A draft model resolution from JVL: “Emergency Motion: Rescind suspension of secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour”. Plus reports of other resolutions adopted on Glyn Secker’s suspension, Labour’s disciplinary procedures, and the need for the urgent implementation of the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report.

JVL has circulated the following model motion:

Emergency Motion: Rescind suspension of secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour

XXX Labour Party branch/CLP is shocked to learn that Glyn Secker, a Unite delegate to Dulwich and West Norwood CLP GC and political officer for Herne Hill branch, has been suspended from the Labour Party on totally unspecific allegations of antisemitism.

This branch/CLP notes that Glyn Secker has long been central to Jews for Justice for Palestinians. He  is secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, an organisation for progressive Jews in the Labour Party. JVL has been forthright in combatting the ongoing rash of unjustified and malicious suspensions; and in particular was active in the successful campaign to get Moshe Machover’s expulsion retracted.

This branch/CLP believes that Glyn Secker’s suspension is in direct violation of the principles of due process and natural justice established by the Chakrabarti Report – still not implemented by the NEC – and that this suspension of a widely respected officer of a Jewish organisation is grossly detrimental to the Labour Party.

This branch/CLP therefore:

  • Calls upon the Head of Disputes, Sam Matthews, to withdraw the suspension notice forthwith.
  • Calls upon the NEC to investigate how such a Notification came to be issued

Passed at Welsh Harp Ward, Brent Central, 8th March:

EMERGENCY MOTION: GLYN SECKER SUSPENSION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CHAKRABARTI REPORT

This branch notes that more than 20 months on from the Report of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, disciplinary measures in response to complaints and charges against members have continued to be implemented in an arbitrary manner without consistent regard to the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report.

The latest example of this is Glyn Secker, a longtime Jewish activist, Executive Committee member and Director of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2009 and Secretary of the organisation Jewish Voice for Labour.

The charges against Glyn are vague: “Allegations that you may have been involved in a breach of Labour Party rules have been brought to the attention of national officers of the Party. These allegations relate to comments made on social media that may be in (sic) anti Semitic and therefore in breach of Labour Party rules.” No evidence has been adduced, and no accuser has been named, but on the basis of this Glyn is under Administrative Suspension, and cannot attend Party meetings or stand for any office.

These sanctions clearly contradict the recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report, as well as being a breach of natural justice. Such procedures would be opposed by any Trades Union.

This branch therefore reiterates its support for the Chakrabarti Report’s recommendations of due process based on natural justice in dealing with complaints against members.

The Report advocates:
• transparency,
• presumption of innocence,
• reliance on fact-based verified evidence,
• reasonable time scales for dealing with cases and for the right of challenge and reply,
• proportionality of disciplinary measures.

We fully support the Chakrabarti Report’s commitment to strengthening a culture of free speech within the party and its desire that complaints are dealt with as far as possible through educational means rather than suspensions and exclusions

We are concerned that the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report is not specifically mentioned in the brief for the Democracy Review.

We call for the new General Secretary and the NEC to reiterate its support for the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti inquiry Report, and its desire to implement them in practice immediately.

We call upon the convenors of the Democracy Review to ensure that there is opportunity within the Democracy Review to:
• examine the role of party structures that deal with disciplinary and compliance matters;
• flesh out the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report and to consider the best ways to put its principles and recommendations into practice.
In the case of Glyn Secker, we call upon the NEC to rescind his suspension immediately.

______________________________

Here dealing specifically with the Chakrabarti Report is a motion passed on 7th March at  St George’s Ward, Islington North

This motion, urging the Labour Party to implement the Chakrabarti report was passed with one absention and no votes against at our branch meeting (St George’s Ward, Islington North). It will hopefully be passed at constituency level in two weeks time.

A lot of individuals, and the Labour Party itself, have suffered from the unjust disciplinary processes. The latest is Glyn Secker, secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour, who was summarily suspended yesterday, without being told what he is supposed to have done wrong apart from a general suggestion of antisemitism on social media (yes, I did say he is an officer of Jewish Voice for Labour), or any evidence being presented or his having a chance to refute it.
I hope other Labour Party branches will be able to follow our example. Please feel free to use this motion as a model.

MOTION ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE CHAKRABARTI REPORT

This branch notes that more than 20 months on from the Report of the Chakrabarti Inquiry, disciplinary measures in response to complaints and charges against members have continued to be implemented in an arbitrary manner without consistent regard to the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report.

INCLP passed a resolution in June 2016 which called for “the NEC to initiate a review of the relevant Labour Party rules and procedures to ensure that there is a fair and transparent process in relation to the expulsion of members from the Party, including a right of appeal, immediately after the report of the Chakrabarti Inquiry. The review should include consideration of the role and procedures of the Compliance Unit.”

This branch reiterates its support for the Chakrabarti Report’s recommendations of due process based on natural justice in dealing with complaints against members. The Report advocates:
• transparency,
• presumption of innocence,
• reliance on fact-based verified evidence,
• reasonable time scales for dealing with cases and for the right of challenge and reply,
• proportionality of disciplinary measures.

We fully support the Chakrabarti Report’s commitment to strengthening a culture of free speech within the party and its desire that complaints are dealt with as far as possible through educational means rather than suspensions and exclusions

We are concerned that the Chakrabarti Inquiry Report is not specifically mentioned in the brief for the Democracy Review.

We call for the new General Secretary and the NEC to reiterate its support for the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti inquiry Report, and its desire to implement them in practice immediately.

We call upon the convenors of the Democracy Review to ensure that there is opportunity within the Democracy Review to:
• examine the role of party structures that deal with disciplinary and compliance matters;
• flesh out the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report and to consider the best ways to put its principles and recommendations into practice.