Labour members file High Court action over ‘unfair’ disciplinary system

JVL Introduction

The Morning Star gives welcome publicity to the campaign for justice in the Labour Party, spearheaded by Labour Activists for Justice.

After months of fruitless correspondence they have now been forced to take the Labour Party to the High Court for its high-handed, oppressive trampling on their rights.

Please support the LA4J crowdfunding appeal for legal fees.

This article was originally published by the Morning Star on Thu 10 Dec 2020. Read the original here.

Labour members file High Court action over ‘unfair’ disciplinary system

LABOUR members filed High Court action against the party today over investigations into their alleged conduct taking place under a system that it admitted was “unfair.”

The group of seven, four of whom are Jewish, said Labour had accepted the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report on the party’s handling of anti-semitism complaints and that its disciplinary process was “not fit for purpose.”

However the members said that they were investigated over anti-semitism claims under the very process that Labour said it would replace.

The group, Labour Activists For Justice (LA4J), said it had been “unjustly accused of undermining the party’s ability to campaign against racism, have been working for six months to persuade the party to improve its disciplinary process for the benefit of all members, but have been rejected at every approach.”

Labour had told LA4J that the EHRC “report did not apply to [it]” and that it “would continue to use the same disciplinary processes.”

LA4J is also disputing the party’s “lack of clear guidelines on how anti-semitism cases are judged,” withholding identities of accusers “without good reason,” a “lack of fair process” for the accused, and “a failure to provide adequate reasons for the decisions made.”

Diana Neslen, an Orthodox Jew, said: “If any employer tried to impose the party’s process on their employees today, the labour movement and the unions would be up in arms. It is a disgrace that needs to be fixed.

“The idea that the EHRC report does not apply to us is the last straw. A legal challenge is not a road we want to go down, but they have left us no choice.”

The other members are Jonathan Rosenhead, Michael Ellman, Mike Howard, John Davies, Colin O’Driscoll and Chris Wallis.

All seven reject the charges that they said were based on a version of an anti-semitism code of conduct that Labour will not publish.

The Morning Star approached Labour for comment.

A Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) spokesperson told the Star that the accusations of anti-semitism were mainly over criticising Israel, and that they have “clouded over injustices of the process that cause suffering for Jews and non-Jews.”

The confidentiality clause, anonymous accusers and secret code of conduct have contributed to the accused feeling isolated and without context for the allegations, they added.

LA4J has launched a crowdfunding appeal for legal fees: bit.ly/3m8IXd4

Comments (4)

  • The Labour Party needs root & branch reform and its leadership replaced by those who are fit to lead. Alongside this we need a disciplinary policy suitable for a 21st century political party of the Left and reinstate all those who have been wrongly expelled or suspended.

  • sion holt says:

    Yes! Good luck and best wishes!

  • John Webster says:

    It is not, in the first instance, the Labour Party that needs to be reformed. If we had a democratic voting system, the LP would automatically be reformed because we would have a pletora of political parties that would create a much more healthy debate – and they would chgallenge Labour. It is first past the post that gives rise to the two party system and the cross-party political conformity. It has to go.

  • Harry Law says:

    “Within minutes of our submission of a complaint against former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and fifteen other sitting Labour MPs in relation to antisemitism, Sir Keir Starmer has suspended Mr Corbyn, pending an investigation”. https://antisemitism.org/within-minutes-of-our-submission-of-a-complaint-against-jeremy-corbyn-and-fifteen-other-sitting-labour-mps-sir-keir-starmer-suspends-mr-corbyn-pending-an-investigation/
    I have a very serious complaint against Tony Blair when he called Jeremy Corbyn an anti Semite, what more can tarnish a person’s reputation and ostracize that person for life, and in flagrant breach of party rules which could also have cost the party the last election .”No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the Party”.
    Get this, within minutes of the CAA complaint being made, Corbyn was suspended. I have been waiting over 19 months with still no action over my complaint, nor do I expect any.

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