Keir Starmer’s Labour has started a new purge of Labour members, including putting some members through ‘double jeopardy’ – suspending and potentially expelling them on complaints for which they were already investigated and acquitted by the party.
The purge is not limited to members, with some councillors also being suspended as the Labour right tries to retake seats they lost through democratic processes and in some cases through gross misconduct. Sandwell Council leader Yvonne Davies recently resigned, after a string of smears against her by discredited right-wingers were given credence by the party, accusing the right of ‘hounding her out’ before she could expose the extent of corruption (video).
Some have been re-suspended on complaints of antisemitism that were already investigated and dismissed – cases re-opened in spite of Labour’s supreme disciplinary body saying that in many complaints the ‘evidence’ was so flimsy that 90% of it had to be rejected on independent legal advice.
Others are being suspended on more generic grounds – and one well-known Labour, union and Orgreave activist in South Yorkshire has been sent a notice of investigation for withering comments made about Owen Smith during Smith’s ill-fated attempt to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the party’s leadership four years ago, for which he had already been investigated and exonerated.
But ex-miner John Dunn was in no mood to take the right-wing move lying down, publishing a statement on his Facebook page:
Dunn gave Smith an earful when the right-winger – now back working as a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist – tried to exploit Orgeave during his leadership bid.
The party’s pretext for action against Dunn is not the weakest the SKWAWKBOX has received, but details cannot be published as those involved would be targeted by the party for breaching confidentiality – though as usual there are ample examples of the right leaking details of suspended members to their friends in the media – but numbers appear to be substantial.
The suspensions also come as key elections for nine places on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) move forward. In this, they echo the purges that took place (and were subsequently proven by WhatsApp chats in the leaked Labour report) to try to reduce the number of Jeremy Corbyn supporters able to vote in the 2015 and 2016 leadership elections and of the suspension of whole constituency parties to try to protect right-wing MPs and their cronies.
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