The Labour party expelled award-winning filmmaker Phil Maxwell – just as he was about to vote, with his local Labour colleagues, on a motion demanding that Liverpool City Council reject a plan to expand the city’s John Lennon Airport that will damage local wetlands known as ‘Liverpool’s last piece of countryside’, undoing three decades of work by volunteers to restore it after it became pollluted following the original airport works.
The expulsion was announced during the ‘CLP’ meeting to vote on the motion – and rendered the meeting ‘inquorate’, without enough members present to make the motion official. Maxwell told Skwawkbox:
Tonight we were going to discuss a motion calling on Liverpool councillors to reject moves to expand Liverpool John Lennon Airport. This was basically to reinforce a policy already agreed unanimously by the CLP in 2019. In 2019 Liverpool City Council also declared that planet Earth is facing a climate change emergency.
The CLP requires a minimum of 30 members to attend a meeting for it to be quorate. The start of the meeting was taken up with people arguing that the motion (the only one on the agenda) should not be taken. I was then told by the secretary that he’d been told in the afternoon I was no longer a member of the Party. I said that it was news to me and I looked forward to getting the email. I was seconding the motion.
The person chairing the meeting was substituting for the actual chair (who was watching the Liverpool match). He removed me from the meeting, which meant there was no longer a quorum and the motion could not be taken! The proposer of the motion, Jane Hammett, then informed the meeting (in the chat):
“Another good comrade expelled. The CLP can’t even manage a quorate meeting. I am resigning from the Labour party.“
The chair was the same person who made the initial complaint that ended with the expulsion of the Wavertree 4.
Jane’s resignation was followed by another member, Dave Toller. He told me about a question he asked of our Labour MP about why she didn’t vote against the Tories welfare cap.
“She gave a weak excuse at the end of her report about there being two votes and it was a Tory trap. I asked if she thought her Liverpool colleagues had fallen for the trap. She said individuals make up their own minds about breaking the whip and I’d have to ask them why they did on this occasion, completely missing the point that the question was why she hadn’t.”
Dave advised the meeting that he was resigning immediately.
As a result, the meeting broke up without the motion being passed. The Labour right has been behind the new mayor of the city since she was imposed as part of a shortlist of two following the scandal of the Starmerite’s decision to remove without explanation – though it later emerged that she had promised to deal with any corruption she found if she became mayor – the three women councillors originally shortlisted, to prevent the selection black left-wing councillor Anna Rothery, who had been critical of Keir Starmer.
The conveniently-timed expulsion has prevented a group of local Labour members sending a message to the mayor to block the airport expansion, which the council controversially approved this week. Maxwell’s partner, fellow filmmaker Hazuan Hashim, has also been hounded by Labour as part of its war on Liverpool, a strongly left city.
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