Analysis Breaking Exclusive

Labour starts new wave of pre-conference expulsions to try to defeat PR motion

Left-wing delegates being expelled before conference begins this weekend linked with attempt to get party behind proportional representation and other democracy moves as Labour rehashes tactics seen before last year’s vote on David Evans

The Labour party is again using anti-democratic measures to try to win a conference vote it fears it may lose – this time to defeat a motion dragging the party into backing proportional representation.

Last year’s conference saw a wave of suspensions and expulsions of elected conference delegates as Starmer and co tried to secure the general secretary position for David Evans – and now delegates are being expelled just before a conference where, as the Guardian’s political editor noted, Starmer and his supporters are in danger of losing the vote over a PR motion brought by a number of ‘CLPs’, the party’s constituency units:

The motion has widespread backing among CLP delegates – and, in a change from previous years, a number of unions now also support it.

Cue expulsions of delegates who have expressed support for PR – and from CLPs who proposed the motion – Windsor, Southampton Test and Christchurch, which now has no voice at the conference on its own motion:

Excuses for the expulsions vary, but ever having liked or shared a tweet by a proscribed group features prominently – even though the party has had months to complete its retrospective clear-out of people who shared, liked or dared to mention groups that were fine to support at the time they did it.

Also expelled is the well-known lawyer Duncan Shipley Dalton, who was not a backer of PR but had successfully tabled a motion for a conference vote to prevent Labour’s right-dominated national executive from continuing to change the rules for selection contests when it suits them.

Shipley Dalton’s comment on his expulsion

An Al Jazeera ‘Labour Files’ series beginning tonight will expose the anti-democratic tactics used by the right to ‘crush democracy’ – and it is by no means addressing a historical issue. The Labour right knows it can’t win the argument, so it does everything it can to rig the result.

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