Labour’s Updated Confidentiality and Privacy Policy

JVL Introduction

JVL has become aware that the Party has published a Code of Conduct on Confidentiality and Privacy. It is unclear exactly when this was agreed by the NEC and published.

JVL is, however, concerned that the Code seeks to silence members and prevent them from speaking publicly about their own disciplinary processes, subject only to limited exceptions, at pain of further sanction or even legal proceedings.

This would appear to include an individual being prohibited from responding to or correcting false media reports about them, while the Party gives itself permission to respond to such reports “where to do so is necessary to protect the Labour Party’s reputation or its interests”.

Sadly, this appears to be yet another example of the Party seeking to protect its own interests and avoid public scrutiny at the expense of the reputations of members, as well as fundamental principles of freedom of speech.


Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct: Confidentiality and Privacy

All codes of conduct and NEC statements form part of the agreed relationship between individual Labour Party members, and set the minimum code of conduct expected by the Labour Party of all its members.


The Labour Party takes seriously its obligations of confidentiality and privacy. The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to provide clarify to its members as to when matters should be kept confidential, whilst also clarifying the circumstances in which the Labour Party and its members may disclose information in an appropriate manner that does not risk breaching the Labour Party’s rules, codes of conduct, policies and/or guidelines.

1. Labour Party members operate in a data-driven world, where personal data must be handled in a lawful, transparent, fair and proportionate manner.

2. Members have a right to maintain privacy and confidentiality over their personal affairs in accordance with the law.

3. The Labour Party has a right to maintain confidentiality over its information, documents and activities where it is necessary to do so to protect the interests of the Labour Party and where to do so is required by law.

4. Breaches of confidentiality may put the interests of the Labour Party, its members and supporters at risk and may damage the Labour Party’s good reputation and standing with the electorate.

5. Confidential matters are:

a. those matters, documents and information which the NEC, or the Labour Party’s national officers acting under the NEC’s delegated powers, expressly declare to be strictly confidential, and/or includes confidential information that should not be shared more widely;

b. minutes of Labour Party meetings; papers for the Labour Party’s national committees; minutes and discussions of the Labour Party’s national committees; membership records; all data pertaining to elections; data relating to individual disciplinary investigations or disciplinary decisions about members;

c. membership records and/or information relating to any individual disciplinary proceedings; and

d. any other matters which through custom and practice ought reasonably to be considered confidential in the opinion of the NEC, (together, “Confidential Matters” hereafter).

6. Without prejudice to the remainder of this Code of Conduct, it shall be understood that paragraph 5(b) above shall not preclude members of such national committees from:

a. having such discussions, or sharing documents that are not strictly confidential, as are appropriate and necessary to prepare for in advance of such national committees;

b. obtaining appropriate assistance in order to undertake their role and/or duties on such national committee(s);

c. reporting back to other Labour Party members; and/or

d. reporting back to an executive committee of such member’s relevant affiliated organisation, in each case, where required by, or ancillary to, their duties under the Labour Party Rule Book. For the avoidance of doubt, and with respect to members of such national committees, reference to “reporting back” shall include those members reporting back to the Division (or Divisions) that they represent on such national committees of the Labour Party.

7. Members of the Labour Party must maintain confidentiality in all Confidential Matters.

8. Members may not waive or breach confidentiality in respect of Confidential Matters save as required by law or with the express permission of the NEC or the General Secretary, or a national officer acting under the delegated power of the General Secretary and authorised to give such permission.

9. It is important that disciplinary action taken by the Labour Party pursuant to Chapters 2, 6, 7, 8 and/or 13 of the Labour Party Rule Book is kept confidential by the Labour Party, its members and its officers so as to maintain the integrity of any disciplinary investigations and to preserve any relevant evidence. Therefore, members must keep information, correspondence and Confidential Matters pertaining to individual disciplinary cases private and must avoid disclosing any such information, correspondence or Confidential Matters to any party, except:

a. Where disclosure is required by law or by a legal obligation;

b. Where it is necessary for a member who is subject to disciplinary proceedings to make disclosure for the purpose of and in order to obtain legal advice, medical or social support, or support from close family members, trade unions, the NEC or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers;

c. The NEC or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers may disclose the fact of a disciplinary investigation to third parties if it is necessary to do so in the Labour Party’s interests and only on condition that the identity of the member subject to a disciplinary investigation is not disclosed by the Labour Party;

d. The NEC or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers may disclose information to correct false reports in the media where to do so is necessary to protect the Labour Party’s reputation or its interests;

e. The NEC or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers may disclose any matter in relation to a disciplinary investigation or a membership dispute to another national officer, staff member or other person appointed by the Labour Party for the purposes of carrying out a duty or power under the Labour Party Rule Book; and

f. The NEC, the General Secretary or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers may disclose the outcome of a disciplinary complaint to the person who submitted the complaint.

10. Paragraph 8 of this Code of Conduct does not apply to disciplinary procedures taken pursuant to the Standing Orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party.

11. The NEC may consider any breach of this Code of Conduct to amount to conduct that is prejudicial and grossly detrimental to the Labour Party within the meaning of Chapter 2, Clause 1.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book depending on the facts of the case.


