Richard Hill, CLP chair and former candidate, resigns from the Labour Party

JVL Introduction

Skwawkbox posted this with the following introduction:

“The email sent by resigning party chair and recent Labour candidate Richard Hill to Labour ‘leader’ Keir Starmer is powerful, eloquent and pulls no punches – and it will ring true with thousands of disgusted current and former Labour members. It is reposted without further comment, except some added emphases, below.”

Since about half the letter had been put in bold we’re reposting it with all emphasis removed to make for easier reading!

This article was originally published by Skwawkbox on Sat 7 Aug 2021. Read the original here.

Chair of Colchester CLP, recent candidate, quits post and party – and writes to ’empty’ Starmer to tell him why he’s to blame

From: Richard Hill
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2021 at 17:07
Subject: Resignation from the Labour Party
To: <[email protected]>

Dear Keir,

I am writing to inform you of my decision to resign as Chair of Colchester constituency Labour Party and as a member of the Labour party. As one of over 100,000 people to leave under your tenure I doubt my decision will give you pause for thought but I write anyway as after donating thousands of hours of my time over the last 5 years I feel I have enough skin in the game to express my immense disappointment in you. Your pitch to members was unity, authority and integrity. You are certainly an authoritarian. Unity and integrity seem to be sadly lacking. I’ve never wanted one faction to control our party, I value respect, plurality, robust debate and consensus-building. These are values I’m not sure we share.

Another of your strengths that was lauded in the leadership campaign was your “electability”. That’s a meaningless notion in my view, and certainly not true in your case. You are 10 points behind an utterly corrupt and incompetent government that has decimated public services over the last 11 years. In recent elections the Labour vote has tanked, Hartlepool, Chesham & Amersham and the loss of 300 council seats aren’t indicators of “electability”, quite the opposite. The sight of you crowing after Batley & Spen was especially distasteful after Labour scraped a win with a massively reduced majority. Your triumphalism was pure delusion, if the Greens had stood, Labour would have lost.

Perhaps winning elections isn’t what motivates you? It seems that punching left, controlled opposition and narrowing the political discourse matters more. This was not the vision you sold to party members. You promised not to trash previous leaders and to offer radicalism. You have removed the whip without grounds from Jeremy Corbyn and offered no policies whatsoever (barely even stating NHS workers deserve more than a 3% raise simply isn’t good enough). The blueprint for electoral success was written in 2017; a radical manifesto that understood how ordinary people were badly treated by a rigged system and offered a genuine alternative that would serve them better. This saw the largest increase in vote share for Labour since 1945. You have rejected that and played along with a narrative that it wasn’t appealing to voters, this can only be for ideological rather than pragmatic reasons. Young people and left behind communities, those with little power to change things, don’t agree and want and deserve a lot more.

Labour is more than a party, it is a movement. You had half a million people, ready to campaign with you to undo decades of neoliberalism, rebuild our public services and build a better, more equal future. You’ve squandered that goodwill and with it your opportunity to become Prime Minister. I can only conclude you aren’t serious about winning power.

Of all your failings and the endless excuses for them, the worst is giving approval to this criminally inept government’s handling of the pandemic. You could have challenged the obvious incompetence and corruption and maybe save lives but instead chose to “back the government”. Thousands died unnecessarily but you decided it wasn’t the time to challenge their actions for fear of negative Daily Mail headlines. You waved everything through, cowardice dressed as cunning is just weakness.

I think it’s my own bloody-mindedness or idealism that kept me staying a member so long, under FPTP Labour is the only show in town after all. When you paid off Labour staffers in a case in-house lawyers advised you’d win, with the endless delays in publishing the Forde Report, when you lied about Rebecca Long-Bailey sharing an antisemitic trope, withholding the whip from Jeremy Corbyn and the general contempt you seem to hold [for] members. All of these should have been enough to send me packing. I held on in hope of the unity and radical vision you promised.

