Graham Bash – Notice of termination of membership of the Labour Party

JVL Introduction

Graham Bash has been “automatically excluded” from the Labuor Party after more than 52 years of continuous, committed and active membership.

Below is his notice of excommunication.

The bottom line is that Graham, Political Officer of JVL among his many other  roles, has been excluded for doing something that was perfectly legal at the time – supporting (whatever that means) an organisation there was no restriction on supporting at the time.

It’s called retrospective justice – or injustice. Chris Bryant was scathing about it a couple of days ago with reference to the change of rules proposed in the Owen Paterson MP case a few days ago.

This is not simply unjust – it is an attempt to drive supporters of the left out of the party to ensure that the establishment wing never again loses control.

Democracy in the Labour Party is now under serious assault with the whole current wave of investigations, exclusions and purges generally.

We must and will continue to resist.


 

Friday, 05 November 2021

Mr Graham Bash,

BY EMAIL ONLY: •••••••••• Ref: A458000

Case No: CN-12917

Dear Mr Bash,

Notice of Termination of Membership of the Labour Party

The Labour Party wrote to you on 13 August 2021 to inform you that we had reason to believe that you are ineligible to be or remain a Labour Party member because you are a supporter of Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW).

This letter provided the details of the allegations against you, contained the relevant evidence supporting the allegations, informed you of how to make representations, and drew your attention to the provisions of Chapter 2, Clause I.4.B of the Labour Party Rule Book (the Rules).

You provided written representations in response to the allegations on 16 August 2021.

On 26 September 2021, the Labour Party Annual Conference passed a number of constitutional amendments that introduced a new Chapter 2, Clause I.5 and Clause I.6, which superseded the previous Chapter 2, Clause I.4.

The effect of these amendments was to introduce a panel of the NEC to make a finding of fact in cases where, inter alia, a member is alleged to have supported another political organisation and introduce the right of appeal in cases where such a finding of fact has been made.

Accordingly, we write to inform you that a panel of the National Executive Committee (the NEC Panel) met on 28 October 2021 to consider allegations that you had committed a Prohibited Act pursuant to Chapter 2, Clause I.5 of the Rules. i

We have set out the findings of the NEC Panel below.

Allegation 1: Support for Labour Against the Witchhunt, January 2020 Upheld

The NEC Panel had regards to your written representations dated 16 August 2021.

The NEC Panel found, on the balance of probabilities, that you had signed the Labour Against the Witchhunt open letter of January 2020 and that LAW was an organisation that you were affiliated with.

The NEC Panel noted that these facts were not in dispute.

The NEC Panel considered that this amounted, in its opinion, to support for Labour Against the Whichhunt, which the NEC has declared to be inimical with the aims and values of the Labour Party.

Consequently, your membership of the Labour Party (the Party) stands terminated. You are no longer entitled to attend any Party meetings or to exercise any other rights associated with membership of the Party.

You have the right to appeal this decision on the grounds set out at Chapter 2, Clause I.6 of the Labour Party Rule Book. ii Should you wish to do so, please submit any appeal within 14 days of the date of this letter, in writing to the address at the top of this letter, or by email to [email protected]

Yours sincerely,

Disputes Team
Governance and Legal Unit
The Labour Party

CC Labour South East

The LabourParty

 

__________________________
i 5. Exclusions from Membership
A. Amember who commits a Prohibited Act in Chapter2.I.5.B ceases to be eligible fo membership of the Party and his or her membership shall terminate in the circumstances set out in Chapter 2.I.5.C.