Rule Book

You can download the full Labour Party rule book – which contains all of Labour’s codes of conduct – below.

Comments (16)

  • Philip Inglesant says:

    This from the party that sent its confidential membership data to a third party company which then allowed this data to be stolen.

  • jenny mahimbo says:

    Just a tad ironic don’t you think?

  • David Jones says:

    It gets more bizarre by the day. Will the leadership apply these new rules of theirs to themselves retrospectively? Why not, if they are prepared to publicly sanction individuals who historically “supported” proscribed bodies before those bodies were officially proscribed? And, when it has suited them, they have been quick to comment publicly through the national media on some of their high-profile disciplinary actions; e.g., in the cases of Jeremy Corbyn and Rebecca Long-Bailey, when the leadership readily flouted party rules in the process.

  • John Bowley says:

    We have read numerous examples of the Labour Party hierarchy threatening members with unwarranted disciplinary action, typically based on whoppers, whilst simultaneously discreetly briefing right-wing establishment media.

  • Robin Vyrnwy-Pierce says:

    This is not socialism, Marxism or even Leninism. This is pure Stalinism. Instead of Uncle Jo we have Uncle Keith.

  • Colin says:

    Exception – to obtain medical OR Social Support
    9. b. Where it is necessary for a member who is subject to disciplinary proceedings to make disclosure for the purpose of and in order to obtain legal advice, medical or social support, or support from close family members, trade unions, the NEC or any national officer acting under the NEC’s or the General Secretary’s delegated powers

  • John Noble says:

    Welcome to the new Toy Town LP. Starmer showing his legalise, the passive voice here is threatening. What will be the next phase?

  • Anonymous ? says:

    This policy is a threat…
    To paraphrase.. ‘If you talk about your suspension or expulsion then we could take you to court for leaking our data, or even seek damages for damaging our electoral performance’.

    Even the discussion of it on this website could be used as an excuse for legal threats.

    This is a massive attack on free speech.

    It’s authoritarian, and only lacks the threat of physical violence to prevent it being described as fascistic.

    I suppose the use of the police, as at conference, and the courts is the preferred option for a Knight of the Garter lol.

    REMEMBER though :
    AUTHORITARINISM is always a sign of WEAKNESS.

  • Nick Jenkins says:

    Paragraph 8… so it doesn’t apply to MPs? Why?

  • Margaret West says:

    Nothing in the Rules then related to a member’s Disciplinary Case being leaked to (eg) the “Jewish Chronicle” by a third party?

    This – not infrequently – happens before the member even knows he or she is being disciplined and should mean the case against that member immediately ceases…..

  • Margaret West says:

    Concerning my last post and after re-reading previous comments.

    Can a member take them to Court if details of their disciplinary case are leaked to the MSM?

    Or – if a third party is given access to members records and is then careless and allows those records to be hacked by a criminal ?

  • George Wilmers says:

    This semiliterate gibberish is so full of holes and contradictions that it is actually quite amusing to analyse if one is prepared to forget the inhuman intent. For example 5d above classifies as “confidential”

    ” any other matters which through custom and practice ought reasonably to be considered confidential in the opinion of the NEC”

    My suspicion is that the natural parsing of this is not at all what is meant, and that the intended meaning would have placed “in the opinion of NEC”
    earlier after the word “which”; but as it stands the sentence seems to imply that if members of the NEC fail to recognise as confidential some matter which ought reasoably to be considered confidential , they could themselves be in breach of paragraph 7.

    The purpose of this document is clearly to intimidate. Any decent barrister would tear it to shreds. The first thing which anyone who is accused of any disciplinary offence or NOI should do is to send a comprehensive Subject Access Request to the Labour Party. There are standard legal forms for doing this but perhaps a suitable one could be posted on this website. Given the amount of data which the LP has almost certainly been illegally holding on members such requests could place Evans and Co. Ltd. in a serious quandary, and might even put a damper on the breakneck pace of the inquisition.

    Finally let me cheer up any potential victim with the observation that the attempt to intimidate you into silence contains a fatal flaw which the inquisitors were obliged to put in for legal reasons. This is that under 5b above you may disclose the details of the accusations against you to close family members and certain others where that is necessary for your support. However there is no obligation on such persons not to publish the information so obtained unless they are members of the LP themselves, (and even in the latter case who will know how a leak occurred?). You cannot be held responsible for e.g. the behaviour of an outraged family member.

  • Stephen Richards says:

    aka Hypocrisy.

  • David J Taylor says:

    Well aren’t they doing well, especially in view of their highly questionable expulsions and massive data breach. I worry about what we have become.

  • John Noble says:

    Yes I am in agreement with David J Taylor’s thrust and add, what are we going to become.

  • Jo Walton says:

    For the life of me I cannot understand why, under current GDPR regs, that I do not have control over what is done with information about me. Those who hold my data have a responsibility to keep it confidential under law but I can do what I like with mine. As we have already seen – from previous judgements, the Labour Party is no more than a club so their rules surely cannot out weigh the Law of the Land.

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