Analysis Breaking comment

Labour suspends young left candidate two hours before Chair vote – without saying why

No details given by party machine of ‘online conduct’ supposedly justifying suspension

Warwick and Leamington Labour member Lucy Clarke (image: Lucy Clarke Twitter)

A young member and former youth officer of Leamington and Warwick constituency Labour party (CLP) has been suspended by the party – just two hours before she was due to stand for election as the CLP chair, in the latest outrage against democracy by the Labour right.

Ms Clarke, a trainee union officer with the NEU and a member of Unite, was given no details of why she was suspended, beyond ‘online conduct’ with no evidence provided. She announced the move in a Twitter thread – and told readers that the suspension also prevented her performing a key role in impending by-elections in the area:

Labour under Keir Starmer and David Evans have demonstrated that they don’t care how hard members work, for free, to try to make the country a better place. But they apparently do care about ensuring left members don’t run local parties – Ms Clarke’s suspension is merely the latest in a series of displays of contempt that have seen even entire CLPs banned from meeting in order to prevent the party’s left majority electing left representatives or expressing their lack of confidence in Starmer and his sidekick.

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57 comments

  1. This is beneath the contempt smarmer & co hold their membership in.

    As I keep telling people….Lower than whaleshit. And they’re nowhere near finished sinking, yet.

    1. To tell someone, just 2 hours b4 a mtg, that they’re suspended including from that mtg & what it was to discuss , is venal, contemptible desperation. Weakness, not strength.

    2. This is just outright blatant maliciousness on Starmer and Co’s part, just as with Jenny Manson about ten weeks ago when, within hours of JVL submitting a 77 page report to the EHRC accusing Starmer and Co of purging left-wing Jewish members, she received a Notice of Investigation. As with Co-chair Leah Levane a few weeks ago when they sent her an email telling her she’d been suspended when she was attending the LP conference. But being sadists, as they are, they thought it would be highly amusing to FIRST send her an email telling her she’d been expelled – ie auto-excluded – and then send her another six minutes later telling her she’d been suspended.

      Yep, they thought it would be hilarious to wait until she’s booked her accommodation and traveled down to Brighton and THEN tell her she’s been suspended on the first day of the conference.

      It’s not just malicious, but malevolent as well!

    1. George, I would contest your view that there is no logical reason for this. There is certainly no value placed on democracy, honesty, respect and sheer human decency but the logic of these moves is undeniable – “Are you, or have you ever been, a democratic socialist?”

      1. Goldbach, I agree with your logic It gives proof that the Labour Party is quickly sinking into using fascist methods to control the membership it considers unruly.
        I am glad to have cancelled my DD, what is the logic for socialist to keep funding the Labour Party? The perverse thing is that while under suspension, members carry on paying levies to the LP.
        I will advice people that as soon as they receive a suspension from the LP’s letter to cancel their DDs. To put the money aside to support the electoral campaigns of socialist both within the Labour Party and outside the Labour Party.
        Lucy Clarke should consider standing for Cllr as a Labour independent candidate in the next by-election/local election in her area and expose this rotten state of affair, it stinks to high heavens.
        Great that the CLP has agreed to post pone the election of Chair. I guess the next move from the Party will be to suspend the whole CLP.
        Solidarity Lucy.

      2. That’s a logic of sorts, you describe, goldbach. A twisted logic.

        Certainly, nothing to do with Socialism.

    2. Sadly your incorrect there is it’s simple. Your socialist or left wing they want to kick you out. but they also want you to campaign and keep your subscription money…

      So they suspend you your prevented being in charge. Money keep on being taken and you still believe and will help the fellow scum be elected…

      Sick, and ruthless but total logical if you think about what these right wing cult wants!

  2. Under SKS Labour will become a party of the metropolitan middle classes. A very cosy, self satisfied club.

  3. Probably bogus anti-semitism. In the National Starmer Labour Party, merely being accused makes you de facto guilty.

    Nasty Party.