It is with much sadness that I leave Colchester CLP. The fantastic members are like all across the country demonised and seem an inconvenience to you, this goes against everything the Labour party should be. My comrades aren’t hard left extremists, they’re ordinary, committed people who give their energy and enthusiasm in the hope of a better country and a better world.

They deserve better than your empty rhetoric, endless relaunches and the slide towards irrelevance you are overseeing.

Regards, Richard Hill

Comments (25)

  • Tony says:

    “Your triumphalism was pure delusion, if the Greens had stood, Labour would have lost.”
    A very interesting point and a correct one. The Green Party can do a tremendous amount of damage to the Labour Party. It would not need to pick up many votes to stop Labour winning or even to cost Labour seats that it already holds.
    Progressive voters exist in every constituency. By switching away from the Labour Party, they could do an awful lot of damage. And who could blame them?

  • Linda says:

    Superb letter!

    So sorry that Richard Hill – and thousands more Labour members – have left Labour because AT PRESENT the party isn’t worth supporting.

  • Charlie Taylor says:

    A very powerful statement from Richard – and sadly one that I agree with completely.

  • Javier Farje says:

    He expresses what many people like ms feel about that failed ‘leader’.
    I left the LP last week. It was liberating. As a former refugee and a socialist Jew, Starmer will get a piece of my mind.

  • John Bowley says:

    A fine letter, Richard, but, as you anticipate, empty of everything except animosity towards loyal party members Sir Keir Starmer will not pause for thought, another ability which he seems to lack anyway. Whar a loser.

  • Ray Packham says:

    Exactly why I left, but expressed much more eloquently.

  • “Starmer is not serious about winning power” This comment from Richard Hill is becoming more and more credible. It causes us to speculate what is it that Starmer is serious about? He does not seem to care about winning power for either himself or the Labour Party. So just what can his real agenda be?? Should we consider that he is ,in fact, just a planted weapon of destruction set to demolish the Party from within. This seems to me to be the only rational explanation!

  • Teresa Steele says:

    Wow! To be fair I now believe the whole of democracy is a sham. We have nothing to vote for. Brilliant letter but I fear ‘they’ simply don’t care.

  • Lesley Finlayson says:

    I’m hanging on by a thread, just waiting for the big push. I’m disappointed in Keir Stamers leadership punishing the left instead of unifying the party. It’s really toxic in my borough and I’m embarrassed to say I’m still a member. I’ll hang on for a while as it gives my colleagues an extra vote. I’ve lost heart and will not be giving an more hours treading the streets. In solidarity

  • John Noble says:

    Well said Richard. I doubt any can deduce what Starmer is wedded to except it is clear he does as he is told.

  • James Simpson says:

    Sadly, Mr Hill is doing exactly what Mr Starmer wants him, and any other socialist in the Labour party, to do: leave. The goal of the current leader is to purge the party of anyone who is to the left of mainstream Conservatism in order, presumably, to convince Tory voters and the UK’s almost entirely pro-Tory media that ‘Labour has changed’. Will it work? It did for Mr Blair in 1997 after the Tories had briefly lost favour with enough of those voters. It’s an electoral gamble by a man who has no reason to get elected apart from the act itself.

  • Brian Holland says:

    Beautifully straight to the point and sadly so true. Starmer has killed the Labour Party but he will never kill the Labour movement.

  • Ian Kemp says:

    very sad but it sums up Starmer does it not very clearly. good luck like me we will wait for better days. Maybe in the end a a totally different LP as the present Labour party is destroying itself under starmers so called leadership.

  • Stephen Kearsley says:

    Richard has “hit the nail” firmly on the head. Labour is not only irrelevant under Starmer, it is bankrupt and about to die.

  • Philip Inglesant says:

    If you are “lucky” enough to subscribe on FB to the Tories’ newsfeed (I don’t recommend it) you will find things such as this: “Labour have no plan”.
    Unfortunately for once this is all too true. Starmer’s “plan” is to win the election in 2024. That’s it. No policy. No strategy. No ideas. Just chuck out the left and hope the electorate is fed up with the other lot.

