It was very clear to my legal representative and all my witnesses - all of whom were, or had been, officers of the local Party - that the Hearing had been highly irregular. It had breached Labour Party rules, as well as refusing to allow witnesses in my defence. The NCC Panel Chair refused to allow my solicitor to cross-examine the NEC witness. The Hearing was held in secret with no record of events permitted; my witnesses were routinely and regularly patronised and insulted by the Chair. I even had a digital recorder confiscated by the Chair of the Panel, Peter Mason. In order to ensure transparency, I submitted a Subject Access requesting the Party to disclose:
- all notes made by the Panel Members whether in their own notebooks or as side notes to their copies of the Charges Pack or my Response Document prior to and during the panel hearing.
- all communication between the Chair and members of the Panel and the secretary to the NCC, Jane Shaw.
- minutes of meetings of any body of the NEC when my case was discussed.
- all communications where I am mentioned between officers of the Party, particularly generated by the Legal and Governance Unit.
- all information as to how the NEC through its Regional Office claims it came into possession of a copy of a private email relied upon by the NEC to prosecute the case against me.
To be fair to the Party, a reply to the request was received on the date required by the Data Protection Act. However, none of the above information was provided in the response which is attached below for transparency
The first document I was sent consisted of a series of emails - PG SAR2 Emails - which raise a number of issues.
1. Motion submitted to Rushcliffe CLP by members
There is an email from one of the complainants regarding a motion put to West Bridgford Labour Party, and subsequently to Rushcliffe CLP, in support of me. There is no record here of any response to this correspondence by the Party. The motion can be found here. This motion asks for the matter to be left up to the CLP to resolve - which is what ought to have occurred had the Labour Party Rules been followed in 2016. However, there are two issues here.
2. Hustings for PPC
There is some communication regarding my attendance at the Hustings for PPC and that it was incumbent on me to seek permission. However, the Party Rules make it clear that a suspended member may attend meetings "for the purpose of Ballots". This was stipulated on the very final line of page 2 of my original letter of suspension, as stipulated within Labour Party Disciplinary Rules Clause 6.1.3, there is no mention of subsequent permission being sought or that this rule does not apply when there is a postal ballot. Indeed, the requirements for postal ballots seem to exclude this possibility. I received a personal invite and contacted my Branch Chair, Branch Secretary and Secretary of the Selection Panel. All of whom indicated I was permitted to attend, which I did. Again we see the Party bureaucracy abusing the Party Rules, and making it up as they go along.
I was informed subsequent by Alison Martin that I ought not to have attended the Hustings and would not be permitted to attend the selection Here again the level of malice and breaches of Party Rules is quite staggering. Given the importance of the event, I decided not to bother getting involved in yet another argument with the Party Bureaucracy; I sat in the Balcony but was allowed to enter the hall once the actual vote was taken and Cheryl Pidgeon had been selected.
3. Request by NEC members to lay aside by Exclusion
Document 2 - Documents
This document originally contained 183 pages, This included 16 pages of documents, plus 100 pages I had sent to the Party (and which are all on this site), plus the 70 pages of the Charges Pack which is also on this site. I have only included here the extra 16 pages.