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Keir Starmer’s Direct Political Interference is Unacceptable – Labour NEC members demand the whip is restored to Jeremy Corbyn

“The decision of the Leader to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn is an act of deliberate political interference in the handling of a complaint. It defies the decision of the NEC panel, is a matter of double jeopardy that flies in the face of natural justice, undermines the Rule Book & is precisely the type of action found to be unlawful indirect discrimination by the EHRC report.”

By the Labour Outlook Volunteer Team

13 members of Labour’s NEC – representing CLPs, trade unions, disabled members and young members – have written to Labour Party General Secretary David Evans expressing their opposition to the decision to withdraw the whip from Jeremy Corbyn.

In terms of due process, they argue that “As with all other cases considered by the Dispute Panels, as soon as the panel’s decisions have been ratified as per the agreed process, Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension was required to be immediately lifted,” and that therefore “Any consequence of the suspension, namely the suspension of the whip, was of course to immediately fall away as a consequence of the NEC panel decision.”

The strongly worded letter goes on to say that “The decision of the Leader the following day to withhold the whip from Jeremy Corbyn MP is an act of deliberate political interference in the handling of a complaint,” adding that “It defies the decision of the NEC panel, is a matter of double jeopardy that flies in the face of natural justice, it undermines the Rule Book and it is precisely the type of action found to be unlawful indirect discrimination by the EHRC report.”

This decision is attack on our whole Party including the NEC, and in this regard the signatories add that it  “is an unacceptable attack on the lay volunteers elected to uphold the Rule Book, it is direct political interference and it is unacceptable.“

They conclude with the clear demands that “As members of the NEC with responsibility to uphold the Rule Book we require confirmation that the General Secretary will now write to the Leader of the Party to admonish him for interfering in the NEC processes, for levelling public criticism intended to undermine confidence in the dispute process and for taking a decision that is directly contradictory to the NEC Panel decision. The General Secretary must demand that the Leader upholds the decision of the Dispute’s panel and immediately reinstates the whip to Jeremy Corbyn MP.”

We must now urge all NEC members to speak up and collectively continue to oppose this undermining of our Party’s rule book.

  • The signatures to the letter were
  1. Howard Beckett
  2. Jayne Taylor
  3. Ian Murray
  4. Andi Fox
    Mick Whelan
  5. Andy Kerr
  6. Pauline McCarthy
  7. Ellen Morrison
  8. Lara McNeill
  9. Mish Rahman
  10. Laura Pidcock
  11. Yasmine Dar
  12. Nadia Jama
  13. Gemma Bolton

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