  • Doug says:

    To be fair to Temporary Embarrassment it is rarely that the opposition win a GE, it is more to do with Government losing it
    But enough of the fairness, Red Tories/centrists/New Labour lost 5 million votes and almost bankrupted the party between 97 and 10, this man will finish us if he is not challenged
    Good news is the people behind him will not let him stand, JC came too close, they will put up another plastic Tory glove puppet

  • Alison Allan says:

    Bravo Richard Hill! You spoke for me

  • Stephen says:

    Most of these points are valid, but Starmer’s behaviour is designed to intimidate LW members and convince them to resign by their own volition. This also avoids the party going through a difficult expulsion process which threatens their finances and exposes their integrity. So resigning might be initially satisfying for the individual concerned, but it’s a disaster for the Progressive movement generally. It consolidates the Labour Right’s hold on power by disenfranchising Socialists from internal voting. Since the Labour party is their only realistic hope of power it demotes them to the political fringe permanently, which are ignored by the MSM.

    If these resignations continue, the best the Left can hope for is to vote for other parties as stalking horses to threaten the Labour vote, like Galloway attempted, and Farage successfully did to the Tories to get his way. The dangers of this are obvious, as well as morally dubious.

  • Rosa says:

    With great regret I endorse all that Richard Hill has said. Also hanging on by thread, but can’t quite take the final step of resigning after a lifetime in the Party. Used to be proud of being 100% Socialist (my 4 grandparents were founder members of the ILP). Unthinkable to be anything else other than Labour, but will probably be purged as a self hating antisemitic Jew for having the temerity to support JVL. How can it have come to this?

  • S REZA says:

    It is a sad day for LP.
    Absolutely spot on and 100% agreed wholeheartedly.
    KS should resign. It is clear from the evidence in the public domain that KS is a presstitute.

  • James Dickins says:

    Tony “The Green Party can do a tremendous amount of damage to the Labour Party. It would not need to pick up many votes to stop Labour winning or even to cost Labour seats that it already holds. Progressive voters exist in every constituency. By switching away from the Labour Party, they could do an awful lot of damage.”

    Indeed – but the damage would (will) be only temporary. Once Labour realises it is no longer even a potentially ‘natural party of government’, it will be forced, for its own survival, to enter into an agreement (with PR as the ultimate outcome) with progressives (the Green Party) and sort-of-progressives (though not economically), the Liberal Democrats. I’m afraid there has to be more pain for the left, before there is any chance of real future gain.

  • Jimmy Cooper says:

    Very powerful.
    Unfortunately I fear Richard`s concerns and principles will cut no ice whatsoever with Starmer. A dreadful loss to those who look to the LP for leadership and hope against austerity and attacks on the labour movement.

  • John Bowley says:

    It is really best not to resign from the Labour Party. I appreciate that those with positions in CLPs are vulnerable and are being treated horribly. My CLP secretary has been nastily suspended since last year for no reason. Even if resinstated, she will not resume being secretary. She would be vulnerable, as she says. I do not have the same problem. I am not in any position in my CLP. I will simply hang it out. I have had my membership sub reduced to as little as possible. I will not now give the Party anything more until it changes its ways. I am unlikely to join the heroes who have been expelled. Though it does not bother me. I openly criticise the rotten leadership whenever there is an opportunity. I feel a lot of loyalty to JVL, which I see as the future.

