The Labour Party’s disciplinary procedures are a complete farce.

    The first task of the new General Secretary must be to implement the report’s recommendations.

    1. Agreed , first is to “deal with ” the henchmen of McNicol still infesting the disputes /disciplinary panel. Remove them , they are and will be indoctrinated by McNicols way of thinking and a clean sweep is what’s required. I don’t give a hoot regarding the assumption these are but only ” Admin ” people and should not be criticised. Here is yet again more evidence that despite coming changes of a positive nature there still exists rot within the organisation.If it’s not deliberate then it can only otherwise be gross culpable incompetence of a sack-able nature.
      Out with the lot of em !

  3. I think this case is a reason why any new inquiry into these matters lay down new and easily defined guidelines on Facebook use. Today, you can no more ignore Facebook or Twitter as part of daily life than the postal delivery. I suspect that potentially every member of the party who uses FB have opened themselves up to accusations of “association” with an individual or agency (such as an independent non-Labour site or an on-line magazine or paper) that could be defined as opposd or hostile to the party.

    Looking at my past threads (and as well as on FB, on a blog in which I have an interest) I have certainly cited articles or polemics from the right (The Spectator or the Times) to the non-Labour left left (Red Pepper or the Morning Star) As often as not, I have cited or linked to these sites to show where I feel their argument or position is wrong – but the rules would only see that I had somehow promoted them by adding a link. How different is that to one of Labour’s ideologues of the past – say, Crosland or Foot – in one of their books, citing an artiicle or book hostile to the Labour Party and then citing it in the printed bibliograhy ?

    I would argue that only “consistent and systematic” interaction and / or assciation with such sites (or closed groups) should be capable of consideration for any disciplinary action.

  4. It does appear they have learned nothing from the wholesale debacle of suspensions regarding JCs second election as leader!
    They need to be gone, a no nonsense dismissal, for gross misconduct of applying the rules of suspension, to suit their own agenda!

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