    1. Agreed Marty Antisemitism is probably the accusation that has been made- it has become the convenient catch all for expelling non Zionists and Socialists ( who are usually also non Zionists)from the party
      It is clear that unless you condone the human rights abuses of Palestinians by Israel and unless you are a declared “Friend” of Israel the party will consider you guilty of antisemitism for making even a mild comment upholding the human rights of Palestinians. As far as the Labour party is concerned Arabs both Christian and Muslim have no entitlement to be respected and treated fairly by Israel. Israel can deprive them of their human rights and sometimes their very lives without criticism.
      Its even worse if you happen to be Jewish and give the smallest hint that you are unhappy with by the way Israel treats Palestinians. You will be expelled from Labour and your reputation torn to shreds by the party which will brand you unbelievably an Antisemite i.e. a Jew Hater.
      What is so awful is that this craziness is not challenged in the MSM who unquestioningly accept the narrative that numerous Jews in the party, some of whom are traditionalists, devout Jews who attend their synagogue, others who are the children of Rabbis, others who are descended from/related to concentration camp survivors have collectively taken leave of their senses and now apparently have a deep abiding hatred for themselves, their families and extended families, friends, Rabbis etc on the grounds that they are Jewish.
      Dangerous nonsense and a gross insult to our Jewish brothers and sisters who are being treated in this appalling way by the Labour party simply to undermine the legitimacy of their disapproval of Israel’s suppression of Palestinian rights.

  4. I hope the left is keeping a note of all these sly tricks so that we can use them in the future.

    1. If that happens you will also have my contempt as there will be no difference.

      1. Steve Richard, I don’t believe you care very much that many here are unimpressed with you. Hence, what make you thing that we care for your contempt?
        Steve if you cannot see the difference, between suspending members for no good reason and going after those that bring the Party into disrepute for conducting a witch hunt against rank and file activist, something is very wrong with you. You aren’t the sharpest tool in the box that is for sure.
        We will keep note, people behaving in this way don’t deserve to be members of the Labour Party. Beside, after the way they sabotaged Corbyn’s leadership, we cannot afford to keep them as members of the Labour Party and in charge of the Party’s administrative structures, as they will sabotages again. Never again.

    2. Yes take note and hold these people to account when possible. But it would be wrong of the left to adopt the same “sly tricks”. If it’s wrong for their gang to use them it is wrong for our gang. If an action is wrong it is wrong and doesn’t depend on who is doing it.

      1. Agree, Apple Crumble, we should always keep to due process and outline clear charges against members threatened with suspension, provide the name of a Party Official that they can get in touch with to clarify matters, rather than sent letters signed with the name of the Unit dealing with the complaint but no allocated official.
        We should have a clear timetable for complaints to be investigated and always sent a copy of the procedure that the Party is going to use on the investigation.
        I am bemused that you believe the left is going to engage in a witch hunt should we ever regain control of the LP. Their isn’t an iota of evidence that the left got involved in a witch hunt when Corbyn was the leader.
        What led you to believe that the left in charge would behave in the same undemocratic manner that the right wing is displaying right now?
        Is the left MPs on the PLP sabotaging Starmer in the same manner that the right wing PLP sabotaged Corbyn?
        Unlike the right wingers that cling to their positions as Cllrs while lambasting Corbyn at any opportunity, left Cllrs are standing down and open their positions to a by-election.
        Thus, Apple Crumble rest assured that the left isn’t interested in the same “sly tricks” as the right. I would venture that you don’t consider yourself left as otherwise you would know that we don’t engage in the same or similar “sly tricks” by now.

      2. fao Apple Crumble, may I take this opportunity to use ‘a reply’ to you in response to a strange attack by Maria Vazquez, although she is right about one thing, I care very little about many opinions expressed on this blog & even less about what anyone thinks of me, I will speak my truth @ every opportunity. I take pride in being a deplorable who has complete contempt for the bourgeois ‘wokes’ who think privilege is a human right just reserved for them.
        As for being the sharpest tool in the box, may I suggest that Maria first carefully reads what I’ve actually written & then carefully think what it means. Something is wrong with me if I judge people by the ethics of their actions? Yes I offer my contempt to anyone who uses sly tricks as part of their political vocabulary & if anyone adopts a similar sly tricks campaign they have the same values as Stasi Starmer.

