How Labour’s wider disciplinary processes will be made fit for purpose

Image: Rwendland via Wikimedia Commons

The SKWAWKBOX published details and analysis earlier this week of Labour’s new disciplinary process for antisemitism complaints. The new process, which is based firmly on the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report, has been widely welcomed for its clear processes, fixed timescales and intelligent measures to depoliticise complaints and adjudications.

However, Labour members have understandably been asking what is in store with regard to other types of complaints or disciplinary issues. So the SKWAWKBOX found out.

A Labour insider told this blog:

For cases that don’t involve antisemitism, there is going to be an NEC working group on the whole disciplinary process.

The areas covered will include the NCC [National Constitutional Committee, Labour’s senior disciplinary body] and the group will be working with the new Legal Affairs Director (LAD). One of the first tasks of the LAD will be to do a full review of everything we’re doing as soon as they are appointed.

We have to have an appeals process, but the party also needs to ensure the NCC doesn’t take decisions on its own – they must have a lawyer to advise them to ensure everyone is treated in accordance with the rules and natural justice.

We also need that legal oversight throughout the process from complaints handling right the way through to NCC.

There will also be better training for all staff involved – they’ve had sexual harassment training but nothing else so that’s all got to be sorted so we have full professionalism across the whole team. That includes – and in particular – investigation officers.

So there’s a lot still to do but Jennie is working on it. It will just take a little more time once we have the LAD appointed.

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  1. This is all good to hear and things have to be done properly but was there any mention of the many cases of members suspended for two years or more? For example, where the NCC have been sitting on files for 18 months? I hear from people close to the NEC that nobody is sure of the numbers as there could be files hidden away, sat on by Regional Directors and compliance staff. Be good to know that somebody is looking into this.

  2. All well and good but why are we allowing Jonathan Arkush to dictate that Labour needs a separate system for dealing with cases of antisemitism? That is actually the case; if it wasn’t for the campaign run by BoD and friends, this wouldn’t be happening. Arkush has now busted his flush by revealing what his real agenda was all along; nothing to do with antisemitism at all, everything to do with defending the crimes of Israel. It’s time we stood up to these people.


  3. Everyone denied justice so outrageously deserves at least an apology whether guilty of anything or not.
    They might derive some satisfaction from those responsible for such delays being at least barred from employment and from holding office in the party for a term of years.
    Where it’s been deliberate that would surely imply actionable corruption?
    I hope no stone, turd, mattress or safe deposit box will be left unturned.

  4. It is clear the party simply didn’t have a functioning CHP in place when Iain McNicol was general secretary, and that the process he oversaw was wide open to abuse.

    It is reassuring to know that we now have an honest, competent and capable GS in post.

  5. Skwawkbox’s uncritical acceptance of this dog’s breakfast worries me. In the last article there was reference to an ‘in house counsel’ a ‘highly qualified lawyer’, which I assumed meant a Q.C. This has now become a ‘Legal Affairs Director’ which could mean anything, a junior Legal Executive working part time from Jonathan Arkush’s office for all we know. We need a much more critical approach to a disciplinary process that could crush any of us at any moment. At least Voxpolitical recognised this.

    1. Wouldn’t dotted i’s and crossed t’s at this stage be a gift to those who studied the rules looking for loopholes to slither through and scalps to take?
      They wanted night of the long knives, let’s give them Nuremberg.

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