Analysis Announcement

Put this model motion to your CLP: defend CLPs’ right to political debate

Recent moves by Labour HQ to quell or even ban debate on key issues is a grim sign for party democracy

CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) and Momentum are encouraging Labour members to put forward a motion of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn to their local Labour party groups (CLPs), after Corbyn was suspended by party general secretary David Evans and leader Keir Starmer for comments on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on the party that the report itself said he has a legally-protected right to make.

The groups have now also issued a further motion in defence of democracy and the right to debate key issues within the party, in response to attempts by the party hierarchy to block discussion and votes on the leadership’s recent decisions and such key areas as the EHRC’s report and recommendations. The motion reads:

To General Secretary, Keir Starmer and NEC

This Branch/CLP believes that guidance to CLPs, issued by the General Secretary (12 August, 29 October and 5 November) undermines local party democracy by placing restrictions on the areas of Party business that members can discuss in their meetings.

The guidance conflicts with the Party’s long-standing custom and practice and tradition, whereby both affiliates and CLPs have the right to engage in discussions and adopt positions on matters across the full range of party business and policy. The Labour Party Rule Book, quite correctly, makes no reference to ‘competent business’.

This apparent break with that democratic tradition within our Party is a matter of significant concern.

Therefore this Branch/Constituency Labour Party calls on the General Secretary to withdraw his guidance restricting CLPs’ rights to political debate.

The motion is accompanied by the following ‘guidance notes’ warning of an ‘unprecedented attack’ on members’ democratic rights and freedom of speech:

CLPs face an unprecedented attack on their right to discuss and take a view on some of the key issues facing the Labour Party.

Since August, David Evans, Keir Starmer’s choice as the new General Secretary, has sent out no less than three sets of instructions to Constituency Labour Parties detailing what they are not allowed to discuss, although he offers no reference to the rulebook in doing so. Neither has there been any discussion with the National Executive Committee in advance of issuing this guidance or any definitions offered about what is and is not defined as ‘competent’ or ‘incompetent’ business. Moreover, it has been reported that some CLPs who have attempted to take a view, have had their access to ‘Organise’, the Party’s emailing system, removed.

In August, CLPs were told they were not to discuss the EHRC report because it had not yet been published. Now they are told that they cannot discuss its recommendations, although again the rulebook or legal basis for this is highly questionable.

With the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn MP, the Labour left faces its biggest attack for a generation. It appears that for some, there is no future for a broad church Labour Party in which many strands of democratic socialism are represented and members are allowed to have their say. Yet unless we have a Party in which members can discuss and are heard, and which represents a cross-section of political opinion on the left, we cannot hope to reach the voters we need, and advance the policies and organisation necessary to win future elections.

CLPs are told they cannot debate the apparently factional suspension of Jeremy Corbyn MP because ‘This is necessary in order to protect the integrity of our processes, and to ensure that cases can be investigated and determined confidentially.’ This is nonsense – of course it is perfectly possible for due process to be followed and for CLPs to discuss and take a view on decisions that were, after all, known to the press before the individual concerned.

It is incumbent on all members, whether supporters of Jeremy Corbyn or not, to recognise that without discussion our Party is much the poorer.

Evans sent an email to local party officers warning them that such discussions were not permitted – and that the party “will not hesitate” to act against anyone who doesn’t toe Evans’s line – even though the EHRC has made clear that such debate is legally protected as freedom of speech under human rights laws.

With the motions above, Labour members have a chance to push back against the arrogance of the party’s leadership in seeking to ban dissent against its conduct, but structured in a way that will make it far harder for Labour’s hierarchy to claim its strictures have been breached.

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23 comments

  1. Or
    You start to organise against Evans confirmation and find a credible challenger to Temporary Embarrassment

  2. Evans’ actions are an attack on all members, left, right or centre. Members and affiliates as well. The Red Line here should be democracy- a party ran ‘top down’ is not a party at all.
    And that is what Evans, Starmer and their Blairite allies are aiming at: an organisation consisting of office holders sitting on a ‘membership’ of clients, fans and apprentice or wannabe officeholders.

  3. Starmer has said that he does not want a civil war in the Labour Party.
    He must be threatened with one in order to stop Corbyn from being expelled.
    If his prospects of achieving office are likely to be damaged, then he will likely back off.

    1. His reason for saying that Tony is so as to conceal the fact from the general public that it is HIM and the Blairites who are making repeated attacks on the left.

      And I really don’t think he’s bothered about achieving office, for why would the Red Tories care if their Blue Tory chums are in office.

      1. I agree totally Allan H. *Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension from the Labour Party is a declaration of war by the leadership against all socialists.” Even the people’s press publication that started its Editorial with the sentence I quoted does not dare pretend that it is clear what left members should do, just finishing the editorial with “The socialist left must make clear that we are not going away.”

        Staay and fight anyone, or flee and whinge?

    2. Tony watch out White Flag Man will tell you no point. Take note, he never has and never will tell you what he suggest we do. The Shill hunt’s refrain is always in essence NO POINT. Don’t let him discourage you.

    3. He knows that his “prospects of achieving office” depend on the ruling class, their media and The Establishment. He doesn’t care what members of the Labour Party think. That’s why his creature-Evans-has banned discussion. Mere members should, like children, be seen and not heard.

