Brighton Pavilion Labour delegates have not only defied the Labour hierarchy’s ban on motions supporting Jeremy Corbyn, but have demanded that the party ends its attempt to suppress free speech – and for the Labour ‘whip’ to be restored to the former leader. Delegates passed the following motion, with only three votes against and one abstention:
Brighton Pavilion CLP believes that guidance to CLPs, issued by the General Secretary ( 12th August, 29th October and 5th 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 Brighton Pavilion CLP calls on the General Secretary to withdraw his guidance restricting local Branches and CLPs’ rights to political debate.
The following amendment was also successfully added:
Additionally this CLP notes with concern the decision taken by the Leader of the Labour Party not to restore the Party whip to its former leader Jeremy Corbyn. This further undermines free speech and due process in the Labour Party.
Jeremy Corbyn was reinstated as a member of the Labour Party on 17th November and we believe the Labour whip must also be restored.
We call on Keir Starmer to review this decision immediately and restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
Right-wing members of the CLP attempted to challenge the chair’s ruling that the motion and amendment should proceed, but were defeated overwhelmingly in the subsequent vote to overturn the ruling.
More and more CLPs are saying ‘enough is enough’ and defying the party machine’s threats and manoeuvres to block their democracy and freedom of speech – which the EHRC’s recent report noted emphatically is protected by human rights laws.
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