Another day, another purge – Jay Kramer’s expulsion

JVL Introduction

No longer wanted by Starmer’s labour Party…

  • “I am a former Deputy Leader of Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Councillor. I have had unbroken membership of the Labour Party for the past 46 years. I have held officer positions in my branch and am a former Secretary and Chair of the Hastings & Rye CLP. I have campaigned in every election since 1997, both parliamentary and local, and have held committee rooms in my house at every election. I believe I have a reputation in the Hastings and Rye CLP as a Socialist, for promoting equalities, for my integrity and for my commitment to winning elections for Labour. I have also encouraged younger members of the Labour Party to put themselves forward for election, especially women. I am of Jewish heritage which is integral to informing my politics…”

This article was originally published by Labour Hub on Tue 4 Jan 2022. Read the original here.

Jay Kramer shares her response to Labour’s Legal & Governance Department’s allegation against her

On 8th November 2021, I received by email from the Legal & Governance Department of the Labour Party a “Notice of Allegation”. My ‘crime’ was to have liked and shared on my Facebook page a fringe meeting called ‘Defend the Left’ taking place during Labour Party conference in Brighton at the end of September. It was alleged that I had broken Rule 2, Clause 1.5 by “committing a prohibited act”. Underneath the letter were screenshots of my postings marked Exhibit 1-4. I was given fourteen days to respond, and I reproduce extracts from my submission below:

“I am a former Deputy Leader of Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Councillor. I have had unbroken membership of the Labour Party for the past 46 years. I have held officer positions in my branch and am a former Secretary and Chair of the Hastings & Rye CLP. I have campaigned in every election since 1997, both parliamentary and local, and have held committee rooms in my house at every election. I believe I have a reputation in the Hastings and Rye CLP as a Socialist, for promoting equalities, for my integrity and for my commitment to winning elections for Labour. I have also encouraged younger members of the Labour Party to put themselves forward for election, especially women. I am of Jewish heritage which is integral to informing my politics.

The context for me sharing and liking this fringe meeting is as follows:

I had been appalled by the Labour Party’s treatment of Ken Loach. This man has done an extraordinary amount to effect societal change in terms of social justice. His film Cathy Come Home had a direct impact on homelessness and housing policy in the 1960’s; more recently, I, Daniel Blake exposed the inhumane treatment of claimants in the benefits system, and Sorry I Missed You was a landmark film in exposing the appalling treatment of delivery drivers. Rather than expelling him, the Labour Party should have been proud and privileged to have him as a member.

During the week of conference, one of our democratically elected conference delegates for Hastings & Rye CLP, Leah Levane, was expelled from the party in a way that was designed to humiliate her by calling the police and dealing with her unprofessionally. Leah has been an ambassador for Palestinian rights and has headed up Jewish Voice for Labour as Co-Chair. It is obvious that the leadership of the Labour Party realises that it cannot proscribe Jewish Voice for Labour in case it is challenged legally on anti-Semitism. It is therefore picking people off to try and weaken the organisation of which I am a member.

Our greatly valued comrade and former councillor on Hastings Borough Council, Mike Howard, died after a short illness recently. Mike was Jewish and proud of that heritage and considered that the lessons he absorbed from his family’s experience of fleeing pogroms in Lithuania and Poland were integral to his socialist internationalism. Many of us across the country are angry and want justice for the fact that Mike remained under suspension by the Labour Party and had not had his appeal heard in months. This was one of the final issues Mike raised before his untimely death.

You may have gathered by now that I have no intention of defending my actions. Based on democracy, free speech, and solidarity I have every right to share and like posts on Facebook. The fact that I shared or liked an organisation does not make me a member or a supporter. The burden of proof is on you.”

Four weeks later I received an email to say that under the same rule I had been expelled and was offered the right of appeal. Although I am not holding my breath, I feel it is important to use any procedures that are offered and so I have submitted an appeal and await the outcome.

In conclusion, I think it is important to speak out and let people know about the purge of socialists in the Labour Party because people may be feeling intimidated. Members’ money is being used to trawl through our Facebook pages and pay the wages of anonymous staff in the disputes team.

In parallel, members are leaving in droves. In Hastings & Rye, a local active Party with a Labour-led council, the Party has been destroyed and remaining activists are thin on the ground. Instead of fighting the right-wing Tory Government, the leadership of the Labour Party has turned on its own members in an unprecedented attack on democracy. Jewish comrades have been disproportionately attacked in terms of expulsions, notices of investigation and suspensions. At this rate, there will be more of us outside the Party than in and we must unite in solidarity.

Comments (16)

  • Julia says:

    What is going on is horrific. I send solidarity to all affected by this travesty.

