Exclusive

Exclusive: the unpublished document Labour is ‘disgracefully’ misusing as grounds to suspend members, denying it exists – confirmed genuine

Mere mention of actions by staff in motions is being categorised as ‘bullying’

The Labour party has been using an unpublished ‘code of conduct’ to suspend members who criticise its actions and the conduct of its staff.

In spite of its title “Bullying and Harassment. Policy statement and procedural guidelines for all members, volunteers and staff“, the document has never been published on the party’s website or circulated to members so they know by what criteria they are being judged – but it is being used by the party’s disciplinary ‘Dispute Panels’.

In spite of its own claims, the document has never been published or circulated to members

While some of the document is common sense in terms of assessing actual bullying and harassment, other parts are astonishingly woolly and vague – and look like they violate human rights laws on freedom of speech that state clearly that merely offending is not a criterion for censure.

For example, the document admits that:

There is not, and probably cannot be, a single simple definition [of harassment].

But it then goes on to classify even a single instance of causing ‘discomfort’ or offence as potentially a case of harassment, even if it is,

initially acceptable to some [it may be] harassment to others.

The document, after first saying there isn’t a ‘single’ definition of harassment, then claims that it is defined by causing offence:

The defining feature of harassment is that behaviour is offensive or intimidating

According to this ‘secret’ code of conduct, behaviour as nebulous and subjective as “unfair allocation of responsibilities” or “twisting something someone says or does” can be harassment; causing offence or discomfort are repeated as forms of bullying, as can “copying emails that are critical about someone to others”.

Members are being judged against these vague and subjective criteria without having ever known they were criteria – and they have been twisted by the party to suspend officers and members on the flimsiest of grounds.

A number of members have been suspended for putting forward motions to their constituency party that merely mention that a member of staff sent an email, on the grounds that this constitutes harassment – and in spite of the unpublished status of the ‘code’, some of its wording has appeared in letters informing members of their suspension.

Bullying hypocrites

In spite of the party’s actions against members for even mentioning staff in a motion – and the fact that suspended members are banned even from discussing their suspension – regional offices have frequently and widely circulating information about suspended members for discussion, breaching data protection laws as well as displaying shameless hypocrisy.

Denial ain’t just a river

In spite of this, when challenged over the abuse of this document, regional offices have denied that it even exists – going so far even as to dismiss it as made up.

But it does exist – and senior party officials have confirmed that it has frequently been used in disciplinary proceedings as a yardstick for judging members’ conduct, even though those members had never seen or even heard of it. One senior figure told the SKWAWKBOX:

It’s disgraceful that people are judged against criteria they haven’t seen.

Labour is keeping members in the dark about what it is using against them in its war on free speech and its Stalinist purge of the left – and denying it even exists if challenged.

Download the full document here.

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36 comments

  1. I wonder if Mrs Hodge’s outburst against Jeremy Corbyn, inside Parliament, and within earshot of many people, including journalists, constitutes harrassment under this document. If so, then there is a duty to suspend her forthwith!

    1. Problem with that is that she would love to be crowned as Queen Pottymouth of AS. Imagine the media frenzy. Max would implode. It is a great thought though. Wonder what Jones V.C and that Northern Soul loving Marxist would produce as the result of her expulsion? Just more AS propoganda.

    2. I have lodged a complaint with the party about this incident and received an acknowledgement but no answer yet. If CLPs are being barred from talking about JC etc. because of the potential for discomfort, I think her behaviour went well beyond – and as an MP she should be setting an example.

