Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Exclusive: explosive letter to party from 14 NEC members orders general secretary to rebuke Starmer and instruct him to immediately restore whip to Corbyn

Unique window on disciplinary process gives damning view on actions of Labour hierarchy – condemning ‘deliberate political interference’ and making clear Corbyn was reinstated on independent legal advice

Fourteen members of Labour’s 39-member National Executive Committee (NEC) have written a damning and explosive letter to Labour general secretary David Evans about the conduct of party leader Keir Starmer – one that blows open the opaque events of this week surrounding Jeremy Corbyn’s reinstatement.

The letter:

  • condemns the ‘double jeopardy’ and ‘deliberate political interference’ of withdrawing the whip from Corbyn after he was reinstated by an NEC panel
  • makes clear that the decision of the panel was based on independent legal advice and the recommendation of Labour’s disciplinary investigative unit
  • implies that their advice was that there were no valid grounds for Corbyn’s suspension
  • confirms that the whip had been restored to Corbyn on the lifting of his suspension, making an utter mockery of Starmer’s excuse that he was ‘not restoring’ the whip rather than withdrawing it
  • makes clear that the meddling in the disciplinary outcome is exactly that kind of ‘political interference’ the EHRC has ruled unlawful
  • accuses Starmer and other right-wing MPs of smearing the NEC panel members who acted in accordance with the party’s rules and the legal advice they gave
  • says that Starmer has put NEC members in a legal bind – and that as a highly-qualified barrister he has no excuse for his ‘unconscionable’ choice
  • demands that Evans rebuke Starmer for his political interference in party processes and undermining public confidence in Labour’s disciplinary process
  • ‘requires’ Evans to immediately ‘demand’ that Starmer upholds the NEC panel’s decision and restores the whip to Corbyn

It could scarcely be more explosive:

Dear David

On Tuesday 17th November a Disputes Panel of the NEC sat to consider current discipline cases one of which was the complaint against Jeremy Corbyn MP. The Panel after many hours of consideration and deliberation, including advice and guidance on process from the Head of Disputes in GLU and an independent Barrister provided by the party, established that there had been no breach of Labour Party rules. As such the Panel determined that Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension should be lifted.

As with all other cases considered by the Dispute Panels, as soon as the panel’s decisions have been ratified as per the agreed process, Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension was required to be immediately lifted. Any consequence of the suspension, namely the suspension of the whip, was of course to immediately fall away as a consequence of the NEC panel decision.    

The decision of the Leader the following day to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn MP is an act of deliberate political interference in the handling of a complaint. It defies the decision of the NEC panel, is a matter of double jeopardy that flies in the face of natural justice, it undermines the Rule Book and it is precisely the type of action found to be unlawful indirect discrimination by the EHRC report.

We would remind the leadership that the political interference criticised by the EHRC included interference intended to speed up the disciplinary process.

The Leader of the party in addition made commentary that the Jewish community have no faith in the process of the Dispute’s panel. Although intended to be a damning comment on the Dispute’s process generally it is of course a direct criticism of the decision reached by the Dispute’s Panel on Tuesday. This criticism has been joined by other MPs, no doubt following the lead of the Leader.

Neither the Party nor the Leader have made clear that the Disputes Panel in question received legal advice on the day and as is the norm that includes a recommendation from the GLU staff, in particular the Head of Legal appointed by the Leader as to the sanction that should be awarded.

This is an unacceptable attack on the lay volunteers elected to uphold the Rule Book, it is direct political interference and it is unacceptable.

We understand that the Party will now face legal action as a result of the decision of the Leader to undermine the disciplinary processes. This will inevitably mean that members of the panel are asked to give evidence in a Court of law. It is unconscionable, given that the Leader is Queens Counsel and must have read and digested the EHRC report, that members of the NEC should be placed in this position by his actions.

As members of the NEC with responsibility to uphold the Rule Book we require confirmation that the General Secretary will now write to the Leader of the Party to admonish him for interfering in the NEC processes, for levelling public criticism intended to undermine confidence in the dispute process and for taking a decision that is directly contradictory to the NEC Panel decision. The General Secretary must demand that the Leader upholds the decision of the Dispute’s panel and immediately reinstates the whip to Jeremy Corbyn MP.

Signed

Howard Beckett
Jayne Taylor
Ian Murray
Andi Fox
Mick Whelan
Andy Kerr
Pauline McCarthy
Ellen Morrison
Lara McNeill
Mish Rahman
Laura Pidcock
Yasmine Dar
Nadia Jama
Gemma Bolton

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51 comments

    1. I hope so. They should demand Starmer’s resignation for bringing the party into disrepute. Better still, demand he be disciplined and suspended. Where are all of the the complaints?

