Statement of Principles:


Letter to Sam Mathews about Glyn Secker’s suspension

This letter, signed by over a hundred Labour Party members, was sent to Sam Mathews, Head of Disputes, before Glyn Secker’s suspension was rescinded. Congratulations to those who got it together and endorsed it at short notice.

Sam Matthews
Disputes Committee
The Labour Party
Labour Central, Kings Manor
Newcastle upon Tyne


Dear Mr Matthews,

Re: The suspension of Glyn Secker

It is with some shock that we note the suspension of the above-named member of the Labour Party. Glyn Secker is a long-time Jewish activist, Executive Committee member and Director of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2009 and Secretary of the Jewish Voice for Labour.

This suspension, like others before it, is a flagrant breach of the rules of natural justice, which require, inter alia,

  1. that where a person’s rights and interests may be adversely affected by a decision-maker, that person be allowed an adequate opportunity to present his/her case before any steps are taken against such accused person
  2. that the person being complained against is advised of the allegations in as much detail as possibleand given theopportunity to reply to the allegations, including knowledge of the source of the allegations
  3. that the decision-maker give the accused party both the opportunity to prepare and present evidenceand to respond to arguments presented by the opposite side.
  4. that a decision be based upon logical proof and/or tangible and objectively assessed evidence, not merely on speculation, random accusation or suspicion.


It would appear to us that this suspension, like several before it, does not accord with any of these basic tenets of fairness and justice. Mere allegations from unknown sources that Mr Secker “may” have breached party rules and “may” have made anti-Semitic comments do not satisfy the rules of proof or evidence. In a court of law, they would not even constitute a prima facie case. In fact, were this an accusation of criminal activity, authorities would not even be able to hold or question Mr. Secker on such vague grounds.

Yet, with nothing more than baseless accusations from faceless accusers, Mr. Secker, like several members of the party before him, has been deprived of exercising any aspect of his membership i.e. punished without evidence, hearing or opportunity for defence. Mr. Secker should be allowed to remain in full membership until allegations against him are proved in line with the rules of natural justice. Without adherence to these rules, the suspension of Mr. Secker, and those before him such as Jackie Walker, amounts to nothing more or less that a lynching by a kangaroo court – a witch-hunt.

It is this kind of behaviour by the party, punishment by suspension of anyone accused regardless of the evidence, which brings the party into disrepute. It makes a laughing stock of the party that anyone who takes against a member or his political position on any issue can simply toss around accusations of anti-Semitism.

What if we were to accuse someone of racism? Of being xenophobic? Of Islamaphobia? Would the party then react in this same way i.e. the knee-jerk response of suspension? We think not. Accusations of anti-Semitism have been flying around – there for anyone who is so minded to use and abuse. Not only does this flurry of baseless accusations in itself bring the party into disrepute, it also presents the danger that crying wolf so often will lead to real cases of anti-Semitism being missed.

As ordinary party members, we are losing confidence in the party’s ability and willingness to robustly defend its members and itself against those who seek to destroy it with baseless accusations by cowards who will not face those they accuse. Thus, we are calling for the suspension of Mr Secker and all others in the same situation to be lifted forthwith until they are presented with a full opportunity to defend themselves in accordance with the rules of natural justice. 


