Union president says Labour via Anneliese Dodds told him retrospective expulsions after proscriptions were not allowed and would have to be cancelled
The Labour party has admitted its tsunami of retrospective expulsions of left-wing members for supposed ‘support’ – in reality even the most tenuous link – of four organisations the party ‘proscribed’ earlier in the year is unlawful and needs to be reversed, according to union president Ian Hodson.
Labour has expelled hundreds or even thousands of members because it linked them with the proscribed groups: Socialist Appeal, Labour in Exile, Labour against the Witchhunt and Resist – and in every case did so on the excuse of social media or other activity that took place before the party’s right-dominated National Executive Committee (NEC) took its decision to proscribe.
Hodson had received a letter informing him he was about to be ‘auto-excluded’ because of his links with one of the proscribed groups, prompting his BFAWU (Bakers) union to schedule a vote to sever its ties with the party.
That vote took place on Tuesday and passed overwhelmingly, inflicting a heavy blow on Keir Starmer, as the Bakers were among the party’s founders and have been affiliated to Labour for well over a century and were involved in the moves to form the party much earlier than that. But Hodson told Socialist Telly this evening that an approach was made to him on Monday via Labour party chair and former Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds to see if a solution could be found that would head off the Bakers’ special conference for the disaffiliation vote.
Hodson told viewers that Ms Dodds had told him that the party’s new rules meant that retrospective exclusions could not stand up and would have to be withdrawn – and Hodson, who like other victims of the purge had received a notice of ‘auto-exclusion’ before this week’s rule changes, agreed that this meant that Dodds was telling him that the retrospective expulsions had been recognised as unlawful:
Victims of Labour’s purge had already been working toward legal action against their expulsions – in criminal law, retrospective punishment is a breach of 2007 legislation brought in by the Blair government, which states that no penalty can be imposed for acts that were lawful at the time they were done.
But news that Labour has admitted, even if in the context of an attempt to avoid the embarrassment of a union disaffiliating over the threat to expel its president, that the retrospective expulsions have no justification under rules or law is huge and potentially fatal news for the party.
According to a member of Labour’s NEC, the already near-bankrupt party is already spending more than two million pounds a year on legal fees because of its ill-advised war on its members’ human rights and changes to its disciplinary system. So the rush of further legal action that may be accelerated by the admission could well end it, even if it performed an immediate u-turn and apologised for its gross abuses towards its members and particularly its left-wing Jewish members.
Labour has been contacted for comment.
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