      1. Carlene i totally agree with u! At last! just when i was getting sick of the super supine state of turning the other cheek that we were being spun round and round with never ending kicks Jessica Phillips Front KNIFING style MP‼️

  1. Poetic Justice if it happens. One reprebate being forced to discipline his mate the other reprebate.

  2. this is a clear case of bullying in the workplace of one senior official over a powerless worker, the only way to address this is in court.

  3. In other news: Labour has, through someone called Stephen Morgan, announced that “security is Labour’s first priority (not the economy) and they welcome the government’s long overdue upgrade in defence spending” etc.
    About sums them up.

      1. They’ve all gone full nazi.

        “We can do without butter, but, despite our love of peace, not without guns.

        One cannot shoot with butter. Guns will make us strong…

        …butter merely makes us fat

        hermann goering.

    1. So our children can starve as far as they are concerned. The more weapons people get the more unsafe it all becomes…..

      1. Oh no, apparently the 10% increase in ‘defense’ spending will create thousands of jobs around the country. Our children will get exciting jobs in the ‘defense’ industry.

    2. lundiel, been meaning to comment on that since ytdy but tempus fugit. though please don’t fall for the scam. it is meant to distract from the crony unscrutinised tory covid-19 contracts ➕ the damning bullying report of pritty patel. blojob refusing to put pritti out to pasture or punish pritti… even though tories love very many spits of both. the arms spending release is to distract by attracting outrage by the faux “left” ie greens, limp dims etc.♦️♦️♦️

      1. … spots of both… though spits will do♦️♦️♦️

    3. SOCIALISM – the road to peace, prosperity and freedom
      Until we have a a by-appointment to billionaires leader in the guise of Sir Keir Rodney Starmer.

      party leader who “security is Labour’s first priority (not the economy) and they welcome the government’s long overdue upgrade in defence spending”

    4. If that statement by Morgan is not typical of a right wing bellicose comment to impress the warmongers, I don’t know what is!

  4. I seriously doubt that the General Secretary is going to admonish Starmer any time soon. After all they are only 14 members of the NEC out of 39.
    We will have to wait and see what the Trade Unions are going to do when David Evans refuses. Are they going to withdraw funding? or is it just talk?
    Still nobody is under any doubt that Starmer rather than uniting the Party is dividing it by engaging in a civil war against the left, that the left doesn’t want.
    Starmer maybe manages to win the war, but a what cost? How many moderate Labour Cllrs are going to lose their positions in May? How many Labour MPs will lose their positions at the next GE in 2024?
    Starmer better do a U turn soon, or he isn’t going to be leader past the summer.

    1. Maria – “Starmer rather than uniting the Party”

      Starmer and his gang have no wish to “unite” the party. Nor have they ever had that intention. Their actions are calculated to drive us away to carry on as before ie margaret thatcher’s serving of the 1%. ♦️♦️♦️

      1. signpost, I agree with you but it was Starmer’s pitch during hustings “party unity” he was going to unite the Party by preserving Corbyn’s policies yada, yada, yada
        Everybody now reliases that Starmer’s way of uniting the Party is by purging its opponents.
        The problem he faces is that he is losing electoral credibility fast and he isn’t likely to restore it..
        1- we are leaving the EU either with a bad deal or no deal at all
        2- he is falling to unite the Party
        3- he is falling to offer an effective opposition to the Tories
        Does he honestly believe that he is making himself electable?

      2. They have already put out the narrative that the do not expect to win. Winning is not their first priority. Driving the “Left” out is in order to continue “Two cheeks of the same backside politics”. Jeremy winning was a big shock to them. It was not meant to happen. They believed their own lies. When Jeremy won three times by increased margins and the 2017 election got the highest vote share since 1949, their determination became to crush Jeremy and all of us for good by provoking us to leave.

