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Exclusive: Evans suspends newly-elected NCC member – just before vote on new disciplinary chair

Only elected last month, Rheian Davies falls victim to yet another convenient pre-vote suspension when left had majority

Rheian Davies

Last month at Labour’s annual conference, London Labour member, local election applicant – and former member of Labour’s London regional board – Rheian Davies was elected to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), still Labour’s most senior disciplinary committee, at least until the party gets its new (not really) ‘independent’ disciplinary process in gear. Ms Davies won more than 203,000 member votes.

The NCC has its annual general meeting next week, at which it will elect a new chair – and on the numbers from last month’s conference, the left had a slim majority on the committee and was likely to elect a left-wing chair.

Cue, as has so often been seen before, a convenient suspension.

Ms Davies has received a letter from the party notifying her of her immediate ‘administrative suspension’: a ‘no-fault’ suspension, but one that still renders her unable to vote in next week’s AGM and is accompanied, as usual, by a demand for her response to the ‘charges’ within no more than 14 days.

The excuse for the manoeuvre? Disagreeing, years ago, with former Labour MP Owen Smith – three years ago – that then-party leader Jeremy Corbyn is a racist and that saying Smith should face a selection contest somehow inhibits the fight against racism:

Ms Rheian Davies (the Respondent) has engaged in conduct prejudicial and / or grossly detrimental to the Party in breach of Chapter 2, Clause I.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book by engaging in conduct which:

1. may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion, or belief;

2. undermines the Party’s ability to campaign against racism:
a. Item 1a – On 26 March 2018 posting on Facebook “So here we are a month before an election with Owen Smith challenging and members of the PLP demonstrating outside parliament calling our leader a racist. Have we time travelled back to 2016 or is it merely time to ensure we have mandatory reselection, so that who publicly damage our movement, get in the way of the change that is desperately needed in this country can be told, directly by the members what a good job they are doing; or not.”

Also charged is that – the items below were in internal Labour party groups, not public, and again took place years ago – that Ms Davies pointed out to right-winger Peter Mason that former right-wing MP and LFI official Joan Ryan was caught on camera making up an antisemitism allegation against a Labour member – and that Mason was listened to respectfully when he disagreed with a motion passed by a Labour branch:

b. Item 1b – On 26 March 2018 posting on Facebook “Peter Mason of course you work hard. Others do too. No one is saying there zero anti-semitism in the party. That would be ridiculous, one only has to look at the power structure in the party locally and nationally to see that the racism and sexism that we experience in society is reflected there. However a section of us do believe that anti-semitism is used to attack Jeremy. Jewish Voice for Labour express that view and are out as Jewish members supporting Jeremy tonight.

I do feel your post is incomplete though. The Northfields and Elthorne Branch Labour Party resolution was about fake anti-Semitism claims. This was prompted by one of our members Jean being subject to claims of anti-semitism, Anyone who saw the documentary can see and hear that Joan Ryan’s complain about Jean was a distortion and that Ms Ryan didn’t like the questions she was asking. She was lucky that a film crew [was] there, as most certainly an MP’s word would have been believed over her.

What you also miss out is that when that motion was debated that no one suggested in the slightest that should not have cultural ties to Israel. No one assumed your position on Israel, No one mentioned you or asked you to respond. When you did everyone listened with utter respect as you explained that you are both a Zionist and a socialist. You also said you didn’t like some of the things the Israeli government did. Views you are entitled to and others are entitled to disagree with, just as anti-Semitism exists within our party, so does weaponising it.”

Finally, Davies is charged with welcoming ‘awareness training’ but expressing the horrific opinion that such training would work better if you weren’t threatened with expulsion for discussing the issues; for saying that Labour members shouldn’t be seen marching with hard-right horrors such as Sajid Javid and Norman Tebbit; and for opining that some people might have wanted rid of Jeremy Corbyn.

For which – another irony meter bites the dust – she has been threatened with expulsion:

c. Item 2b – On or around 29 March 2018 posting on Facebook “Well this is the problem when people have other agendas. I’m happy to have greater awareness or training rolled out. It would be great to have a discussion without thinking you risked expulsion. However, I could never see myself on demo with Savid Javid (who calls people like me neo-fascists) Norman Tebbit and the DUP as a way of tackling issues around prejudice. I just can’t see why any socialist would do that, it wholly discredits those who have genuine concerns.”

d. Item 2b – On or around 29 March 2018 posting on Facebook “No that’s not what I’m saying but that where you have another agenda, the removal of Corbyn, is where the debate gets distorted and you attract such awful hangers on, who I’ll hope you agree have zero record of fighting racism.”

e. Item 2c – On or around 29 March 2018 posting on Facebook “[redacted] are you saying there isn’t another agenda because I’m saying there is and that is divisive and causing real confusion.”