      3. Maria,

        There is also a need to start from the premise of innocent until proven guilty via an objective evidence based process using due process protocols, principles and standards.

        That means no sanctions of any kind until the a credible guilty verdict has been proven using objective evidence. No suspensions and no expulsions until due process rights have been carried out.

        That also means regardless of the issue of contention. None of this RLB publicly stated nonsense that an allegation is sufficient to determine automatic guilt. Its a general principle applicable across the board or its not worth a candle, as Jonathon Pie succinctly implies here:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5TVLEaqqdI

        Not only is the LP going to find, as it did in this years local elections, that most people not going to campaign for it when they are being denied basic human rights such as due process and instead sanctioned on the basis of sectarian executive decree; it, and the malevolent numpties running it at every level, are going to find a majority of voters are not going to vote for a bunch of incompetent charlatans who are giving every indication that they would behave in exactly the same way towards the electorate if they got anywhere near power.

    3. Maria you say you are bemused that I think the left will engage in a witch-hunt. I do not think the left would do this. I was responding to decemberist who said “keep a note of all these sly tricks so that we can use them in the future”. I was pointing out that it would be just as wrong to do this (not that we are likely to) as when the right do it.
      Talking of being bemused, I was bemused by your response to Steve Richards. He was pointing out it would be contemptible for the left to do the same contemptible things as the right.

      1. Thanks for the clarification Apple Crumble. I agree that we don’t need sly tricks. My apologies to you and Steve Richards. When I first read Steve Richard post it wasn’t clear that he was referring to his contempt to the sly tricks. I took it as contempt for the left if ever we went after the ones directly implicate.
        Agree too with Dave Hansel, we need factual evidence before suspending anyone and openly lie the charges from which they have been suspended. However, anyone has the right to an appeal and the process should be transparent.
        The problem Dave Hansel is that since nobody put their names on the suspensions/auto exclusion letters we will need to engage in an investigation on the practices of GLU as a whole. Staff managing the GLU, would need to be identified as to the roles they play in the witch hunt. They would need to be suspended while an investigation into their roles are conducted.

  5. Lucy “This is not how activists deserve to be treated” ..Correct but that is the actions of a well organised and efficient witchunt thats the only existence for the Labour party as far as the knight and Evans are concerned.Lucy don’t waste your life on a Labour party that represents the elite,,withdraw your funding and find another realistic outlet for activism which is the lifeblood of all movements and a rare opportunity to further the cause.

  6. Another disgraceful action by the party towards a member just to prevent her from becoming CLP Chair. Well done to the CLP for refusing to go on with the meeting. It wouldn’t surprise me if they are punished too.

    After listening to Megan’s speech at Conference it’s clear why she has been shamefully suspended. The leadership don’t like any independent thought and will carry on suspending, expelling the left till the idiots will lose many of its activists who may in turn refuse to vote for the party come an election. Perhaps Megan should have a word with a solicitor/lawyer.

    But. never mind I’m sure Evans, Mandelson and the other duplicitous lot think they know what they’re doing.

  7. Why are the left soft as shite
    Off the top 9f my head
    Ignore the suspension, innocent until proven guilty
    Elect Megan as CLP Chair
    Respond to Cockwombles with a standard Labour Against The Witchunt memo and threaten strike action en masse with other CLP’S
    Or
    Politely tell them to f7ck off
    More than anything stick together

    1. Now youve got it Doug and don’t forget to change the locks on the doors to the CLPs offices and really take back control.Expell any trouble makers from the premises and post a notice of membership control.Your party paid for by you,your assets.Use them to feed the hungry this winter and invite the local press in….The police are basically too busy to get involved in ownership issues.Keep minutes and elect officers….good luck with starting a independent Labour party.

      1. Once again you have nailed it Joseph. This is what CLPs should do.

  8. You may have been asked this question before.
    Is it even legal to suspend a Party member without due process?
    Surely, there must exist a contract in law between the Party and each member. To suspend someone without a warning, an accusation, evidence or a hearing must surely be a breach of contract.
    As a former DPP, Sta(lin)rmer must know this. Not that he was much good in that role either.
    Why is nobody challenging this?

