Labour Activists 4 Justice – 22 Feb 2021 update

Latest: Feb. 22, 2021

First Court Hearing on Wednesday 24th Feb

 

LABOUR PARTY DEMANDS MAKE IT A LONGER, MORE COSTLY PROCESS

‘Labour Activists for Justice’ case is now scheduled for its first court hearing on Wednesday February 24th to determine how the case should proceed.  LA4J is seeking a quick and efficient resolution with the joining of two groups of claimants with the same interest to avoid wasted time and costs. The Labour Party is seeking a further preliminary hearing to determine legal questions LA4J do not even consider relevant, thereby increasing costs and delay.  

We hope that this hearing will prevent an unnecessary (and expensive) second pre-hearing.  It should be in both parties’ interests to move to a full court hearing as soon as feasible, to limit costs and resolve these issues as soon as possible. We want this full court hearing in the expectation that if we win, this will bring benefit to the many other people stuck in Labour HQ’s unjust disciplinary processes.

Meanwhile, over the last few days the Labour Party have totally exonerated 3 of those who were looking to join us in the action, despite them having been under investigation for over 15 months, without even knowing why they were being investigated. Additionally they have concluded the cases for two LA4J activists and changed the allegations for another. (More details soon)

It is unfortunate that the Labour party by its actions is expending costs – at the expense of members’ subscriptions – rather than getting down to the meat of the case.  We do not have the large pockets that the Labour party is using to defend a system criticised as being unjust and ineffective by the EHRC.

So while our costs mount we are asking you, if you have not already donated, to please consider making a donation or to donate again if you have and can. 


Background

We are Labour Activists for Justice (LA4J) – a group of Labour Party members who have been caught up in the absurdities of Labour’s disciplinary processes. These processes are unjust and unfair, and we intend to use the law to get them changed. We have started the action, but we need your help to be able to complete it.

Complaints need to be taken seriously, but they also need to be handled through a fair and transparent process. The Party’s disciplinary processes are currently neither fair nor transparent, and are manifestly unjust, and they are harming our lives and the lives of many others.

One member of the group says:

‘Throughout its history the Labour Movement has fought for the rights of workers, including the right to a fair and just disciplinary process. If any employer tried to impose the Labour Party’s process on their employees today, the party and the unions would be up in arms. It is a disgrace that needs to be fixed.’

We have engaged Bindmans LLP as our lawyers. Their letters to the Party pointing out these failures have received no response to date. We have taken further advice and feel we have no choice but to rely on the law for a remedy.

At the moment, people who are accused are not told who has complained about them, nor who is investigating them. Anonymous officials send them batches of ‘evidence’ (things they are supposed to have written or said), and a list of party rules they are accused of breaking, but with no link between the charges and the evidence. They are then asked to explain why the evidence supports the charges, in effect incriminating themselves.

They are not told who their ‘judges’ will be, or whether they have a right to a hearing. They certainly won’t have an opportunity to question witnesses.

The Party is aware of the likely impact of these procedures on their targets. They advise them that they might need to talk to their GP, or the Samaritans. But they are expressly forbidden to talk to anyone else – on pain of facing another disciplinary charge.

The Labour Party disciplinary process has many deficiencies. Just some of those that we will be challenging are

  • the policy of refusing to identify who has complained, so their possible motives for complaining cannot be assessed
  • the lack of clear specific charges explained with reference to evidence, and a process that requires members to self-incriminate
  • the legitimacy and legality of citing consensual private conversations as evidence
  • the practice of trawling for evidence through historical communications that predate the rule under which the member is being charged
  • the failure to take action to prevent or punish the routine leaks about cases to media outlets.

The Labour Party’s record on natural justice is at best chequered, but this has been a particularly dark chapter. Help us to end it by contributing to take this major legal case forward. Our aim is justice for all members.

Comments (9)

  • DJ says:

    What are these Labour Party disciplinary”processes”. Do they actually exist in any formally written document?

  • sean clarke says:

    In regard to ongoing Labour Party court actions,i came across a rather pertinent JVL article which I think bears a repeat by your website.It regards the court actions against the Labour Party by Emilie Oldknow……published on Monday 13 April 2020 and was an article by Zelo Street which explains some helpful detail and has some very astute comments attached to it. keep up the good work

  • Is it not possible to take Labour to court for delaying and delaying the Forde inquiry? Starmer is predictably doing his utmost to get rid of this inquiry altogether. This would be an outrage we cannot overlook.

  • Linda says:

    Info taken mainly from the Labour List site (I think) …

    I was curious about the result of the court case in which former senior Labour “civil servant” Emilie Oldknow tried to force Labour to disclose the identities of those who leaked the draft Labour report (which names her 500 times) to help her sue the leaker for defamation.

    Justice Tipples said she was concerned that naming those suspected by Labour of leaking the report HAS POTENTIAL FOR INJUSTICE. She asked: “HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT INNOCENT PERSONS ARE NOT NAMED? And if named, won’t suffer harm?”

    I’m glad the judge is so scrupulous about avoiding injustice and avoiding mistreatment of innocent persons. I wish her concerns had been shared by all within Labour when Corbyn was leader.

  • Jack T says:

    Every man and his dog knows that these accusations against members are part of the on-going witch-hunt to get rid of Socialists from the Labour Party. The so called Legal and Compliance department of the Party is a disgrace. We never did find out why barrister Gordon Nardell left the Party shortly after being appointed. Was it because he uncovered corruption as many suspected?

  • Margaret West says:

    Linda – Is it this article?

    https://labourlist.org/2021/02/judgment-in-court-case-between-ex-staffer-and-labour-delayed/

    The whole thing has become unbelievably complex and I am reminded of the quote by Walter Scott:
    “O, what a tangled web we weave ..”

  • Margaret West says:

    Further to Linda’s post and to the article in “Labour List”- this is from The Jewish Chronicle
    https://www.thejc.com/news/uk/unite-funding-legal-representation-of-people-accused-of-leaking-pro-corbyn-antisemitism-report-1.512103

  • Linda says:

    Hi Margaret

    Yes, thanks – that was the article.

    I felt The Jewish Chronicle article was fair and non-partisan … much better than I’d expected of its coverage. Nice to see.

  • Margaret West says:

    Sean Clarke –
    The Zeno Street article in JVL (April 2020) is indeed interesting but care
    needs to be taken if quoting – a posted reply clarifies matters.

Comments are now closed.