In typical fashion, Davies is then asked to incriminate herself by saying why she hasn’t brought the party into disrepute or undermined its ability to ‘fight racism’ when she dared to discuss ideas.

The Starmer regime has been accused of using suspensions as a vote-rigging measure on many occasions, most notoriously in the mass suspensions and expulsions of left-wing conference delegates just before they were due to meet in Brighton to vote on whether Starmer’s admin sidekick David Evans got to keep his job, but also in the suspension of would-be candidates in local elections and even of Labour members and constituency party officers just wanting to stand for positions on their ‘CLP’ ‘exec’.

Now the gangsterism of the right-wing party machine has seen a new member of the party’s highest disciplinary committee suspended before she could even get her feet under the table – and just before she was due to vote as part of a left-wing majority on who should chair that committee. The move has also blocked what Davies’s selection as a councillor, which was considered highly likely to succeed.

It seems Starmer and co are determined that the left will hold no positions at all, whether that means taking over selection processes or, when that doesn’t work, wielding suspension as a weapon to neutralise those inconvenient people who dare to want meaningful change and a move toward justice.

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29 comments

    1. Certainly not. The Guardian these days are now back to extolling the virtues of socialist principles, exposing the ills of the current capitalist systems and clamouring for serious change…

  1. The current leadership behaves like an athlete who can’t win fairly so resorts to cheating and deceit.

    I’m so glad I’ve left and I actually enjoyed receiving emails and letters from the party telling me if I don’t reactivate my subscription I can’t take part in the party’s democracy. Democracy, what democracy? If the sham socialists consider that democratic they need to attend training on what is.

  2. This is unbelievably disgusting and clearly designed to rig the disciplinary process by preventing Rheian from being elected as chair.
    I don’t know what the rules are in relation to the NCC electing a chair but I assume that an NCC meeting like any other meeting needs a quorum( at the start of the meeting) before binding decisions/ votes can be taken. If this is the case then members of the NCC who can see this suspension for what it is should boycott the meeting thereby preventing the election taking place. This should continue until Rheian is reinstated. If she is not reinstated every NCC member with one iota of decency should put personal ambition aside and resign.

    1. Smartboy, what will resigning achieve? Only another election in which very likely right wing candidates will win those NCC positions left vacant.
      As to stop the meeting from reaching quorum is by far a better idea by sending apologies for absence in advance so not Chair is elected, but NCCs reps keep their positions and can carry on investigating complaints.
      I understand that Rheian Davis is a by profession a litigation lawyer, of all the members of the NCC that the right could have targeted for suspension, the choice of suspending Rheian is calculated as she understand legal procedure and will stick to due legal process, something that we know the right wing of the Party isn’t keen on.

      1. Thanks for that Maria. I have no problem with what you say about sending in apologies – anything that stops the election going ahead is Ok by me.
        Also I was unaware of Rheian’s legal background and understand why Starmer and Evans wouldn’t want her anywhere near the disciplinary process but it might backfire on them. If there is any legal action she can take she will know about it and will probably take it.
        In relation to resignations I don’t agree with you there. If they eventually expel of Rheian so that they can rig the disciplinary process then what’s the point of remaining on the NCC? Anyone who does so is simply lending credence to a rigged process -that’s why I think they should resign.

      2. Smartboy, I don’t believe the Party will expel Rheian as it wouldn’t expel Pamela Fiztpatrick either. The Party rather keep them in administrative suspension until probably next June.
        Pamela is an incumbent Cllr at Harrow but, while under suspension the Labour whip is withdrawn so, come May she is out as she wouldn’t be able to stand to be re-elected as Labour Cllr.
        As for Rheian Davis, I met her while at Conference and she was in the panel of candidates for next May local elections. Once again if she still under suspension she is not going to be able to stand.
        The challenge for left Labour Cllrs like Pamela or candidates like Rheian is:
        1-To stay put in the Labour Party and keep their positions on the WNC and NCC or in the case of others their positions at Regional Boards or CLP’s when their suspensions are resolved?
        2-To quit the Labour Party and stand as independent Labour candidates at next May local elections?
        These are not easy decisions to take.
        However, as Trade Unionist we can pass resolutions in our branches asking our trade unions to further cut the funding to the Labour Party in favour of financing independent candidates that promise to take forward policies dear to the Trade Union movement:
        – End zero our contracts
        -Stand against hire and rehire
        -£15 per hour minimum wage by 2024
        -A publicly owned NHS
        -A Green New Deal looking towards building back better.

      3. Maria Your analysis is excellent. I am also a Trade Unionist and will certainly do as you suggest

  3. Slightly off topic, but only very slightly (a Jewish Chronicle article I happened to come across a bit earlier from February 2019):

    ‘Furious Labour MPs attack false antisemitism figures released by general secretary’

    Furious Labour MPs have launched a scathing attack on the accuracy of data published by general secretary Jennie Formby on antisemitism in the party.