  • Bernard Grant says:

    A very moving letter. Years of doing all the chores to make the LP successful (I don’t need to list the chores), we’ve lost some of our most experienced CLP members because of Starmer. I stayed and vowed to do my best to undermine and get rid of him.
    With a small amount of research, I wrote Starmer’s history since being given a safe LP seat.
    LP Members need to know about Starmer’s history over the past 6+ years, his efforts to get rid of the best Leader we have had and who was a True Socialist.
    He was part of the PLP Coup to get rid of Corbyn and that was after Corbyn had won the Leadership by a huge majority, Starmer became a member of Owen Smith’s campaign team to challenge JC for the Leadership but luckily JC won and even increased his majority.
    It was Starmer that helped to press for the People’s Vote, knowing full well that it was undemorcratic, he nevertheless pressed on, with other anti JC MPs joining in, eventually John McDonnell was persuaded to go along with it, so Corbyn reluctantly gave in, (this gave the MSM including the BBC the ammunition to say JC was unclear on his position), all this cost us hundreds of thousands of natural LP voters, switching to the Tories to get Brexit done and losing us the last election, since then he has spent all his time blaming Corbyn for the loss.
    He took £50.000 from Trevor Chinn a well known Israeli Lobbyist, he sacked Rebecca Long Bailey on a Lie, that she was spreading a Conspiracy Theory, yet there was plenty of evidence that many US States were sending State Troopers (police) to Israel to learn Crowd Controlling Techniques (see link at bottom of comment). He’s doing the same now against Corbyn who hasn’t broken any LP rules and was right about the exaggeration of the numbers of antisemites in the Labour Party.
    Starmer apologised to some of the staff from the Labour Party Headquarters who had purposely Not dealt with AS cases so as to make Corbyn look as if he wasn’t on top of it, yet at the same time, they were suspending Corbyn’ supporters for spurious reasons, they were not funding marginal seats but funding safe seats, he then gave these traitors £600.000 of Members money, against the advice of the LP Lawyers, who said they would have lost in Court. In all this time, he has failed to mention or do anything about the LP Leaked Report on what was happening at LP Headquarters, he’s not published the Forde Report Why???
    No members should support him, we should all work to get rid of him and get a Socialist as our Leader.
    PS, since being Leader, he’s been a One Trick Pony (Covid), he has missed opportunity after opportunity to challenge the Tories, especially on the destruction and privatisation of Our NHS.
    His big promise if he was voted in as Leader, was to unite the Party, he lied, he’s done the complete opposite.
    Here’s the link proving it was not a Conspiracy theory.

  • Bernard Grant says:

    (I’ve also put in a complaint against Starmer.)
    My complaint to the LP, that I made about another LP member!!

    I’ve sent a complaint in to the LP.
    The form asks, who is the person you are complaining about, ‘Kier Starmer’, it goes on, some questions are impossible to answer, obviously because it wasn’t set up so we could complain about the Leader. In the end they accepted the complaint and it will be investigated, I did receive an email saying it would be going before the NEC. be interesting to see what comes of it.
    As evidence, I pasted in my email to Starmer and Ashworth, saying he never answered or said anything about it in public, this is why I’m complaining. I added that I posted it on his Twitter account and his Facebook page, I even used it as replies and as a comment many times.
    Here’s the email I sent to him and Ashworth.
    You are being handed a Golden Opportunity to attack this Pathetic and Nasty Tory Government, yet we hear nothing from you, Why??? Let me help you, this is all researchable.
    Tories, “The NHS is safe in our hands” and “We will never Privatise the NHS”. They Lied, they’ve closed Hospitals, Wards, Beds and A&Es, we are 40k nurses, 20k Dr’s and GPs short.
    In 2018 the NHS paid £9 billion to Privuate Companies to run parts of it and that figure is accelerating year on year. All NHS Dentists are now run by Private Companies and it isn’t free at the point of need, ‘check up, clean and descale, plus one filling £62 (topped up by the NHS) causing hundreds of thousands of poor people to avoid going to the Dentist until they are desperate. GP Surgeries up and down the Country are stopping many treatments, ie chiropody, earwax removal and have now announced another 31, (see link 3) on top of the 17 procedures and treatments that were stopped 2 years ago, (see link 2) with more to come. Why not let the doctors decide, some of these procedures and operations save 10s of thousands from suffering.
    Link 1, is Doctor Bob Gill, who describes how it is being broken up and run down.
    Doctor Bob Gill video.
    Telling you what is happening to our NHS in great detail.

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