Labour’s 2019 general election candidate for Harrow East facing auto-exclusion – but puts party on notice as petition to support her receives wide support
Pamela Fitzpatrick, who stood for Labour in Harrow East at the 2019 general election and serves as a councillor in the borough, has put the party on notice of legal action if it goes through with its threat to ‘auto-exclude’ her for being interviewed by Socialist Appeal – more than a year before Labour’s right-dominated national executive voted controversially to ‘proscribe’ the left-wing group along with three others that organised within the party.
Fitzpatrick was interviewed in May last year about why she wanted to become Labour’s general secretary – and has put Labour on notice of legal action if it pursues its intended action:
Article 7 of the Human Rights Act – instituted by the Labour right’s hero Tony Blair – makes ‘retrospective’ punishment illegal in a court of law:
Article 7 of the Human Rights Act
Article 7 means you cannot be charged with a criminal offence for an action that was not a crime when you committed it.
This means that public authorities must explain clearly what counts as a criminal offence so you know when you are breaking the law.
It is also against the law for the courts to give you a heavier punishment than was available at the time you committed an offence.
Yet his fans are now busily doing exactly that – and abusing the NEC’s decision on auto-exclusion in the process, which laid down explicit guidance about what constitutes ‘support’ for Socialist Appeal:
22.This paper asks the National Executive Committee to CONFIRM the following:
23.That it considers Socialist Appeal to be a political organisation that is incompatible with membership of the Labour Party under Chapter 2, Clause I.4.B of the Labour Party Rule Book.
That it considers, inter alia, that the following acts constitute “support” for Socialist Appeal under Chapter 2, Clause I.4.B of the Labour Party Rule Book:
a. Selling the Socialist Appeal newspaper;
b. Writing for the Socialist Appeal newspaper;
c. Running Socialist Appeal street stalls;
d. Describing oneself as a supporter of Socialist Appeal;
Fitzpatrick did none of these – and merely agreed to an interview, as a would-be candidate for a senior Labour position, with a group that was perfectly acceptable to Labour at the time.
As well as her own notice of legal action, Fitzpatrick’s supporters have also started a petition in her defence and against the whole anti-democratic principle of auto-exclusion that has received widespread support, including from others in a similar position such as Jewish councillor Jo Bird:
Aghileh Djafari-Marbini, who started the petition, said:
We would never do this in a court of law, so why are we doing it in the Labour Party? It really worries me that we are taking that approach.
The Labour right’s cowardly war on its members continues, but not without resistance. Those who wish to sign the petition defending Cllr Fitzpatrick can do so here.
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