    1. Jon
      What could they do if you ignore it, how many CLP’S would down tools in support of Megan, how many members would not resign but cancel DD and how many unions would freeze funding on the principle of innocent until proven guilty
      We know this is abuse, why do we put up with it
      We also know there are not 40 PLP members who have the guts to say enough
      We are the the Labour party and we can’t deal with plastic gangsters like the gruesome twosome
      FFS

    2. ” Is it even legal to suspend a Party member without due process?”

      Jon – It seems that anything is legal – the labour party having been set up assuming
      a de facto basic level of decency in the way it operates.

      Instead – they are behaving towards their VOLUNTEERS in the way the worst
      sort of employer would behave ..

      Unfortunately there is no “industrial tribunal” for volunteers .. who go out in the
      rain and cold delivering leaflets, door knocking, supporting candidates etc.

      I am still in my Labour party – there are some fantastic people in it and though
      there are differences these are dealt with in a comradely way. Furthermore our
      MP works very hard and goes out in the rain and cold with campaigners for both
      the General and Local Elections ..

      1. Reply to HolbyFan Mw
        The right to a fair trial is enshrined in the Human Rights Act. This “fair trial” includes e.g. Tribunals so I assume it would also include a trial by your peers to decide whether or not you can continue your membership of a political party. Anyone disciplined without due process i.e. without a fair trial could try lodging a complaint with the EHRC. Their response would be interesting and I’d like to see how they wiggle out of that one.

      2. HolbyFanMw, In reply to your question rather than asking as to whatever is legal to suspend members of the Party in this manner, the reply is that it isn’t illegal.
        The Labour Party is very much like a private club in which his NEC and Conference can put forward whatever rules they like.
        Hence, let me give you an example: is it illegal to wear a mini skirt? It isn’t but let’s say a private club as part of its rules states that members cannot wear a mini skirt, the result is that members could be expelled from the club for wearing a mini skirt and going to the Courts isn’t going to solve it. It would be a matter for the private club to change its rules.
        Of course it is outrageous, but until Conference isn’t able to disabuse the abusers nothing is going to change. I was at Conference this year and I saw people that weren’t necessarily right wingers voting for an increase from 10% to 20% of PLP nominations to stand for the leadership even in the case of a vacancy at the top.
        Most of the left within the Labour Party have very little time for procedure and protocol in favour of concentrating on formulating Policy and this is the result: four wasted years in which we could have transform the Party by passing at Conference Open Selections for example making the Party more democratic.
        I am fed up when people blaming Unite for not having Open Selections. Corbyn spoke against having Open Selections at the NEC because once again he wanted to keep the PLP happy. Hence, Unite stood down from Open Selections and followed Corbyn’s lead.

  9. As a member of Unite a phone call from Sharon should sort it, she knows how to use leverage to get what you want

      1. Doug, I seriously doubt that Sharon Graham is going to get involved with this fracas. I am not saying that we shouldn’t rather than sadly we aren’t going to.
        I expect Unite will cut to the bone the funding to the Labour Party and I will be in favour of this strategy.
        Perhaps Unite branches could pass resolutions to support financially no only Labour Party candidates, but also independent candidates that promote Unite’s aims.
        If Unite votes in favour of financing independent socialist candidates this could be a way forward for people like Megan, that will have Unite’s financial support to stand as independent Labour candidates.

  10. just listening to starmer this morning in parliament it’s getting clearer that he’s swinging the hammer(law) at the tories positioning the labour party as further to their right. progressive reform isn’t in his vocabulary but authoritarian imposition is. unfortunately, as the economy and society disintegrates the people have a yearning for known better times and are sucked into a downward spiral of authoritarianism and social control. i don’t think he’s a politician but a functionary who doesn’t understand that government(or the party he’s in) is largely a matter of consent and permission not ‘do as you’re told not do as i do’.