  2. As a Trade Unionist I am familiar with workplace “dignity at work” procedures. Harassment takes many forms but it is never a “one off” e.g. if a person receives unwanted attention from a colleague the person must be told that their behaviour is unwanted and they must be asked to stop. If they persist its harassment but the initial action is not. Bullying is a form of harassment and the same criteria usually though not always applies.
    In relation to ” offence “there must be reasonable grounds for taking offence. Something has got to have been said or done that a reasonable person could find offensive.eg if someone tells a joke, a colleague may find it offensive if the joke is smutty, has racial undertones, is mocking a particular group etc but if the joke perfectly innocent then offence is not warranted and anyone complaining is behaving unreasonably.
    Almost all workplace procedures make it clear that if a person makes a complaint in good faith even if the complaint is not upheld no action will be taken against them. However malicious complaints will result in Disciplinary action against the complainant . This is fair because nobody acting out of malice should be allowed to cause pain and upset to others and get away with it.
    I think the party should have a robust procedure for dealing with harassment and similar complaints which should contain a section concerning how malicious complaints will be handled .It should be openly debated and once it is agreed we should all sign up to it.
    This underhand way of dealing with complaints- making it up as you go along really in order to damage the reputation of members with whom you disagree -brings our party into disrepute but is typical of Labour under Starmer and Blair, Brown and Kinnock before him.

  3. Kafka probably had a waste bin full of stuff like that.
    Rejected because it’d be pushing reader credibility past breaking point.

  4. After calling a right wing Labour shit a liar on fb (he was) he complained to fb and I have just been suspended for 30 days. A pattern is developing even outside the party, and it isn’t pretty is it.

  5. Steve, if uncle Joe was still around, c**ts like Matthews, Evans, Oldknow and the rest of the apparatchiks would have already been put up against the wall, with Starmer to follow as icing on the cake. Shy boys get nought, as Corbyn discovered to his cost. When it comes to the serious business of establishing working class power, don’t handicap yourself by letting the ruling class tie your hands behind your back.

    1. James ” Big Jim” Larkin the early 20th century Trade Union leader referred to working class struggle by saying something along the lines of “they ( the ruling class) are so far above you because you are on your knees so STAND UP”

  6. This shows the cult of new Labour 2.0 using a document that is hidden and we are not allowed to read it. This kind of BS is the hallmark of scum having to sneak and he and make us shit just to justify their scummy behaviour.

    But again, as usual, I ask why are people worrying about being in this cult? They have no respect for membership and treat you with contempt. They hate and want nothing to do with socialism in a so-called left party so if you don’t share this ideology leave!

    Stop supporting them, stop giving money and especially don’t help them in any way they need us more than we need them! Until there is a socialist party to vote for they can do one for my vote too.

    I ignored this cult the first time around and stayed I won’t waste my time and money with this cult of new Labour 2.0…

  7. As JoeRobson said up thread, calling Corbyn “a f–king anti Semite and racist” as Margaret Hodge did, then when Labour leaders wrongly said she had apologized to the Chief Whip, she doubled down and got her solicitors to write to Labour HQ stating she had not apologized and had no intention of doing so. Similarly with Tony Blair who openly called Corbyn an anti Semite with no action from the complaints department. Harassment and victimization is dependent on who does it, clearly Hodge and Blair are immune from these complaints. F–king hypocrites.

    1. What was the most shocking and despicable aspect of the Margaret Hodge case was that when she was facing disciplinary action by the party for her ,at best, unseemly behaviour she compared the disciplinary process to the suffering of Jews under the Nazis during the Holocaust.
      This completely trivialised the enslavement of millions of Jews in camps and ghettos where they were worked or starved to death and subjected to various barbaric medical and other experiments. Most of those who survived these horrors were murdered in gas chambers.
      Margaret Hodge shamelessly exploited their terrible suffering of these Jews for her own selfish purposes. In my opinion her words amount to Holocaust denial (an example of antisemitism according to the IHRA definition ) and she should have been disciplined by the party for this. She was not and now has the effrontery to complain about antisemitism in others. She disgusts me and is, in my opinion, unfit to be a member of our party .
      Regarding Tony Blair – he was responsible for the illegal war in Iraq which has resulted in an estimated 1 million deaths. He is still walking around a free man, is now a multi millionaire with an extensive property portfolio and remains the darling of the PLP. If he had one iota of decency he would be ashamed to show his face. He is another one who should have been expelled long ago.

      1. The previous comments focus on precisely why the LP is in such a mess. When the right is in charge they rule with an iron fist and ride roughshod over free speech and democracy. On the rare occasions when the Left is in charge, in an effort to be ‘the good guys’ open decent from the right is tolerated and dismissed as nothing to worry about. The right are well aware of the left’s tollerance and continue their plotting knowing full well that it will lead to the downfall of the left.

