Win includes cost award after party attempt to have case dismissed early falls flat
Win includes cost award after party attempt to have case delayed falls flat
A left group of suspended and expelled Labour members has won a significant legal victory today at the High Court. Labour Activists for Justice (LA4J) are claiming against the party over a breach of the principles of fairness for those under investigation established by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, after the party shockingly told them ‘EHRC does not apply to you’.
The members had applied to the court, in the interests of the most economic and speedy resolution of the case, for eight similar cases brought to be dealt with as one – and Labour was both opposing this application and trying to persuade the court to order a hearing on preliminary issues that would have substantially delayed matters and increased costs.
But this afternoon, a judge ruled against the party on both points.
When the court date was set after a crowdfunding drive, LA4J issued the following statement:
Labour Activists for Justice’ case is now scheduled for its first court hearing on Wednesday February 24th to determine how the case should proceed. LA4J is seeking a quick and efficient resolution with the joining of two groups of claimants with the same interest to avoid wasted time and costs. The Labour Party is seeking a further preliminary hearing to determine legal questions LA4J do not even consider relevant, thereby increasing costs and delay.
We hope that this hearing will prevent an unnecessary (and expensive) second pre-hearing. It should be in both parties’ interests to move to a full court hearing as soon as feasible, to limit costs and resolve these issues as soon as possible. We want this full court hearing in the expectation that if we win, this will bring benefit to the many other people stuck in Labour HQ’s unjust disciplinary processes.
Meanwhile, over the last few days the Labour Party have totally exonerated 3 of those who were looking to join us in the action, despite them having been under investigation for over 15 months, without even knowing why they were being investigated. Additionally they have concluded the cases for two LA4J activists and changed the allegations for another.
It is unfortunate that the Labour party by its actions has incurred legal costs of over £50,000 in just two weeks – at the expense of members’ subscriptions – rather than getting down to the meat of the case. We do not have the large pockets that the Labour party is using to defend a system criticised as being unjust and ineffective by the EHRC.
The judge’s ruling means that the case will go to a full legal process, barring any out of court settlement agreed among the parties. The victory is a significant boost for those fighting Labour’s assault on member rights and freedom of speech since Keir Starmer took over the leadership.
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