    1. Charming 64…I understand from reports that our mps have wasted no time in getting stuck into their favourite subject expenses and allowances.IT would seem that the recent murder of a Tory mp as united the partys in immediate action to limit dangerous details of their expenses.More to come no doubt as MPs study themselves and find that more money needs to be spent to further the cause of freedom for themselves.ITS a jungle out there for our brave mps dont you know….just saying?

      1. Thanks Maria and although not totally disalussioned with the system I am not far off reaching that point.ITs heartbreaker for many former members of the Labour party to see them use members money and resources to dismantle the Labour party and alarmingly some are still unaware.and talk about rules and court cases when the solution to the fascists dictatorship is in their hands…..Cripple the money machine.

      2. I actually thought I had misread that yesterday and needed to go to Specsavers! ‘Dangerous details of expenses’ indeed. With a few honourable exceptions, it is getting increasingly difficult to counter the ‘politicians are all the same’ argument that I hear so often…

        Likewise, your comments above about taking direct action at CLP level, and below about crippling the money machine are spot on.

  11. Such an abuse of process. Southside seemingly operating by the Robert Mugabe political playbook

    charming64- Yes, you just knew ultra-authoritarian Starmer and co, would be in favour more censorship of social media.

    Among many problems with the online harms bill :

    Is there an agreed definition of what constitutes harmful content online?

    The answer imho, is no, because It’s highly subjective. And what the govt intends is for some out of touch establishment crony, in London, with their own prejudices deciding for everyone. Look at how Boris Johnson’s ‘antisemitism tsar’,Lord Mann, announced his investigation into left-wing media.

    What is misinformation and even disinformation? Is conjecture, clearly stated as such, disinformation?

    Reason No.27 for Scottish Independence.

    1. Andy,
      right now i’d guess that the tory power brokers would be delighted to dump everything outside central london. without thatcher’s steely rule governing now is so tedious, the populace ungrateful, congenitally sick, lazy and lacking ambition so why not make a fire sale of it. the ‘opposition’ is holding the door open.

  12. What more needs to be said, she admitted to voting against that rule change at conference, She may have been critical of the Israeli government, surely a hanging offence. Reminds me of the scene in the film ‘one eyed jacks’ when the sheriff tells Marlon Brando… ‘Don’t worry kid we are going to give you a fair trial, then we are going to hang you.

  13. We should not descend to their level. What all this points to is the inherent corruption of Labour. Writing to the disciplinary unit would be as useless as appealing to Stalin. It is a black hole. It is a bureaucratic maw into which all due process, natural justice and common human sympathy are sucked and mangled. To those still in Labour and fighting we must offer our support. They are people of courage. My own view is they are probably doomed. Unless Starmer and his team can be ditched fast, there will be no way back to a party with even a semblance of democracy. Even if, say Barry Gardiner, challenged and won. What would happen? Without a wholesale change of bureaucratic personnel he would suffer the same fate as Corbyn. And the PLP would vilify him. Those who have stayed to fight are good people, but my view is our only hope is a new movement. We need three things: a hundred thousand members, funding, and a constitution which commits to reforming capitalism out of existence, to keeping power at the grass roots, to a federal, non-hierarchical structure, to respect for all people and people, to peace. None of this is impossible, but what makes it difficult is the residual loyalty to Labour, once a party which established the NHS. If it didn’t exist, would Starmer create it? Wouldn’t he complain it would be too expensive, the rich wouldn’t wear it and wouldn’t the MSM condemn it as “hard left”? That is how far we have moved towards fascism. What you get if you push capitalism to its logical end is fascism. Democracy is an inconvenience for capitalists, which is why the rich are buying it and dismantling it. Labour is complicit in the theft. No one in the shadow cabinet is making the argument against capitalism. Calling the Tories scum is not an argument and it is a worthless insult coming from the mouth of a woman who gives full support to a man who writes for The S**. The arguments for egalitarianism are easy to make.The place to begin is the NHS, the most popular institution in the UK, by far. The guarantee of a first class NHS, no waiting lists, no patients on hospital trolleys, face to face appointments with GPs on the day you request them. And when the question comes, “How will you pay?” The facts we never hear from Labour need to be presented over and over: 0.1% of the population own 9% of the wealth, the same proportion as the bottom 50%. The top 10% own 44% of the wealth. The top 20% earn 40% of the income. The bottom 20% earn 8%. How do we pay? We take the wealth where it lies because we produce it by the work we do every day.

