Analysis Announcement

Leading lawyers tell Evans: you’ve exceeded your legal authority with ‘unlawful and disproportionate’ war on free speech

Wronged officers and left-wing Jewish group launch crowdfund for legal action via top law firm Bindmans

Acting Labour general secretary David Evans and a deeply-bored staff member during a recent Zoom meeting

Labour’s acting general secretary David Evans has been taken to task by a leading law firm, in a letter accusing Evans of exceeding his authority under the rules and in law in his assault on members’ rights to freedom of speech.

Bindmans, acting on behalf of two suspended constituency party (CLP) officers and Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), has laid out Evans’s breaches in a 20-page legal letter, including:

  • misapplication of Labour rules to justify his attempt to ban free speech
  • discriminating against the party’s left-wing Jews – and against other minorities
  • discriminating against Palestinians to protect the feelings of pro-Israel members
  • discriminating against Jews by acting as if there is only ‘one Jewish view’ – and acting as if he has the right to decide what is ‘acceptable for Jews to say’
  • banning free speech in a ‘blanket’ manner, without evidence to support his actions
  • unlawfully assuming that Labour has the right to dictate what local parties can discuss
  • wrongly treating human rights laws as if they ban anything someone might find offensive
  • acting disproportionately and outside his powers
  • misapplying and selectively applying Labour’s rules – including in the direct opposite effect of what they actually say
  • breaching Labour’s codes of conduct

The letter can be downloaded in full here.

As well as JVL, Bindmans is acting for Louise Regan, chair of Nottingham East CLP and Dr Marion Roberts, vice-chair of Camberwell and Peckham. Both officers have been suspended by Evans after local members insisted on discussing and voting on motions relating to Keir Starmer’s withdrawal of the whip from the party’s former leader Jeremy Corbyn, which itself breaches the recent EHRC report’s ban on ‘political interference’ in disciplinaries..

The group has launched a crowdfund to raise cash for the legal action to challenge the lawfulness of Evans’s actions.

32 comments

  1. About time, that someone stands up to the General Secretary and Starmer. Let’s wait and see what the Courts have to say.
    Other possible law suit against Evans and Starmer could be for possible misappropriation of funds. Under Party rules only the NEC can authorise payments. Hence, the £15K paid on behalf of the local Ealing leader Julian Bell and local MP Virendra Sharma after a Court of Law deemed both liable for paying a bill for £15K to Aroma Banketing Suite. These 15K should be recovered by the Party since it could be argue that whoever authorised this 15K payment engaged in misappropriation of Party’s funds.
    https://skwawkbox.org/2020/10/01/exclusive-labours-nec-not-consulted-about-15k-paid-to-bail-mp-and-council-leader-out-of-lawsuit-over-unpaid-bill/
    As to the £600K paid to former staff exactly the same, since it appears that the NEC wasn’t consulted either and the Party Lawyers advised that the case against Labour could be defended in the Courts.

  2. The right will do whatever it takes to avoid court, whatever concessions they have to make. With the collusion of the MSM they can then paint themselves as the peacemakers and us as the aggressors in what they’ll claim are merely technical breaches of the rules with no political motivation or effect.
    That’s no use to us at all.
    The right know better than many of us on the left that our only possible answer to their false accusations is through the Courts – so they’ll stop at nothing to stop us getting to court.
    We need a whole slew of legal actions – against every one of those who’ve made or politically exploited fake accusations of antisemitism.
    We only get our reputation back by proving the lies to be lies – to prevent us doing that the right only needs to keep us out of court and the media will do the rest.

    1. Starmer and Evans should be surcharged for their reckless use of Labour Party funds.

  3. Probably best Christmas present I’ve had for a long time. To hear Evans will be taking to court for acting in an undemocratic manner. Alas no doubt he’ll be supported financially with members subscriptions.

    1. Backofbeyond, I guess Evans could be represented by Party’s lawyers since they are already members of staff at no extra cost. However, the NEC would need to authorise payments to outside barristers.
      In this situation as Trade Union members we should lobby our Trade Unions reps at the NEC to vote against approving extra expenses to pay for external barristers to defend Evans.
      If every single Trade Union rep at the NEC votes against making funds available to hire outside barristers to defend Evans in the Courts then members subscriptions aren’t going to pay for it. Since we can count on the 5 CLP representatives at the NEC for the grass roots alliance, the Youth rep and the Disability rep plus 13 Trade Union reps make a total of 20 so a mayority of one. It works for me. In this situation perhaps Ann Black and the BAME rep would either vote with the Trade Union block or abstain.
      Hence, we need to lobby all our affiliated Trade Unions with reps on the NEC: ASLEFT, The Bakers Union, FBU, GMB, Unite,Unison, TESSA, USDAW asap, as the NEC will meet sometime early in January.

    2. Couldn’t he be taken to court for doing that. Isn’t the whole thing theft? I dunno, seems like it.

  4. Total respect for JVL they’re a brilliantly organised group, if more of the Labour left followed thier example the Labour right wouldnt know what had hit them and the Corbyn era wouldnt have ended in defeat

    1. Without wishing to sound too sycophantic, I have to agree. Regularly check for articles on the JVL site, read and spread them. Old Swawkie is doing his bit as well!

