So-called ‘moderate’ MP present but did not participate
Members of Sheffield Heeley constituency Labour party (CLP) have become the first to formally – and overwhelmingly – reject Keir Starmer’s and David Evans’s assault on left groups within the party.
Starmer and Evans used their tame majority on Labour’s national executive to force through the ‘proscription’ of four left groups, making membership of or support for those groups an automatic expulsion offence, while leaving undisturbed the right-wing pressure groups that for years worked to prevent a Labour government.
Heeley members passed the emergency motion below by 30 votes in favour to 13 against, with four abstentions:
Emergency Motion on Expulsions
This CLP declares its solidarity with Socialist Appeal, Labour Against the Witch-hunt, and the Labour In Exile Network targeted for “auto-exclusion”. An injury to one is an injury to all. It will not be only the hard-working activists that these organisations provide for the labour movement that will be removed, but all members who are critical of Starmer’s weak opposition. As soon as opposition is noticed, an email from disputes will arrive, with no opportunity to appeal.
Further, the proposed creation of a `Star Chamber’ to act as judge and jury for further proscriptions and purges is a shocking and repressive move. It belongs to the dark ages and should have absolutely no place in a modern-day democratic party.
This CLP demands that all unjust proscriptions and expulsions are reversed. These attacks on rank-and-file members and party democracy are hampering collective resistance to Tory social cleansing, which continues unabated with more than 128,000 confirmed COVID deaths, harsh Trade Union suppression, and arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Instead of attacking its own members, the party leadership should be using all its efforts to fight this criminal Tory government on the basis of bold socialist policies;
Build council homes, build hospitals, build schools, build an opposition.
Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh was reportedly present on the Zoom call for the debate and vote, but did not participate.
Will Starmer and co now decide that the good members in Heeley are beyond the pale and must be expelled for this democratic expression of solidarity with the persecuted? Nobody would put it past them, but such shows of collective strength are surely essential against autocracy and Stalinism and it is likely that Heeley will be the first of many to say ‘I’m Spartacus’ – and any action the party takes against those who do will demean the persecutors, not the pursued.
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