B. Prohibited Acts are the following acts:

  1.  Possessing membership of a registered political party in the United Kingdom other than the Party or the Co-operative Party.
  2. Supporting financially a registered political party in the United Kingdom other than the Party or the Co- operative Party.
  3. Joining a Parliamentary party or caucus other than the Parliamentary Labour Party or the Labour Party in the Welsh Parliament or the Scottish Parliament.
  4. Joining a local authority Group other than the official Party Group without the permission of the NEC.
  5. Possessing membership of, providing financial assistance to, sitting on the ruling body of or otherwise supporting (as may be defined by the NEC) any political organisation that the NEC in its absolute discretion shall declare to be inimical with the aims and values of the Party.
  6. Physically abusing employees of the Party.
  7. Threatening or harassing employees of the Party.
  8. Being convicted by a Court in the United Kingdom of a serious offence. For these purposes, a ‘serious offence’ is an offence that is serious in the opinion of the NEC and which may include, inter alia, indictable offences, sexual offences and/or offences committed by an adult against a child.
  1. Failing to satisfy an order for costs in the Party’s favour promulgated by a Court or Tribunal in the United Kingdom.
  2. A ‘substantiated safeguarding concern’ finding is made as the result of either an investigation by a Local Authority Designated Officer or another suitable professional regulatory body, or as the result of an outcome from a safeguarding investigation conducted by a statutory agency.

C. The membership of a member who commits a Prohibited Act under Chapter2.I.5.B shall terminate on the date on which the General Secretary or a national officer of the Party sends that member notice that the NEC has made a finding of fact pursuant to Chapter 2.I.5.D that the member has committed the Prohibited Act.

D. The NEC shall determine whether a member has committed a Prohibited Act under Chapter2.I.5.B in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. i. Chapter 6 shall not apply to findings of fact made under this clause.
    ii. The General Secretary shall send to the member a Notice of Allegation. The Notice of Allegation must:
  2. State details of any allegation that the member has committed Prohibited Act;
  3. Beaccompaniedbyanyrelevantevidencesupportingthatallegation;
  4. State that the member has a right to make representations in writing within 14 days of the date the Notice of Allegation;
  5. Informthememberhowanysuchrepresentationsshouldbemade;and
  6. Draw to the attention of the member the provisions of Chapter 2.I.5.
  1. The member shall have a right to make representations to the NEC in writing within 14 days of the date of the Notice of Allegation.
  2. The General Secretary shall convene a panel of at least three NEC members to consider the allegation.
    3
  1. The NEC must consider any representations submitted in defence that have been provided within 14 days of the Notice of Allegation. The NEC may in its absolute discretion consider any representations that are submitted after that 14 day period but the NEC is not obliged to do so.
  2. The NEC panel shall make findings of fact whether or not the member has committed a Proscribed Act on the balance of probabilities upon consideration of all the evidence available to the NEC.
  3. The NEC panel shall give prompt notice of its findings to the General Secretary.
  4. The General Secretary shall give notice of the NECs decision to the member. Notice must:

a. Set out the NEC’s findings of fact;
b. Statethatthemember’smembershipstandsterminated;and
c. Inform the member of a right of appeal under Chapter 2.I.6 and to whom to address that appeal.

ii 6. Upon termination of a member’s membership pursuant to Chapters 2.I.4.C or 2.I.5.C, a former member may appeal against that termination to the NCC on grounds that:
A. The General Secretary or the NEC has contravened a provision in Chapter 2.I.4 or 2.I.5;
B. The findings of the NEC are flawed or tainted by bias or unsupported by the evidence; and/or
C. The evidence provided to the Party under Chapter 2.I.4.C is false, wrong or fabricated.
D. The member shall remain expelled from membership of the Party until such time that such member’s appeal is upheld by the NCC.

 

 

Comments (37)

  • Rita Craft says:

    Disgraceful , short-sighted, undemocratic, amoral, corrupt.
    And this gobbledygook crushing our inspiring socialist colleagues such as Graham is barely believable.
    Truly a witch hunt.

  • Sean O’Donoghue says:

    Time for us all to join Socialists against the Whichunt….

  • Hilary De Santos says:

    Remember the Labour Leadership opposes ‘retrospective justice’ when the Tories try to do it. It suits them that very few people know about what they’re doing.

  • Brian Walford says:

    Unbelievable!

  • Dave Hansell says:

    Interestingly I was talking to a member from another constituency this afternoon who is still awaiting a decision on a membership terminating disciplinary case appeal after well over a year. Some members get fast tracked, others are left in limbo in the black hole which passes for due process in the entity previously known as the Labour Party.