    1. tories are tories. JC was the best labour could and should have expected in the election and the elite party takeover has nothing to offer in the aftermath. labour isn’t the us democrats and simply have a corporate makeover with dodgy backers – england does grudges. as everything that could go wrong in the last two years looks like a long shift in the dark ages and the tories will be told to quietly crawl back to the eu piecemeal and on the quiet by the remaining corporates saving bacon, oink oink and pleasuring the left-right. an interesting ten years to get through.

  14. Has anyone succeeded in getting a response from disputes ? I sent an email but haven’t had a reply. Not holding my breath…

  15. David Jason – it has to be the the RIGHT sort of dispute – viz against a left winger.
    Disputes against Right wingers don’t count and are not followed up ..

    In fact after waiting for a response to their complaint a left winger often finds
    themselves under investigation for the flimsiest of reasons ..

    Yes Maria – you are correct in saying that behaving as they do is not illegal
    for the Labour Party.

    AS for “open selections” – am not in favour – I saw the chaos made by the system
    they had in the last GE – it was complicated and drew valuable resources .
    from opposing the worst Govt we’ve ever had. Not only that but members
    had to shell out for child minders so that both partners could vote. Some
    members had to miss work for the same reason. By all means have a straight
    vote though – if an MP persistently votes against his/her CLPs wishes – then vote
    him/her liable for open selection. Now we have hybrid meetings this at least gives
    everyone the chance to contribute to a straight vote which is simple and
    uncomplicated.

    I only joined the Labour Party in 2015 because I was fed up with the then
    current regime and wanted someone more like my idea of a decent leader.
    This would be someone who wanted to improve society where (for example)
    people have fulfilling and well paid jobs. Now I’ll tell you a shameful secret
    about myself – after joining I read all the newspaper rubbish about nastiness
    and bullying in Labour Party meetings and was – subsequently – staggered.

    This was because in our CLP – I was frankly bored at meetings,
    and could never understand, in particular, the structure of the Labour Party
    and its procedures and there seemed far too little time for ideas about policies ..
    Discussion and ideas seem absolutely essential to me from the ground
    up. Surely as Sharon Grahame says (I think?) policy etc should be led by
    communities of people.

    1. HolbyFanMw
      Daft question
      When will every member be able to vote on everything online

  16. British crown forces move into Armagh overnight with armoured vehicles and a heavy police presence to celebrate with the partition of the island of Ireland.The usual suspects will be turning for the idiotfest minus the queen Elizabeth whos come down with a illness.?

    1. Yes, they’ve suddenly decided she has probably been ‘working too hard’ Ha bloody ha. (Mind you her comments on climate change must have taxed her brain a bit) How on earth can partition be ‘celebrated’. However, will surely help further the cause of unification amongst any right thinking people.

    1. There was a seminar a good while ago involving people discussing
      their experiences with the Labour Party.

      I shall be interested in watching this new film – which I guess
      involves the people contributing to the seminar.

  17. Yes Lucy has got time on her side .. but people like me HAVENT ..

    Barry Gardiner has put forward a private members bill banning
    “Fire and Rehire”. He was interviewed by Adam Bolton this morning
    explaining it and afterwards Bolton asked him “Do you think there
    should be a vote of Labour MPs asking for Corbyn to be reinstated as a
    Labour MP?”

    He did not answer that but said “Corbyn should be reinstated – we should be
    united against the Tories (etc etc) .. it would be an OLIVE BRANCH etc. etc ..”

    I thought – we all KNOW that the last thing Starmer wants is to give
    an Olive Branch .and I bet Gardiner knows that too ..

    Starmer is like a Bad Teacher thinking if he confronts his class he will be a
    successful teacher ..when the opposite is true ..

    Incidentally I wonder if certain people demand Gardiner is thrown out for
    after all “No-one who agrees with Corbyn should be in the Labour Party!”

    Meanwhile – people like Gardiner are keeping their powder dry ..

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