      2. totally agree with you smart boy. Hodge should have been expelled along with quite a few others/ I was disgusted at Starmer new Labour Mark 2. As for Blair I left the LP because of him. Re joined under Corbyn now left because I felt conned by Starmer.

      3. Reply to Jack T There is no point in saying we are different if we behave the same as Right. If we ever e descend into the gutter with them and adopt their gutter tactics we will be no better than they are.

      4. Reply to Ian Kemp. The Holocaust denial I have mentioned above is only part of the reason why Hodge has no place in our party. The other is her role as Labour leader of Islington council where, under her stewardship vulnerable children were sexually abused and exploited and their cries for help were ignored. She said she was “naive” about this and Blair made her Minister for children. After this one of the abused children, by then an adult and I think a solicitor , made complaints. She tried to undermine him and implied he was mentally unstable He sued and she paid him £30,000 in settlement for defaming him. So no remorse no contrition Hodge just looking out for number one as usual
        Regarding Tony Blair – the same lack of remorse and contrition for the destruction of Iraq, the destabilisation of the Middle East and the consequent rise of ISIS characterises him too.
        They are two disgusting peas in a pod

      5. Those vile, repulsive creatures who care so much about fictitious AS must realise that bombing Syria, Iraq and Libya must have killed Jewish citizens of those countries. Sorry, wrong type of Jews!

      6. Smartboy, that’s a strange comment? I never said or even implied that we should decend into the gutter. Calling the Leader of the Party a f’n antiSemite, apart from it being vile language, is completely untrue and should not have been tolerated under any circumstances. It was not even the first time that Hodge a loathesome woman, had been guilty of damaging the Party with her outbursts. We witnessed similar damaging comments from John Mann, Ian Austin, Tom Watson and others but they were just shrugged off instead of being dealt with firmly.

      7. She doesn’t care about the horrors of our children’s homes so I doubt that she has any capacity for empathy outside of the cult and the wealthy. Opulence and vanity are her god’s. Her expulsion will give Mr Potato Head, la Stiletto and legs eleven and the one who sleeps with her boat in a vice, maximum access to the reptiles in the media. This could lead to more members departing. Who would that benefit? They mustn’t leave and find themselves in the wilderness. That could help the embryonic organisation that is under construction. I’ve donated but I have some qualms about it. Fingers crossed.

      8. Reply to Jack T. I did not mean to offend you .All I was trying to convey was that if we behave as badly as they do then we are no different to them. I agree with your comments about the behaviour of Hodge and the others and also agree that they should have been dealt with firmly at the time.

      9. Smartboy, yes, I agree, we should be firm but also fair and reasonable.

  8. Anyone who wants to familiarise themselves with the myriad of procedures surrounding the disciplinary process should plough their way through Appendix 6 of the 2020 Rule Book (page 106-115) Procedural guidelines in disciplinary cases brought before the NCCwarning you may get bored, it’s long and detailed

  9. Does this explain why Sir Keir takes instruction from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis? I still don’t understand why it is acceptable that any religious group should dictate anything to any political party? Perhaps Sir Keir should take instruction from Pope Francis, but then Starmer is a drum banging, flute blowing Prod………….is there another agenda? Why is there not complete separation of Church (Synagogue) & State?

  10. Steve Richards, “Does this explain why Sir Keir takes instruction from Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis?” Zionism Steve, Zionism.

    They are both members of the same racist club!

    1. ‘Chief Rabbi’, does that mean glorious leader of every
      British, Jewish person? Some of my mates would beg to differ. My barber (gentlemen’s hair stylist) doesn’t like him at all. Mo has a viscous wit but also has a habit of farting and blaming it on others. He does you know.

  11. You say: “senior party officials have confirmed that it has frequently been used in disciplinary proceedings as a yardstick for judging members’ conduct, even though those members had never seen or even heard of it”

    Can Freedom of Information procedures be used to extract documents from a political party?

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