      1. White Flag Appeaser Allan Howard, you don’t give a toss about Julian Assange. Your scam is to mention his name to distract readers from your usual mission of discouraging one and all.
        You can’t fool every one AH, if you cared about Julian, you would not have supported the capitulation to Starmer by Jeremy.

        Consider that it was Starmer’s decisions which have kept Julian caged. Yet you scream in essence, that Jeremy had NO CHOICE but to appease Starmer & Right Wing chums. What has been the result❓❓❓

        Julian is still caged and Jeremy still suspended THUS Allan Howard tool wipe, Your are either a TOTAL FRAUD or a fool.
        I believe it is the former, because you NEVER suggest positive actions. And out of the blue when you feel you are being exposed you abuse Julian’s name. I’m sure others have noticed how you exploit his name as a shield. You are a nasty weird piece of work. Why no positive advice ever Howard??? How so White Flag AH Man❓❓❓ You Allan Howard, are a pathetic faecal vessel. ❓❓❓

  4. No doubt Evan’s – on Starmer’s behalf – will shortly be sending out an email to CLPs telling them that they are forbidden to discuss the fact that they have been forbidden to discuss certain issues.

    Apart from anything else, it is of course designed to ‘prompt’ even MORE left-wing members to resign from the party in disgust.

    And the iconic picture of Julian Assange gagged comes to mind!

      1. How very clever of you Jack, and signpost’s contribution is just pure genious. Well done guys (for exposing yourselves for what you are!).

  5. Not only must Starmer’s actions result in a civil war, he should be the one to lose and be forced to resign. Who on Earth wants a racist such as Starmer in charge of the Labour Party? Didn’t we have enough with Blair as leader?

  6. Only a new party can stop Starmer. He needs those thousands of voters who attended Corbyn rallies across the country to win an election. Not to mention people who voted Starmer as leader or don’t like Corbyn but recognise what a spiteful and unjust act his was. I will be campaigning for Labour to loose if Starmer remains in charge. 4 more years of Tories is the price worth paying seeing how the centrists on Twitter and in the PLP have behaved toward socialists when Biden won its clear their will be no recognition that they need socialists to win, and only gloating and further ostracisation if we help Starmer win. Biden won because Bernie helped mobilise millions of his supporters to vote for Biden. Biden has at least had the humility and brains to acknowledge this unity. Starmer is too arrogant and stupid and expects us to do the same ‘because Tories’. We can’t afford to let centrists take the reigns. 4 more years of Tories gives the socialists another opening in 2028. There is eff all chance of socialist progress in 2024 unless we can push Starmer left via another party the same way UKIP did to the Tories on the right.

    1. Careful M, don’t suggest anything different from appeasement or the Shill hunt White Flag Man will tell you we’r all doomed. No point to anything, he will say. Take note, White Flag Man has NEVER suggested what he would do… other than wave white flags and appease till W.MD Blair utters one honest word.

    2. M
      Makes no sense to walk away from the Labour Party when we pretty much own it, members, unions and supporters
      What has changed is the internal report, no excuses now, the party can no longer accommodate Red Tories
      Just need a horrible bastard to clear them out and then hand over to next generation

  7. In the first place M, UKIP (and later on the Brexit Party) gained in popularity so quickly precisely because of Brexit AND the fact that they got plenty of positive coverage from the right-wing propaganda rags, and there is no equivalent topical issue which any new left-wing party can ride on, so to speak. Apart from which, any such party would undoubtedly be either completely blanked out by the MSM, or vilified and demonised as the ‘Jeremy Corbyn Party’ or whatever…. You know, all the usual platitudes such as ‘hard left’ and ‘Marxists’ and ‘Trots’ etc, etc, etc.

    And in the final analysis, the Red Tories really couldn’t give a damn whether THEY are in power OR the Blue Tories are in power, as they both ‘serve’ the same masters.

    1. Defeatist pathetic White Flag tosspot Allan Howard – Shill bore and tool wipe. Maker of Jeremy’s APPEASEMENT strategy. Allan Howard – a gift to Starmer the spanner in the works of a Jeremy led Labour victory. Well done Starmer & 🏳️🏳️🏳️Allan Howard.
      Piss off with your excuses after the event. You are a pathetic disgrace with your committed appeasement plan.

  8. I would think that any new members of the Labour party would have been apalled at the insulting email to the CLPs.Digger Evans and the corrupted knight have been given “power to the elbow “from people like white flag man Allan Howard’.His constant sniping at rock solid socialist working class members and downright fictional Character assasinations are insane..His fear of the media signifys a troubled mind incapable of understanding that for those of us that are experienced in Labour party activism and direct action have always been hounded and criticised by the media and a few wimps inside the Labour constituency partys.White flags and expediency cost the Labour party and the country a future .and a legacy for our children and grandchildren.Like the mind of white flag man…so very sad and what a “waste”

  9. Why not pass resolutions at CLPs of no confidence in Evans and demand his sacking. You have been deprived of a conference this year by the virus, it seems like the right will take every advantage of this to consolidate their ‘win’.

  10. Would be interesting to see how the Party enforces non-existent Rules in court…

    Meanwhile I welcome the above motion as push back against an executive power grab.

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