  • Catherine Tepper says:

    Time to start a new party – TRUE LABOUR

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The tide of expulsions of Jewish members has gone unmentioned by the traditional media. I rarely visit the CIF area of the Guardian these day, but when I do I am appalled to see the spiteful glee with which Starmer’s clearing of the Labour stables has been received. Long overdue, seems to be the view of the atrophied Corbyn-hating wing of the G’s readership. At the same time, comments critical of Starmer and supportive of Corbyn tend to attract a good number of likes, so the armchair centrists — much to their annoyance — have not yet succeeded in finally seeing off the left. My sense of the current situation is that we are regrouping and picking up support, particularly among the young. I was hearted this morning to see that a jury had acquitted the Bristol four who were instrumental in bringing down the statue of Colston and dumping him in the harbour of the charges brought against them. Starmer, by my reckoning, is a throwback, a desperate last ditch attempt by the PLP’s mouldering right to regain control of the narrative. If I am right his reign of terror should be seen not as evidence of our defeat but as a sign that the forces arraigned against us are crumbling like the Berlin wall, and will soon collapse under the weight of their irrelevance, possibly as early as 2024. What a shock that would be for the organs that have conspired to hide the truth from the British public for the past six years, and how much fun it would be to see Jonathan Freedland and Raphael Behr and Nick Cohen tearing out their hair and prophesying the end of days, simply because Britons might, at long last, get a chance at having a government dedicated to redistribution and social justice at home and abroad.

  • and so it goes on, The question is how what was the Corbyn left can best organiser now that Starmer and Evans have seized control of the party. I hope people come to the founding meeting of the new merged organisation consisting of LAW and LIEN on January 14

  • Sir Useless the leader of the labour party should hang his head in shame He has suspended good people from the labour party including good long serving Jewish members who he seems to be targeting at the moment
    The made up charges those members are being accused of are just that made up charges . Just like they used an important issue like antisemitism as a weapon against Jeremy Corbyn and other good MPs and Members of the party in order to expell them.
    We all know what the real reasons for these expulsions are. Which is to get rid of the left socialist members of the party and to prevent any criticism of what is now an aparthied Israeli Government and the crimes against humanity that they are committing against innocent Palastinian Men Women and Children. And by their Silence the labour party seem to be supporters of aparthied
    Something I never thought I would see any labour party doing.
    And which now makes them as bad as the aparthied Israeli Government and the crimes they are committing.
    While Sir Useless is leader of the labour party and those MPs who support him in the party it will be the start of the end the labour party that once were champions of peoples civil and human rights. And who worked so hard to help the most vunrable people in society and stand up against those Rich and Powerfull People in order to make the country a better place to live in.
    Were people had food on the table and a roof over their heads .

  • Julie Hope says:

    Solidarity comrade. Like you I have been expelled. I have been a member for most of my adult life (now aged 67) and have stood as Secretary and Chair for my local constituency; have stood for election as candidate in every election since 2016 – including two General Elections and have increased Labour’s positions in this Tory stronghold. My supposed crime for expulsion – I retweeted posts by 2 proscribed groups; my real crime – I am a lifetime socialist.

  • Hazel Davies says:

    I’m under investigation for defending Jeremy Corbyn when he was suspended, saying that he was correct to say what he did.

  • Ieuan Einion says:

    This is so tragic, it makes my heart bleed. How have we arrived at a point where comrades like Jay and internationally renowned artists such as Ken Loach and Kevin Higgins are persecuted whilst future candidates are being selected /vetted by the enforcer Luke Akehurst. Jesus wept.

  • Glenn Bowman says:

    Do recall that amongst the “anonymous staff in the disputes team” is one Assaf Kaplan, a former Israeli intelligence officer who had worked for Military Intelligence’s cyberwarfare outfit, Unit 8200, for five years prior to being hired by Labour to surveill Labour Party members!

  • Hilary Haynes says:

    I’m appalled by the continuing purge of socialists and Jewish anti-Zionists. So far I’ve not resigned my membership on the grounds that there are many good people in the party and we can continue to fight locally. However with Starmer as a leader even local politics are a lost cause. I think my efforts will be better directed to supporting single issues and campaigning organisations like PSC, CSC, Greenpeace, XR, 38 degrees, War on Want etc.

  • Gordon Churchill says:

    I think I remember correctly that Ribbentrop stated ” When I look at a photograph and recognise a person as a Jew, then it is a Jew.