    Jewish MPs Ruth Smeeth and Dame Margaret Hodge suggested “thousands” of allegations of Jew-hate had been omitted from figures released on Monday.

    And THIS bit in particular:

    Dame Margaret Hodge described Monday evening’s meeting of Labour MPs as “very despressing”.

    She confirmed she had submitted a complaint of over 200 examples of antisemitism against her about which nothing had appeared to be done.

    “They were very strong cases as well,” suggested the veteran MP. “And what has happened with them? Nothing it seems.”

    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/furious-labour-mps-attack-false-antisemitism-figures-released-by-general-secretary-1.479908

    Never mind, eh, I’m sure the police charged most of them, and the vast majority got their just deserts in a court of law….. assuming, that is, the good and oh-so honourable Dame Margaret reported them all to the police, which SURELY she MUST have done straight away. I mean it’s inconceivable that she wouldn’t have done, or Ruth Smeeth for that matter!

    PS I’m sure most readers are aware that only twenty people out of the 200 or so complaints involving 111 people that Hodge submitted to the LP were Labour Party members, as we learnt shortly afterwards (see link below):

      1. Reply to Allan Howard
        What made Margaret Hodges actions so despicable is that they undermined genuine antisemitism complaints.
        Also her comments equating disciplinary action by the Labour party to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany trivialised their terrible suffering and amounted to Holocaust denial in my opinion. Why this woman has not been disciplined by the party is beyond me.

      2. Hodge was not disciplined because she threatened the Labour party with legal proceedings after Formby claimed she had apologized to the Chief whip over her outburst at Corbyn. She said
        In a letter addressed to Labour’s general secretary, Jennie Formby, and released on Monday, Hodge’s lawyers, Mishcon de Reya, wrote: “She [Hodge] did not express regret – in those words or any others … Our client will not apologise for her conduct or words, as she did nothing wrong.”
        Senior Labour MPs, including the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, had previously expressed discomfort with the investigation. On Monday, Formby wrote to Hodge to close the investigation, informing her that there would be no further action.
        Hodge said in a statement: “I’m pleased that the Labour party has finally dropped their ‘action’ against me. After 55 years of LP membership, going after me instead of addressing the issue was wrong.

      3. Smartboy: Yes, but the vast majority of people out there don’t know it of course because the totally corrupt MSM didn’t cover the fact that only twenty of them were LP members. And when you say ‘Why this woman has not been disciplined by the party is beyond me’, I assume you must surely mean that it is beyond you that she wasn’t disciplined AT the time, when Jeremy was leader. Well you kinda answered your own question when you referred to what she said, and how she reacted to the LP intending to take disciplinary action against her (for calling Jeremy an effing anti-semite to his face).

        And needless to say, it didn’t just happen by chance – ie it wasn’t a spur of the moment thing – and Hodge and her fellow plotters/conspirators planned it in advance, knowing on the one hand that it would get major coverage right across the MSM, and that the LP would be compelled to take disciplinary action against her on the other. And when they DID – or announced that they were intending to – then the plotters would scream blue murder and condemn and vilify Jeremy Corbyn for intending to take action against her, whilst praising MH for her courage in standing up to him etc, etc, etc, which is precisely what happened of course:

        https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6810087/fury-as-corbyn-aide-says-veteran-jewish-labour-mp-will-be-disciplined-for-accusing-party-leader-of-being-racist/

      4. Reply to Harry Law
        Harry I was not referring to the vicious personal attack Margaret Hodge launched at Jeremy Corbyn in the full view/ hearing of many MPs.
        She behaved like a fishwife and disgraced herself and the party. The disciplinary case arising out of that shameful episode was dropped because she intended taking court action. Indeed I believe that this was her intention all along and that is why she behaved so appallingly- she wanted to provoke action against her which she she hoped would end up in a full blown court case where she could play the victim of Jeremy’s “antisemitism”.
        The disciplinary action I feel should have been taken related to Holocaust denial. She had the effrontery to compare the disciplinary action I mentioned above to the the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany – they were robbed raped beaten, starved, confined to ghettos, used as slave labour, subjected to medical experiments before being brutally murdered. 6 million Jewish men women and children were killed by the Nazis and Margaret Hodge claimed to feel the same as they did because the Labour party was instigating disciplinary action against her over her foul mouthed tirade.
        How low is that – exploiting and trivialising the torture and death of millions of Jewish people in order to gain sympathy for her own outrageous behaviour. As I said I believe she trivialised the Holocaust by equating it to disciplinary action by a political party. This amounts to Holocaust denial in my opinion and Margaret Hodge should have been expelled from the party because of it- she is an absolute disgrace.