Yours in the struggle against injustice,


  1. Shereen Pandit, Chipping Barnet CLP
  2. Carol Ackroyd, Leabridge Branch, Hackney North CLP
  3. Nilofer Alaud Din, Hendon CLP
  4. Ruth Appleton, JVL, JSG, Santé Refugee Mental Health Access Project, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  5. Labina Basit, Uxbridge & South Ruislip CLP
  6. Linda Benjamin, Chipping Barnet CLP
  7. Joseph Black, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  8. Pamela Blakelock, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
  9. Alice Bondi, Alston Moor Branch, Penrith and the Border CLP
  10. Ches Chesney, Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP
  11. Dr Fouad Choudhary, Ilford South CLP
  12. Ron Cohen, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  13. Sylvia Cohen, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  14. Mike Cushman, Streatham CLP
  15. Anne Davies,  Ilford South CLP
  16. Mary Davies, Chipping Barnet CLP
  17. Ivor Dembina, Vauxhall ward Deputy Chair, Vauxhall CLP
  18. Colm Doherty, Finchley and Golders Green CLP
  19. Bridget Dunne, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  20. Ros Edwards, Brighton Pavilion CLP
  21. David Epstein, Kenilworth & Southam CLP
  22. Debbie Epstein, Cambridge CLP
  23. Janette Evans, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  24. Ian Ferrie, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  25. Jean Fitzpatrick, Ealing Southall CLP
  26. Nigel Fountain, Holborn & St Pancras CLP L1343038
  27. Philip Foxe, Enfield Southgate CLP
  28. Danny Friedman, GC delegate, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
  29. Debbie Friedman, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  30. Nasrollah Ghazi, Hendon CLP
  31. Murray Glickman, Ilford South CLP
  32. Sam Grove, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  33. Cathie Hammond, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  34. John Heaney, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
  35. Fran Heron, St Pancras & Somers Town Labour Party
  36. David Hillman, Oxford East CLP
  37. Owen Holland, Bloomsbury & King’s Cross Labour party branch
  38. Riva Joffe, Cantelowes Ward, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  39. Lara Johnson, Bracknell CLP
  40. Rodney Kay-Keizman, Wimbledon CLP
  41. Sean Kelleher, Hendon CLP
  42. Deborah Knight, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  43. Agnes Kory, Hampstead and Kilburn CLP
  44. Richard Kuper, Highgate Branch, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  45. Bahir Laattoe, Chipping Barnet CLP
  46. Zora Laattoe, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  47. Pam Laurance, Brent Central CLP
  48. Leah Levane, Hastings & Rye CLP
  49. Fred Leplat, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  50. Liz Lindsay, Brent Central
  51. Rebecca Lissak, Bristol East CLP
  52. Marie Lynam, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP.
  53. Dorothy Macedo, Worthing West CLP
  54. Moshé Machover  Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  55. Dr Alan Maddison, Houghton & Sunderland South CLP
  56. Jenny Manson, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  57. Jessica Manson, Runnymede & Weybridge CLP
  58. Stephen Marks, vice-chair Oxford District Labour Party [in personal capacity]
  59. Vicky Marks, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
  60. Keith Martin, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  61. Jon Meyer, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  62. Angie Mindel Nottingham East CLP
  63. Marilyn Moore Ilford South CLP
  64. Tom Muddiman, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  65. Mica Nava, Islington North CLP
  66. Cristina Navarrete, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  67. Pablo Navarrete, Ealing Central & Acton
  68. Roberto Navarrete, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  69. Diana Neslen, Ilford South CLP
  70. Dr Ray Newton, NE Herts CLP
  71. Firinne Ni Chreachain, Hendon CLP
  72. Colin O Driscoll, Co-Chair Labour International CLP
  73. Surinder Pahl  Ilford South CLP
  74. Geoff Palmer, Chipping Barnet CLP
  75. Wendy Patterson, Newark CLP
  76. Monica Radman, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  77. Roland Rance, Walthamstow CLP
  78. Frances Rifkin, Holborn & St. Pancras CLP
  79. Ian Saville, Brent Central CLP
  80. Linda Sayle, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  81. Paul Scott, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
  82. Amanda Sebestyen, Camden Town with Primrose Hill GC delegate, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  83. Tom Selwyn, Camden Town & Primrose Hill Ward, Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  84. Annabelle Sreberny, Islington North CLP
  85. George Shaw, EFLP Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  86. Sue Shaw, Henley CLP
  87. Dorothy Smith, Welwyn Hatfield
  88. Heidi Robinson-Smith-Hunter, Ilford South CLP
  89. Carlos Soto, Finchley & Golders Green CLP.
  90. Jonathan Steele, Kings Cross branch of Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  91. Ruth Steele, Kings Cross branch of Holborn & St Pancras CLP
  92. Carole Symons Hendon CLP
  93. Chantal Rose Symons, Lewes CLP
  94. Inbar Tamari, Walthamstow CLP
  95. Anna Tapsell, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
  96. Max Tasker, Clwyd West CLP
  97. Wendy Taylor,  Ilford South CLP
  98. Karen Thomas, Tottenham CLP
  99. Tom Trainer, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
  100. Mohiul Uddin Ilford South CLP
  101. Jamil Versi, Political Education Officer, Hendon CLP
  102. Tirza Waisel, Woodhouse branch Co-Chair, Finchley & Golders Green CLP
  103. Hugh Wallis, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
  104. Ivan Wels, Nottingham East CLP
  105. Barbara White Ilford South CLP
  106. Yael Witkon, Finchley & Golders Green CLP



2 comments to Letter to Sam Mathews about Glyn Secker’s suspension

  • Tony Booth

    Great letter

  • George Wilmers

    If any proof were needed that Iain McNicol and Sam Matthews are guilty not only of abuse of process, but of personally abusive behaviour, here it is. Insinuating that someone is antisemitic without the slightest evidence, sanctioning them on that basis. and then withdrawing the sanction five days later without withdrawing the insinuation or apologising, is grossly offensive. Both of them should be formally accused of abusive behaviour, so that they can be suspended pending an inquiry into their conduct.

    Moreover there is a case to be made that the accusations against Glyn Secker, Moshe Machover, and other prominent Jewish critics of Israel amount to institutional anti-semitism. While many non-Jewish members of the Labour party have been falsely accused of anti-semitism it is clear that one of the main reasons for this is a purely opportunist attempt by the right of the LP to weaken Corbyn’s support base, rather than resulting from any genuine concern for Jews or even for Israel. On the other hand the front groups and proxies for the Israeli government who are inextricably allied with these LP opportunists, specially target Jewish critics of Israel with mendacious and scurrilous allegations, because they regard them as particularly dangerous for Israel’s totalitarian propaganda, which seeks to identify the Israeli government as the representative of all Jewish people. The disproportionate number of Jewish activists targeted by McNicol and company on the basis of anonymous accusations is readily accounted for by the influence of this Israel lobby. In effect such Jewish activists are being told they are anti-semitic because they are supposedly SELF-HATING JEWS: in other words they do not identify with the zionist colonial project. However stereotyping Jews by their political allegiance is itself anti-semitic, just as stereotyping any ethnic group by political beliefs is racist.

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