  • Paul Royston Tully says:

    This letter is a reminder that the actions of Keir Starmer and his merry-band of right wingers is utterly shameful. What I cannot understand is how this is permitted under the terms of the EHRC report and action plan, or why the British left media have been culpably silent on the purges. To proscribe individuals because of their past affiliations to specific groups when those very groups were once considered legitimate (and they still are!), seems to be contrary to all established concepts of natural justice. This from a former DPP! Keir Starmer is routinely promoted by his acolytes as a man of honour and integrity, despite is open disavowal of the very pledges that he was voted on. It’s difficult to see why this is acceptable to Party members. The justification that all is done ‘in the name of getting power’ is morally inexcusable and bankrupt. And while this is happening, Jeremy Corbyn is branded an ‘antisemite’ and excluded, despite a fair process finding in his favour! I am left staggered by the brazen hypocrisy of Starmer and the accompanying media invisibility, so I do hope that those groups affected by this proscription, will take Starmer on where it hurts most and prosecute him for illegal activity under Human Rights legislation. I read, with total empathy and solidarity, the torment these actions have had on affected members, and can only hope that natural justice will prevail. This is a pernicious Labour leadership who have lied to its members. Starmer cannot even say in Birmingham (05.01.22) he believes in socialism. despite stating he endorsed this when he was elected.

  • Julia D. says:

    Yes very sadly Hilary Haynes, that is the conclusion I came to. I feel angry that our Labour Party has been hijacked from under our noses, and think ‘why did I not see this coming’. However, whilst I felt the writing was on the wall on the day of Starmer’s election, never in my wildest imagination did I think he would stoop so low. Utterly, utterly shameful.

  • Bernard Grant says:

    [This very long comment has been edited down in accordance with our comments policy – JVL web]

    My official complaint to the LP, that I made against another LP member!!

    The form asks, who is the person you are complaining about? ‘Keir Starmer’. It goes on, some questions are impossible to answer, obviously because it wasn’t set up so we could complain about the Leader. In the end they accepted the complaint and it will be investigated, I did receive an email saying it would be going before the NEC. Be interesting to see what comes of it.
    Here’s the email I sent to Starmer and Ashworth.
    You are being handed a Golden Opportunity to attack this Pathetic and Nasty Tory Government, yet we hear nothing from you, Why??? Let me help you, this is all researchable.
    Tories, “The NHS is safe in our hands” and “We will never Privatise the NHS”. They Lied, they’ve closed Hospitals, Wards, Beds and A&Es, we are 40k nurses, 20k Dr’s and GPs short.
    In 2018 the NHS paid £9 billion to Privuate Companies to run parts of it and that figure is accelerating year on year. All NHS Dentists are now run by Private Companies and it isn’t free at the point of need, ‘check up, clean and descale, plus one filling £62 (topped up by the NHS) causing hundreds of thousands of poor people to avoid going to the Dentist until they are desperate. GP Surgeries up and down the Country are stopping many treatments, ie chiropody, earwax removal and have now announced another 31, (see here) on top of the 17 procedures and treatments that were stopped 2 years ago, (see here) with more to come. Why not let the doctors decide, some of these procedures and operations save 10s of thousands from suffering.
    Here is Doctor Bob Gill, who describes how it is being broken up and run down.

  • John Constable says:

    I am saddened that decades long servants of the Labour party and the cause of socialism are being expunged at an accelerating rate on the barest of contexts.
    Unfortunately since the change of “leadership”, there is plainly a policy to move the party to Tory light.
    I wonder when Starmer will get his earned peerage as destroyer of any other voice but that of the establishment

  • Eddie Dougall says:

    I was prompted to share my speculative thoughts on reading Jay’s words “Members’ money is being used to trawl through our Facebook pages and pay the wages of anonymous staff in the disputes team.”
    I have wondered for a while whether the ‘third party’ was engaged to seek out those dreadful left-wing members and get shot of them. Yes, just speculation, I realize.
    Having submitted a “Subject Access Request” re. the ‘cyber incident’ we were all informed about, I was asked for more information, including Photo id, which I declined to supply. After 40+ years as a member I felt they had all the info they needed, and instead asked some specific questions.
    I wanted to be told what data pertaining to me had been passed on to a third party; the purpose behind offering my data to this so far un-named third party; the identity of this third party, and why the data was given without the permission of the members whose data was involved?
    I conclude my email:
    I had hoped that you would feel obliged to attempt to expedite my request, and the requests of others, with some contrition from the instigator who allowed our data to be put into a non-secure organisation or organisations owes members answers and apologies.
    Please do not place more obstacles in the path of members seeking facts about the situation we all find ourselves in through no fault of our own, and please begin to do what I believe you are obliged to do.
    Yours sincerely
    J E Dougall.

Comments are now closed.