AS Luciana Berger, who stood for the Liberal Democrats in the 2019 General Election, is welcomed back to the Labour Party, Skwawkbox has revealed the content of an email being sent to constituency Labour Parties (CLPs).
The email reminds constituency parties that, under the rules, any organisation affiliated to the national party has the right to affiliate at local level and constituency parties must accept them. However, according to Skwawkbox, the email continues:
“The following affiliations are therefore no longer valid and the CLP may not renew its affiliation without approval from the NEC. To do so would breach party rules.” It then lists a number of organisations including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Stop the War Coalition, London Irish Abortion Rights Campaign, Jewish Voice for Labour, All African Women’s Group, Health Campaigns Together and Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Campaign.
Whilst it is no surprise to see Sir Keir turning the screw on the left, when you look at the list of groups, these are organisations that no previous leader would have found a problem with. How can a so-called social democratic party be against a campaign for nuclear disarmament? Are they now saying that Labour is for nuclear war? And where are the voices of Labour’s Left expressing their outrage? Perhaps the Campaign Group (How long before they are forced to change that name to something more modern like the Meaningless Memo Group?) will hold a meeting, issue a strongly-worded memo and risk losing the whip. Don’t count on it.
Meanwhile whilst the party is quick to point out the rules as far as supporting peace, Palestine or principles of any kind is concerned, they seem to take a different view regarding Rule 4b. This rule states that if you join or support another organisation you cannot be a member of the Party. That is unequivocal.
Luciana Berger, who left to form Change UK in order to stand against the Labour Party in 2019, has received a grovelling ‘apology’ from Sir Keir as she, having failed as a Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate in 2019, has decided that she can now return. In the letters which were leaked by Sir Keir’s office (though leaked is a bit strong for a well-planned and executed set up) Sir Keir says, “Before you were forced out of the party, you were an outstanding Member of Parliament.”
This will come as a surprise to members of Wavertree Labour Party, as Berger was imposed upon them in 2010, with allegations from local MP Peter Kilfoyle that it was a stitch-up. But what will frustrate many is that the party appears to have one rule for friends of Sir Keir and another for local activists. Rule 4b has been cited in cases which amounted to no more than liking a tweet by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party. If the party treats its own rules in such a cavalier fashion, then we are bound to ask how can they assume the mantle of the governing party of the UK with the responsibility to apply the laws of the land in a fair and consistent manner?