A main theme of this set of pages is to tell the story of my experience of the Labour Party National Constitutional Committee (NCC). Having been a committed member of the Labour Party for 25 years, I was shocked in 2016 to find myself in the middle of a witch-hunt by a very tiny number of local members who colluded with regional officials and who it seemed to me were disgruntled at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership victory and the democratisation of the party, and the threat they felt this posed to the their own positions in the Party. This was a stance I presumed was shared with officers of the East Midlands Regional Office and members of the NCC. Having been a member, albeit rather inactive, for over 20 years, I was shocked at the corruption, dissembling, fabrication, lies, distortions that passed as normal practice within the office of Disputes
I am of course by far and away not the first and only victim of purges and witch-hunts in the Labour Party. This has now become the standard way the right of the Labour Party strives to maintain its power rather through democratic debate. This website does not make comfortable reading. I initially delayed publishing this in order to give the Party an opportunity to rethink. However all communication with both General Secretaries failed to move us forward. I have produced a leaflet for distribution to Party members (see below). To read the full background to the case, go to Fabricated Allegations. To leave a message of support go to Contact Peter.
On 12th April 2020 the internal Labour Party report titled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019” was leaked to the press. In this report is a jaw-dropping condemnation of many of the senior Labour Party officials named in my case for the disgraceful way they acted to oppose the Leader of the Party. Indeed my own case covers three pages of the 800+ pages (pps. 318-320). Here is a brief response to the pages that refer to me, which I recognise is a breach of the Data Protection Act by the Labour Party. I have now received an apology from the Labour Party for the breach of data protection.
There are three pages in the Labour Party report which refer to me, (see below) so I feel a public response is in order. My single case, seems intended to show that the Governance and Legal Unit (GLU) was not influenced by communications from Jeremy Corbyn (LOTO). A very strange logic. The specific pages are 318-320. All of the specifics of the events in this extract are covered in detail in my full response to the false allegations and charges made against me. Let me make it clear (as politicians say), all allegations that were made against me were proven in my response document and at my hearing to be completely false and without any foundation. The Party, and in particular Gordon Pattison, the East Midlands Regional Director at the time, undertook no investigation whatsoever. At my hearing they produced no evidence whatsoever because “we didn’t think we had to”. Hence the claim there was bullying is simply a lie. The only person bullied was myself, by the Legal and Governance Unit. What they did do was stall for months, and months – and eventually, two years. This of course kept me out of party meetings and office. This appears to have been no oversight, but was a deliberate strategy and as the LP report says on pages 14-15, a lack of response was institutionalised behaviour for GLU. This was exactly my experience, and I know of most other “purged” members. Months and months would pass with no communication from the GLU, and in particular from the Head of Disputes.
After 6 months, I had still not been told why I had been suspended, and was naturally pushing for some action. I was paying Labour Party subscriptions for all the two years I was suspended. After giving up trying to get a sensible response from GLU, I tried contacting the General Secretary Iain McNicol, John Stolliday, Emilie Oldknow and Mike Creighton, members of the NEC, and after months of getting nowhere, I contacted Jeremy Corbyn’s office. I had no idea until I saw this report on 12th April 2020 that Jeremy has actually tried to get GLU to explore the problem. The report suggests, ten months after being by suspended by John Stoliday, that the reasons for my suspension were made clear to me in the investigatory interview and that the East Midlands Regional Office would have been in constant communication with me about the case. This is a complete and blatant untruth, either by John Stolliday or Regional Director Gordon Pattison, or both. Gordon Pattison always refused to tell me why I was suspended, and refused to engage with me. My personal experience of the Governance and Legal Unit is they institutionalised deceit and lying, refused to provide information when reasonably asked, failed to investigate what turned out to be false allegations, refused to allow women members to act as witnesses against claims of misogyny. In short, they acted as a law unto themselves, answerable to no-one. The full litany of transgressions is provided in full in my response on this site by clicking on the links above. I stress I am small fry in this whole sorry business, yet my experience, which mirrors that of very many others, is testimony to the factionalism that festered deep within the bowels of the senior levels of Labour Party staff.
Other Cases of Labour Party Injustice
The number of cases of Labour Party witchcraft against socialists goes on and on. Chris Williamson, Jacky Walker, Marc Wadsworth, Ken Livingston, and now, disgracefully, Jeremy Corbyn. I am in good company. You can find out about many cases of injustice withing the Labour Party by looking at the website “Labour Party Shadow NEC“.
On this page I provide details of three cases within the Labour Party that have been sent to me for inclusion.
- Ian Townson. Ian can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Berkeley. Dave runs a blog on which he has posted details of his situation in the South West Region.
- George Wilmers. The case of George Wilmers, beggars belief – as so many of the cases instigated by the Labour Party Compliance Unit. You can read of his case on the JVL website here
The Labour Party turns its back on justice
Two years after being excluded for two years, I decided to re-apply to join the Party. I applied to rejoin the Party on 20 June 2020 and with my application included letters of support from: Rushcliffe CLP Chair, the Leader of the Labour Group on Rushcliffe Borough Council, Rushcliffe PPC in the 2017 and 2019 General Elections, a previous Chair of West Bridgford Branch, and a previous BAME coordinator. After a couple of weeks I received a letter welcoming me back to the Labour Party. However shortly after, I received the email below from the Legal and Governance Unit informing me that because I had disagreed with the decision to exclude me, and continued to argue my innocence, I had “demonstrated a contemptuous non acceptance of the Labour Party’s constitution, rules and procedures.” Furthermore, in making people aware of the case by presenting evidence I had “a damaging effect on the Party“.
That the Party is prepared to accuse me of being “contemptuous” when I was merely demonstrating my innocence and when I had offered to return to support the Party and let us all move on, indicates to me that institutionally the Labour Party takes a cavalier attitude to justice, honesty and decency. The Party’s response is petty, small minded and fails to recognise who the real enemy of socialism is; the party does really do need to get a grip. Yet it was worse than that. I had already likened the process of suspension and exclusion to Joseph K’s experience in The Trial; it was truly Kafkaesque. Now we see this shifting into Orwellian territory where demonstrating one’s innocence against Big Brothers fanciful fabrications is itself a crime.
Consequently and sadly, I have reached the conclusion that I have no alternative but to withdraw my application for membership and effectively resign from the Labour Party forthwith in order to spend more time fighting for socialism. As someone who joined in 1994 (inspired at that time by Tony Blair), and who has dedicated very many hours to the Labour Party, I am sure everyone can understand how difficult that decision has been. I have made same every good friends in that time. I feel very humbled by all those people in the party locally and nationally who have supported me throughout the past four years in very many ways. They have shown the true meaning of socialism and solidarity, and have indicated they will continue to do so.
However, I have been treated with utter contempt by The Labour Party for four years, and now faced the allegation that by demonstrating my innocence I am contemptuous. That really is deep into Stalinist territory. I now really have no other option but to part company. I really will not accept being treated that way. Like most honest socialists, I consider that I am indeed doing the Labour Party a favour by signing up to it. They should be biting my hand off. I will however be prepared to reconsider that decision but would require a full and public apology from the Labour Party over the “contemptuous” way it has treated me over these past four years. That door is still open to the Labour Party.
I wish good luck to all those socialists who are staying inside the party; you will have my support. However, that is not something I am prepared to do. After 26 years I am leaving the Labour Party to spend more time getting involved in socialist politics. In some ways the Party is correct. I do respond with contempt – contempt for Keir Starmer’s decision to apologise and pay compensation to some of those very people who were prepared to countenance lies, distortions and fabrications in order to remove socialists from the Labour Party, and lose us the 2017 General Election.