  5. Merry Christmas everyone. Next week all you remainers can watch Stalin break his alleged Brexit principles and vote with Johnson’s Tories in order to try and reclaim the votes of the ‘red wall’. Have new, new Labour so little strategic sense and such bad advisors? Stalin is seen as a boring elitist by the electorate and the socially conservative red wall and lumpen proletariat don’t and won’t trust him. His only possible chance at being PM was for Johnson to make Brexit a car crash. That doesn’t look likely now and rabid Europhiles will be let down by this most unprincipled of men.
    Happy new year.

    1. Lundiel. Brexit is already a car crash but the effects will be glossed over by the right wing media. However they wiill not be hidden to those who will lose their jobs because of it.
      Merry Christmas.

      1. Jack T, I am afraid Covid-19 is going to be blamed for the lost of jobs rather than Brexit Johnson can count on Starmer to blame it on Covid-19 and carry on been a “responsible” opposition that would work in tandem with the government.
        Of course, it isn’t going to work for Starmer, I for once don’t trust a word the man says and I doubt Brexetiers specially if they were in favour of Lexit are going to be persuaded by Starmer either.
        Johnson has very cleverly negotiated a Brexit deal in which every 5 years the EU will assess if the UK has broken the deal made this week. Hence the Tories are ensuring that Brexit remains in the agenda for general elections to come.
        Merry Xmas to all.

    2. Same to you lundiel and all the other Socialists who come to, and comment here. And to Skwawky, keep up the good work.

      1. Thank you and all skwakies for your work keeping me sane. All the best SteveH. Wobbly

  6. I very much doubt this will stop them. They will just do as Bliar did and change the rules. Clause IV anyone?

    1. They may well try and change the rules but they can’t do so retrospectively. As an unincorporated association the rules represent a contract with the members, Any transgression under the current set of rules represents a breach of contract for which they would always liable even if an entire new rule book was introduced mid trial. There wouldn’t be a contract that was worth the paper it was written on if any clause could be changed retrospectively by one of the parties

      1. I suggest you have a read of Mike Sivier’s own account of his very recent ‘Breach of Contract’ case against Labour.
        https://voxpoliticalonline.com/2020/11/24/shocking-verdict-in-mikes-court-case-against-labour-means-nobody-is-safe/
        in the hearing this afternoon, Deputy District Judge Whiteley said he could not uphold my case against Labour because the party’s Rule Book does not say that it must follow the procedures it has created to investigate complaints, or that it must adhere to the DPA…….

        …….The judge also said that Labour had not breached its contract with me by failing to investigate the complaint against me according to its own procedures, because those procedures were not enshrined in the party’s Rule Book and therefore it had no obligation to follow them.

  7. “… Johnson [making Brexit a car crash] doesn’t look likely now”
    Not having seen any of the 2000 pages of the deal I’d say it’s a bit too soon to write the history of Brexit.
    I’m surprised anyone would trust Blojob that far.

  8. Evans states..”The IHRA definition of anti Semitism and its examples was properly adopted by the Labour Party in September 2018. CLPs and branches have no powers to overturn this decision. Furthermore, such motions undermine the Labour Party’s ability to tackle racism. Any such motions are therefore not competent business for CLPs or branches”.
    This is nonsense, since when has a Labour party policy [especially one as contentious and poorly drafted as this one] been set in stone, how can it be overturned or amended without a CLP motion to conference or when a legal challenge to it is made in the courts and it is found wanting, what can members of the party do about it. Does Evans have a legal adviser? If it is Starmer [a third rate shyster] who is advising him, it may not be surprising since he seems to be making the rules up as he goes along.

  9. Think youi’ll find that conference will revert to what it bacame in the Bliar years. Little more than an “opportunity” to congratulate the leadership on how well they are doing.

    1. That will be their intention, but the LP is a different animal from what it was back then.

      1. and the threat of the left forming a new Party might cause our blairite chums a bit of concern (without left support Labour is nothing) Campbell ever a spokesman for Tonies cronies was on about this on the radio last week,I personally feel the Blair model had well and truly runout of steam in this country by about 2012 its not the electoral dynamite the commentariat claims it is

  10. Target nearly reached already and as soon as I can blag some pay from work I’ll be adding to it:)

  11. You trust the public school judiciary & the legal system as Julian Assange remains in prison awaiting extradition. Do you really believe that justice will be delivered? Happy Holidays!

  12. “discriminating against Jews by acting as if there is only ‘one Jewish view’ – and acting as if he has the right to decide what is ‘acceptable for Jews to say”
    This was brought into sharp focus when Starmer abused Maxine Peake because she criticized the Israeli state, in particular its security services, this was not anti Semitic since she did not mention people of Jewish origin. On the other hand K Starmer when abusing M Peake did use anti-Semitic language when he conflated actions of the state of Israel with all Jews wherever they live, or whatever they may think. Here is example 11 of the IHRA [working definition]…
    “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel”.
    Both RLB and M Peake have had their respective careers put in jeopardy simply because Starmer chose to lie about what was said and to curry favour with the BoD, Starmer and Evans should be nowhere near the Labour party.

  13. Speaking as a catholic, I am liable to misinterpret the IHRA definition because of my ‘historic’ bias, but if ‘jewishness’ can be specifically defined by conflating a religion with a state, then “holding jews responsible for the actions of the state of Israel” is not unreasonable? A very dangerous assertion?

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