      5. And as Harry pointed out, she threatened the party with legal action if they went ahead and disciplined her (although I haven’t the faintest clue what that would have amounted to….. but probably just a warning, as Jeremy and Co would have been well aware that anything more than that, and all hell would have broken loose, albeit all phony and contrived, along with mountain-loads of faux outrage of course).

      6. Reply to Allan Howard
        Allan please see my reply to Harry Law . I had not read your second post when I replied to Harry and it seems we are in broad agreement on the nature of Margaret Hodge’s behaviour and complaints

      7. Smartboy: Just seen your reply to Harry, and the thing is that Hodge wasn’t referring to the Holocaust, but to the way the Nazis treated the Jews in the 1930s. Here’s what she said (and Yes, it was totally despicable and outrageous anyway, and she was of course lying through her nasty, vicious teeth):

        ”THEY’RE COMING FOR ME” Margaret Hodge compares Corbyn’s Labour to the Nazis and says party probe reminded her ‘what it felt like to be a Jew in Germany in the 30s’

        https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/politics/7033832/margaret-hodge-compares-jeremy-corbyn-labour-nazis/

      8. Reply to Allan Howard
        I take your point Allan but the terrible things that happened to Jews in Germany in the 1930s marked the start of the Holocaust and Hodges vile comments trivialised this.

    1. The Children’s Champion, prefers to use the media instead of our forces of law and order, in her constant battle for honesty and probity. Apart from knife crime of which she is a supporter along with her chum.

  4. This is a must read article in the Electronic Intifada about Professor David Miller recently sacked from Bristol Uni…..
    “Indeed, the lawyer, who was hired by the University of Bristol to look into the case against Miller, concluded that there is, in fact, “no basis for any disciplinary action … in connection with any of these matters.” https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/asa-winstanley/david-miller-was-cleared-anti-semitism-leaked-document-shows

    1. Harry: I’m not sure why Asa was saying that it was revealed in a leaked document, because Jonathan Cook mentioned it in an article eight days ago – ie that the lawyer hired by the university concluded that ‘there is no basis for any disciplinary action’. Here’s what Jonathan said:

      The move follows the lobby’s success this month in pressuring Bristol university to sack one of its professors, David Miller, even after the university’s own investigation – headed by a senior lawyer – concluded that claims of antisemitism against Miller were unfounded.

      https://www.jewishvoiceforlabour.org.uk/article/after-corbyn-israel-lobby-turns-its-guns-on-uk-academia/

      Asa’s article does include some more details though.

      1. Allan Howard. Thank’s for the link to JVL, I usually follow them, but missed this excellent article. As you say the leak might include more details not so far disclosed about the collusion of the complaining students and the CST et al. This will be a ground breaking case which will decide whether we have free speech in this country, or whether no criticism of Israel will be allowed.

    2. Asa is a true rebel and a great journalist. If Mr Miller takes formal actions against his employers I will definitely put some change in the tin.

  5. Alan Howard
    Let’s not forget it was reported that Hodge allegedly recorded a private meeting with herself and Corbyn. If true, as far as I can recall virtually nothing from the meeting was every released to the press. The conclusion being there wasn’t anything that could be interpreted as incriminating or she may have been told it was illegal.

    1. Thats right Back of Beyond. A snippet was released and it completely undermined the allegations against Jeremy while exposing the sneakiness and underhand behaviour of Margaret Hodge. That plus the illegality of taping a person without their knowledge and releasing a private conversation into the public domain without the consent of one of the parties meant that nothing more was released.
      Margaret made an exhibition of herself and shamed the party ( not for the first time) . She is a complete fool who despite her stupidity is a multi-millionare and should have been shown the door years ago.

  6. McCarthyite nonsense. Blimey didn’t the right hold on to such venomous hatred of the left during the Corbyn years, So much so, that they now fell vindicated to attack, smear, lie and demolish without a second thought

    1. But the right-wing fascists and their propaganda machine have been attacking and smearing and vilifying the left for decades bedroc when need be, just as they did when Ken became leader and took control of the GLC, and it has nothing to do with holding on to venomous hatred of the left and somehow feeling vindicated because of it. Just as they smeared Tony Benn, and labeled him Barmy Benn – and labeled Ken Red Ken (and still refer to him as such to this day in the likes of the Sun) – and labeled Neil Kinnock The Welsh Windbag, and Ed Milliband Red Ed. They maintain the illusion of democracy by having elections, but they control all the main levers of power, and they have been in the process of ‘repairing’ the ‘damage’ that was done to them just after the war, and have been slowly but surely undoing that damage during the past forty years, and obviously decided in recent years that the left has to be permanently ‘exorcised’ from main-stream politics.

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