Members and ‘exiles’ accuse staff of corrupting party democracy and persecuting left-wing members
Labour members and former members are staging a protest outside the party’s south-west regional office tomorrow, 25 June, at 11am. Three of those who will be taking part told Sunday’s ‘Not the Andrew Marr Show’ of their experiences and why they think the protest is needed:
The announcement for the protest reads:
JOIN THE FIGHTBACK IN BRISTOL — PROTEST AGAINST THE CORRUPTION OF DEMOCRACY
Since November 2020 Bristol North West CLP has been paralysed by Labour Party bureaucrats in South West Region. They have
• Indefinitely suspended the party’s chair and secretary on spurious grounds.
• Overruled elected officers when trying to organise meetings.
• Blocked branch members from selecting candidates, resulting in the loss of three council seats in the constituency and, with it, control of Bristol City Council.
• Across the region suspended 20 officers (out of around 70 nationally) simply for allowing their members to debate issues that are important to them.
Esther Giles, Bristol North West’s suspended secretary says:
“On top of all this, the bureaucrats took control of our annual general meeting and the ballot for the election of our officers. Our local party democracy has been totally removed from us. And similar things are happening in the party across the county. THE TIME HAS COME TO MAKE A STAND.”
Join the protest on Friday 25 June from 11am at Labour’s South West Regional Office HQ Unit B, Bradley Pavilions, Pear Tree Road, Bristol, BS32 0BQ.
Bring posters — we have placards in A2 size.
Note that the Regional Office is in Pear Tree Court, which is a little shopping precinct. It’s in the far corner, next to a diner called “Vee’s Kitchen”, which has excellent all-day food (you will be able to get breakfast/coffee/tea etc. and we’ve told them to expect us!)
You will hear speakers from SW CLPs and solidarity statements from comrades who can’t make it. We will make a montage of photos of placard-bearer- so please bring your placard and be ready to tell your story!
Prof Harriet Bradley- Labour and the Local Elections in Bristol
Phil Pope- the Bristol West Experience
Hedley Bashforth- what happened in Lockleaze
Matt Turner- What happened to the Bristol NW EC
Others to be announced shortly
What has been happening in Labour in the south-west is a distillation of the situation across the country and should be of interest to all members as well as to those who follow the party’s slide since Keir Starmer won last year’s leadership election on ten false promises.
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