    In my own case I remain puzzled and amazed at the level of sheer incompetence of the Party bureaucracy and hierarchy. Shortly prior to the NEC decision in July this year I wrote to an NEC member to advise them to take me off their mailing list on the grounds that, in the event of the NEC making the decision they ultimately made, my being formally associated with a proscribed organised initiative could prove problematic for that NEC member in the present Zeitgeist in which people are found guilty by association.

    The communication was received, acknowledged and acted upon. As it turned out this NEC member actually voted in favour of proscribing these organised initiatives.

    Yet, here I sit, having informed an NEC member who voted for this over three months ago of my association with this now proscribed organised initiative, and I am still awaiting a letter of ex-communication.

    In a context where what passes for an organisation is not only incapable of acting on a signed confession but also incompetent to the extent of criminal negligence in handling the data it holds on its members (which includes bank account details necessary for direct debit membership fee payments) questions arise as to the fitness of the Labour Party to run and organise itself never mind a local authority or the Country.

  • Martin Coleman says:

    I posted the link of this to [email protected]. I asked him if it was a hoax! He probably, won’t reply. The LP currently, is a joke. Why stay?

  • Leah Levane says:

    Presumably they will now go after all the 5.000 plus people who also signed the petition….is this Angela Rayner’s “thousands and thousands”???

  • Chris Khamis says:

    This is sad, anger making but also not unexpected. I worked with Graham many decades back in what was then Brent East CLP when we succeeded in getting Ken Livingstone selected and elected. Real commitment to socialist and human values. His more recent writings and talks on the current situation in the LP and the ‘antisemitism’ inquisition have been inspirational. His expulsion on clearly unjust and ludicrous grounds is yet another indication of how low and vicious the Labour Right have become. I hope he appeals even though I wouldn’t hold up much hope. I know he will continue fighting against injustices in Britain and around the world and for progressive causes whether in or outside the LP. And we must stand with him and continue fighting for his reinstatement and that of his partner, Jackie Walker.

  • John Noble says:

    The LP as I know it has ceased to exist. It is hard to see how Starmer will be remembered, not well I suspect, except by some constituency abroad.

  • John Bowley says:

    This vile action by what was once our Labour Party is deeply shameful.

    The retrospective nature of the manipulation is perverse. Who would think that, Keir Starmer, the current leader of the Labour Party, is an English lawyer?

  • jenny Mahimbo says:

    So sorry to hear that Graham. In effect expelled for not being clairvoyant. I’m now waiting for my expulsion letter. If this continues the Labour Party is dead. How many of the JVL exec have now been targeted.? When will this all be exposed in the MSM?

  • Keith White says:

    Outrageous

  • Well Graham was kind enough to notify me of his expulsion and my response was ‘what kept you this long?’!

    More seriously though it is a serious act of injustice but can one expect anything else from a leader who is a serial liar, who came to office on a promise to unify the party behind the 2019 Manifesto and has broke each and ever pledge including his own 10 pledges.

    However this decision only emphasises that there is now no room in the Labour Party for socialists to organise or argue their politics. As a founding member and still a member of Labour Against the Witchhunt, one has to ask what was our crime? We denied that Labour had a problem with antisemitism. Well that is what 70% of members believe and it was the Chakrabarti Report which found that Labour was not overrun with antisemitism.

    The plain fact is that the most racist elements in the Labour Party and I include Starmer as well as Tom Watson in this have accused anti-racists of being racists.

    The question is where to now? In my view there is a need for socialists, both those who still remain in Labour and those who have left or been expelled, to come together to build a socialist movement since socialism too has now been proscribed.

  • John Edson says:

    Numb, just numb

  • John Coates says:

    The news about Graham’s expulsion is appalling but not unexpected.
    Truth and democratic debate are clearly unwelcome in today’s Labour Party – as are Socialists.
    Comrades inside and outside the party must now organise together to advance our socialist objectives.
    Left unity – inside and outside the Party should be our priority.
    We need to take our politics to people outside of the left.
    We spend too much time talking to ourselves.
    The MSM won’t do it for us..
    We are spending too much of our physical and financial resources fighting a losing battle in the Labour Party.
    I shall stay in the Party (for the present), but I shall not be surprised to receive the same letter from the Witchfinder-General.

  • Dave Bradney says:

    “Labour Against the Whichhunt” !!!

