Cowardly purge stoops lower: normal democracy under party rules treated as auto-exclusion offence
A Labour member of 51 years has been expelled from the party – for calling for a democratic challenge to Keir Starmer’s position as leader.
Graham Durham received one of Labour’s now-notorious notification letters informing him of his removal from the party, which included:
“we note that during the event you said the following ‘I would like to have a conference to organise a leadership challenge to Keir Starmer'”
Labour’s rules permit any MP who can rally enough support among MPs to make a leadership challenge at any time – and of course, the Labour right mounted a doomed challenge to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and constantly worked to prevent his election.
The event in question was an online meeting of ‘LIEN’, a support organisation for suspended and expelled members that has now been ‘proscribed’ by the party, that took place before its subscription. However, it seems that in Mr Durham’s case the party is more fixated on him wanting a challenge to Starmer than on the usual, unlawfully-retrospective punishment for participating in something that wasn’t banned at the time.
Mr Durham tweeted about the notification:
He told Skwawkbox that the idea that participating in a meeting was ‘support’ was misplaced:
Like most people, I listen to a range of views ( including once attending a Progress rally) and this doesn’t make me a supporter. They base their logic that I must be a supporter on the quote about the leadership challenge.
Labour is now said to be looking to widen its net and extending its definition of ‘support’ for proscribed groups even to almost any mention of their names, despite a letter from thirteen members of the party’s national executive to acting general secretary David Evans condemning the unlawful and anti-democratic application of proscriptions and ensuing expulsions.
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