        Within we can organise and regain the infrastructure. Outside on top of all that is necessary, if even we won an election, sustaining it is difficult and we are more easily crushed. It is sustaining a proper “Left” government is key for us. Win or lose MaxHeadroom is im the money.🛑🛑🛑

      3. Signpost, you made a persuasive argument, let’s called them for what they are warmongers etc.

    2. Maria Vazquez – “… moderate Labour Cllrs …”

      What is “moderate” about pushing for all foreign invasions and wars❓

      1. singpost, I was being sarcastic. I am using the term they use on themselves, by moderate read those of neo-liberal tendencies, tory lite, red tories

      2. Yes Maria, i worry that we may know but it solidifies the idea by repetition. By repeating that spun term we do their washing. Better call them warmongers, pedophile enablers, suited bandits, saboteurs, plotters, Red Tories, bastards, deceivers, careerists, charlatans, chancers, Hodge lovers, encrusted Ummuna CUKS, Slimeball Twatsons, AnnWiddecome wannabes, SH’s iterated parasites, dog forsaken bastards…

        and use moderate or centrist for moderate and centred ideologies eg fairness, equality for all not just some, centred distribution of opportunity and the fruits of labour etc

        The Right wing abuse terms / language. Language is powerful. Lets not help them in anyway with their 1984 ways💐💐💐

    3. But it almost doesn’t matter whether the general secretary even metions it to Sir Keir or not, we know that the letter exists. Thank you SW and the heroic source who provided you with the letter.

      Those of us who have chosen to ‘stay and fight’ are happy to know that this autocratic bad leader has his chain yanked when he oversteps the line. As Tom Blackburn said at the end of a superb article on the Tribune blog: “The war against the Labour Left will not end soon. And as the great miners’ leader Mick McGahey once said, they’ll only stop chasing us when we stop running.”

      https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/11/labours-bristol-west-suspensions-are-an-attack-on-party-democracy

    4. Isn’t the trigger ballot kicked off by one third of a CLP demanding it?

      14 from 39 is one third plus one. Unfortunately the NEC isn’t a CLP

      Get yer arses in gear Holborn & St Pancreas…

      1. “Islington North CLP has been quiet.”

        Out of repect for Jeremy.

  5. Tis ironic that the Labour Party must produce an action plan in response to the EHRC’s findings within six weeks. Meanwhile Keith Stalin has Corbyn’s whip situation under his personal review for 3 months. He’ll need to be a VERY good lawyer to argue that is not political interference in the disciplinary process…

    The first major test since the EHRC report came out and Labour could not have ballsed it up more if they tried.

    1. Dave, it is even worse if the EHRC doesn’t pull Starmer on it, then the EHRC would bring itself into disrepute as it opens questions as to, how unbiased is the report, when Starmer is openly intervening in a disciplinary process and 14’s NEC members are openly asking the General Secretary to admonish him.
      ,

    1. diffrent frank – SH must be with his controller getting instructions. A bit of bother at head office.🔻🔻🔻

      1. My opinion is that the disciplinary process and whether Jeremy has the privileged of the Labour whip are separate issues.

  6. The fact that ONLY fourteen NEC members out of thirty-nine signed the letter begs the question: Why didn’t the OTHER twenty-five? If the complaints they made are valid – which they obviously are – then surely each and every one of them should have signed the letter.

    1. Specially, the other 3 members that were part of the panel that reinstated Corbyn. Another big absent Diana Holland, perhaps as the Treasurer she wishes to stay out of it?

    2. Allan – The fact that the majority haven’t signed this letter calls into question the veracity of your bold statement their complaints are obviously.valid

  7. Corbyn must get an immediate apology and restoration of the whip. If not he must take legal action as the actions of Starmer and co are clearly ultra vires.
    The more publicity and therefore sympathy Jeremy gets and the greater awareness of Starmers high handed actions the less time the charisma free Starmer will be in office as leader.

    1. PC, an apology from Starmer would be the end of it. No change.
      That’s the last thing we should wish for – far better in my opinion for Jeremy to go to court with evidence PROVING the ridiculous exaggeration of Labour antisemitism – only then can all the so-called journalists and so-called Labour MPs – and certain “others” – be prevented from repeating their smears and sued for defamation.

      1. I very much doubt that the courts will be willing to rule on whether Jeremy is entitled have the Labour whip or not. The courts understandably tend to steer well clear of ruling on political decisions.

      2. Nothing political about a court deciding on the facts of a case – either antisemitism in Labour is 0.3% as the figures show or it’s 30% – 100 TIMES greater – as the public were led to believe, or it’s somewhere in between.
        I’d argue 3% would still fall far short of warranting a claim of “institutional” antisemitism and the evidence is clear that it’s far lower than that.
        The supreme court can’t decide on the basis of the hearsay that drove the smears, only on the proven facts – that means the whole tissue of evidence-free lies being dismissed, opening the way for hundreds of defamation claims against our accusers.
        Quite possibly many criminal charges might follow, given the total lack of evidence that would allow our accusers to claim they checked their sources with the due diligence and the integrity expected of journalists.

  8. Spellar wouldn’t give Gurinder permission to sign! Spellar’s hatred of Corbyn and anyone associated with him is renown.

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