Former Labour party general secretary Jennie Formby has spoken exclusively to the SKWAWKBOX about her (acting) successor and his attempts to justify his war on members’ freedom of speech.
Evans – as noted today in a letter to the party from top legal firm Bindmans – has written to constituency party (CLP) officers stating that he was following the precedent set by Formby when he banned them from discussing the party’s actions against former leader Jeremy Corbyn:
By 25 of November, of course, there was no ‘ongoing disciplinary case’ against Corbyn. He had been reinstated unanimously by a panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), which had been advised by independent lawyers that there were no grounds for his suspension. Keir Starmer had then breached the EHRC report’s ban on ‘political interference’ in disciplinary outcomes by withdrawing the Labour whip – also in breach of Labour’s parliamentary rules.
But Evans needed to refer to disciplinary cases so that he could claim he was following precedent set by Jennie Formby.
However, in an exclusive statement to SKWAWKBOX, Formby pointed out the fallacy of Evans’s claim:
Yes it’s true that I advised CLPs that motions on complex disciplinary cases were not competent business and that if passed, they would not be discussed by the NEC. That is because there is a very specific process in rule for discussing and deciding disciplinary matters. The objective of writing to CLPs was simply to let them know that motions of that nature would not make any difference to disciplinary matters.
She went on to point out the glaring difference: nobody who ignored her advice and discussed/voted on motions anyway was disciplined in any way for doing so:
Many CLPs ignored my email but no one was disciplined. That would not have been an appropriate response. I respected the fact that people felt strongly about the issues but nonetheless they needed to be aware that formal disciplinary cases under rule are for the NEC processes alone to determine.
By attempting to piggy-back his own actions on those of Jennie Formby, Evans has in fact only highlighted the scandal of his own and Keir Starmer’s conduct.
In lashing out at members and their elected representatives who ignored his declaration of war on their human rights to freedom of speech, he looks weak, vindictive and Stalinist. Formby gave advice and members were free to act otherwise without fear of reprisal.
In the Starmer-Evans party, resistance and principle have been met with an escalating campaign of suspensions in an attempt to prevent any discussion or scrutiny.
The contrast between the current acting incumbent and the woman who genuinely filled the role before him could hardly be greater.
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