Labour disciplinary process finally being held to account

Update: 10th June 2021

Labour Activists for Justice (LA4J)
will have their day in court

 

The Labour Party will be in the High Court again next week (17/18 June 2021) to defend their disciplinary process against our claim , Labour Activists For Justice (LA4J) and two other members supported by the Left Legal Fighting Fund, that the process is unfair and therefore in breach of contract.

The Labour Party are pursuing this case, and continuing to spend their members’ money in doing so.  This is despite the fact that they accepted in full the EHRC report’s findings that the Party’s system for investigating antisemitism was procedurally unfair. They very publicly announced that they were taking urgent steps to put in place a new independent system that would correct the substantive unfairness found by EHRC.

We asked the Party, in the light of the EHRC report, to stop its disciplinary action against us until the new – fairer – procedure is in place, but the Party has refused. We Claimants, including three Jews, are all accused of antisemitic conduct, and are seeking to be tried by a fair process. We all vociferously deny the charges.

At a Case Management Hearing in the High Court in March – which the Party lost – it was confirmed that the Party were using a secret – unpublished – code to judge antisemitism complaints.  This had not been published – on its own admission – because its contents were thought to be ‘politically incendiary’. Around a month after the Hearing they went ahead and published it on their website despite having refused to do so for the nine months previous.

Publication of the code enables any accused person to render a defence based on a known set of criteria, but only those whose cases were yet to be concluded at the time of publication.  Those who had been sanctioned before that publication were denied the opportunity to defend themselves based on the Code, which recognises the importance of freedom of speech within the Labour Party. This has had an impact on two of the LA4J claimants.  They were not able to use the code in their defence and believe that this had adverse effects on the sanctions they have received.

LA4J also claim that the Party’s confidentiality requirement that accused members may not tell anyone other than their GP or the Samaritans about even the fact of any accusation, is draconian and unfair. The Party deny this, and cite as evidence that the LA4J group were able to go to lawyers to get advice, although we only did so while mindful of the risk of further disciplinary action against us.  Moreover, other members will not necessarily know that they have that option or may not be able to afford to do so and therefore will be denied support.

The rulebook states that: “Members have the right to dignity and respect and to be treated fairly by the Labour Party”. We are fighting for that right for all members.

The case is to be heard next week (17th or 18th June) and has been very costly. Many thanks to all who have donated so generously. However we still need more funds.

So please make a donation now if you can – and please share on all your social media platforms

Comments (2)

  • John Bowley says:

    I have been pleased to contribute. I expect the LA4J claim to be successful.

  • Allan Howard says:

    It is of course brilliant what LA4J are doing, but the fact that they even have to is quite disturbing, to say the least.

    And whilst it is of course great that over £92,000 has been pledged to help them fight the injustice of the complaints system, I can’t help but wonder why it is that if there are 350,000 plus left-wingers who are either still members or former members, that only 3, 077 people have pledged something (as of now). I can only conclude that the vast majority don’t get to hear about these cases generally speaking, because surely if they DID, most of them would be more-than-happy to pledge something to help fight the good fight.

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