    If you are being offered a right of appeal, logically your membership should be suspended not “terminated” ? When “termination” happens you are outside the organisation (dead or alive!) and so logically you have no rights at all.

    But then bureaucrats have never had much truck with logic. As Solzhenitsyn once explained, “We never make mistakes”.

    I hear you all chorusing “Oh yes they do! Incessantly!” But unfortunately they don’t hear, or don’t care. They have no democratic instinct, if they did they wouldn’t do what they do. They just have an overriding hunger for power.

    Commiserations Graham, and all the others. End of the line.

  • Graeme Atkinson says:

    I have known Graham since 1973 and have seldom found anyone as comradely, honest and politically and personally principled as he is.

    In all the years I have known him, Graham has fought in defence of and in solidarity with the oppressed and exploited…a model socialist that Starmer and his gang could never be.

    His expulsion for defending others being witch-hunted by the Starmtroops is nothing short of a scandal.

    It should be noted that a large part of this disgusting witch-hunt by self-styled opponents of antisemitism is being viciously directed a comrades of Jewish heritage!

  • Margaret West says:

    Disgusted .. but this is becoming so common
    these days..

    Has anyone ever challenged this legally ..? Surely grounds for appeal are covered as a minimum by :

    *********************..
    ii 6. Upon termination of a member’s membership pursuant to Chapters 2.I.4.C or 2.I.5.C, a former member may appeal against that termination to the NCC on grounds that:
    ….

    C. The evidence provided to the Party under Chapter 2.I.4.C is false, wrong or fabricated.

    **********

    The supposed “evidence” is NOT evidence
    given the retrospective aspect of it ..

    Mind you – much of the legalese is beyond me so what do I know? Not only that but legal action is expensive ..

  • Neil Todd says:

    Graham’s case is indeed a gross injustice, but sadly just one more to add to the ever growing number, now in the 10s of thousands, although not yet 100s of thousands, certainly enough to match the ‘thousands and thousands’ promised by Angela Rayner.

    Tony’s rhetorical question ‘what kept you this long?’!, although intended as tongue in cheek, does raise an interesting issue about the highly variable time lag between the GLU assignment date of Case Numbers (CNs) and their being acted on by the NEC Disputes Panels. As a keen witch-hunt watcher, I have been tracing CNs from their origin in 2017/18 under the Formby regime, and their subsequent literally exponential growth over the following four years. One of the striking features of this growth process is the variability around the exponential trend, whereby outlying individual cases can be characterised as being ‘ahead’, ‘on’ or ‘behind’ the curve. Graham’s case is one such example of being ‘behind the curve’.

    In the recent phase of the witch-hunt, since the Starmer-Evans reign of terror came to power, there have been two distinct clusters, one at the end of 2020, with the mass suspension of CLP officers, and the second dated 13th August 2021, with the mass circulation of Notifications of Possible Auto-exclusion (NoPAEs). As has been well-described, a significant number of JVL officers were part of the Aug 13th cluster. In my sample I have six 13th Aug cases with CNs ranging from 12917 to 12962, of which most, if not all, are JVL members. Without mentioning those not already in the public sphere, Leah’s CN was 12920, expelled on 26th September,
    while Graham’s CN (above) is 12917, so just a gap of three, yet was not expelled until 5th November.

    The reason for this is quite obviously that Leah was an elected voting delegate and, therefore, her expulsion part of the mass gerrymandering of Conference required to secure the Starmer-Evans regime’s grip on power. This is yet another example of organised targeting and interference in
    a supposedly independent process, alongside the well-known cases of hit-lists supplied by the various Zionist lobby groups and individuals being acted on by the servile and willing bureaucracy. Those individuals who are not an immediate threat to an election process, or not on a hit-list, have in some cases languished in suspension limbo for years.

  • Paul Smith says:

    Who were the members of the NEC panel who expelled Graham after 52 years’ membership?

  • Jay Kramer says:

    Solidarity Graham. It sickens me that you have been treated like this alongside so many others like Leah and Ken Loach. I see myself as “coasting” as a member in a dilemma as to whether to stay or go. It is the likes of Graham who encourage us to stay in and fight. The irony is that the picking off of JVL activists is anti-Semitic in itself. Starmer, Evans and the others too scared to proscribe JVL in case that is a step too far and they are challenged. My only comfort is that Starmer will never win a General Election or become PM while the purge of Left wing activists goes on

  • James Simpson says:

    This socialist asks why anyone who calls themselves socialist would waste even a moment of the time with a political party that, throughout its history, has consistently betrayed the workers it claims to represent and instead serves the interests of capital and empire. Leave the Labour party to become what it always wanted to be: Toryism with a thin veneer of humanity. Haven’t you got anything better to do?

  • Paul Steele says:

    Absurd. More than any other person – Jewish or non-Jewish – Graham implored people remain in the Labour Party. They know not what they do.

  • Terry Messenger says:

    Dear Mr Bash,

    Notice of Termination of Membership of the Labour Party

    The Labour Party wrote to you on 13 August 2021 to inform you that we had reason to believe that you are ineligible to be or remain a Labour Party member because you are a supporter of Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW). And to prove there really is a witch-hunt, we’re going to expel you.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    guilty……….’on the balance of probabilities’, in my opinion?

  • Yvonne Davies says:

    Utterly shameful abuse of disciplinary processes to expel a voice, which the leadership of the Labour Party, no longer wants to hear. The Party is completely under the control of the right, who are interested only in power for its own sake. Justice, fairness, truth, honesty, transparency, all values seen as simply hindering that pursuit of power. All have to be sacrificed.

  • John Edwards says:

    Did Anneleise Dodds the party chairperson not tell Ian Hodson that the Labour Party had received legal advice that these retrospective expulsions were unlawful? In which case a legal challenge may be possible

  • Ian Kemp says:

    its McCarthyism on steroids. When are the MSM going to take this on? are their journalists so afraid . What of.??

  • Margaret West says:

    Irony of ironies ..

    Skwawkie reckons that under GDPR protection laws – the Labour Party plus its Leader plus Gen Sec Evans could be liable to pay a fine. This is because of the recent Data breach where sensitive information about Labour Party members has been seized from some unspecified third party(?) by an unauthorised agent.

    Since this includes members who have either left (or been excluded?) years ago and where the Party has insisted they have destroyed this information – the fine could be a large one.

    See
    https://skwawkbox.org/2021/11/06/labour-and-starmer-evans-face-17-5-million-fines-for-data-breach/

  • James Hall says:

    Fight antisemitism by expelling as many Jews as possible – it makes perfect sense.

  • Alfie Benge says:

    Blatant political corruption.
    How about some mass solidarity?
    A members’ General Strike
    No canvassing or fund raising or voluntary labour.
    Aren’t even centrist members appalled by these essentially illegal shenanigans?
    Can’t everyone see the inhumanity?

  • Emma Tait says:

    Very sorry to hear, Graham. You’ve been so committed to the Labour Party. Your half century of hard work as a socialist member not wanted by this New Labour Leadership. I don’t think this is a Party for socialists.

  • Candy Gregory says:

    It;s feels good to be in such prestigious company. Graham Bash, Ken Loach, Ian Hodson, Jackie Walker, Leah Levane et al. They are the best of us whereas the remnants of Labour are a malodorous toxicity

  • John Bowley says:

    ‘Trashing the reputation’ of the Labour Party. Obviously not Graham, but Keir. It is oh so easy to have a go about ever disgraceful Boris Johnson. I will always remember who helped appalling Johnson into power with a big majority. It was of course most of our own Labour MPs, including Starmer, who were solely concerned with undermining Jeremy Corbyn, inclusive of spreading lies, that in the process they lost the last election for Labour. The disloyal liars, who in practice supported another party, the Conservative Party, should be the ones to be expelled from the Labour Party.

  • Donald Gasper says:

    The expulsion of Graham Bash would be scandalous.

  • Joseph Hannigan says:

    well I have stopped my Standing Order re; membership ,
    . The Party has a couple of months to cease the purges before I go

  • Anne Mitchell says:

    It is disappointing that once again the issue has been framed around retrospective application rather than the proscription itself. Comrades should stand in solidarity with LAW, LIEN, Resist & SA comrades, not deny them.

Comments are now closed.