Hendon Labour Party has incurred the wrath of the party’s general secretary by voting for a motion supporting Jeremy Corbyn.
Earlier this week, the Labour’s general secretary, David Evans, wrote to chairs of all Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), saying votes of this nature are “out of order”.
This comes after Jeremy Corbyn was asked to “unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation apologise” for claiming antisemitism had been “dramatically overstated”, after the publication of the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report into Jew-hatred.
He was suspended for the remarks, before it was lifted two weeks later, when he clarified it was not “exaggerated” – but Keir Starmer declined to restore the parliamentary whip – much to the anger of his allies.
On Wednesday Hendon CLP said “a motion of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, and calling for the restoration of the Labour whip, was passed with a resounding majority”.
The local party said it “notes with grave concern the decision taken by him [Keir Starmer] to disregard the party’s established rules and processes in relation to Jeremy Corbyn.
“His political decision not to restore the whip to our former leader is an affront to justice and will have the effect of widening divisions within the party”, a statement said.
It adds, Corbyn, “an MP who inspired many, was rightly reinstated” and must have the whip restored “immediately, unequivocally, unambiguously and without reservation”, echoing the chief whip’s comments.
All CLPs and branches have been sent notices that motions on individual cases are not competent business of meetings, and guidance on conducting discussions of the EHRC report and its findings.
Hendon CLP had a well-attended monthly meeting tonight. A fair discussion was held and a motion of solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, and calling for the restoration of the Labour whip, was passed with a resounding majority. Hendon CLP stands in solidarity with @jeremycorbyn. pic.twitter.com/mRE1vTttg6
— Hendon Labour (@HendonLabour) November 25, 2020
Earlier this week, Evans told all CLPs that in wake of the EHRC report, he outlined “what were and were not appropriate topics of discussion for branches”. These include votes that “seek to repudiate the findings of the EHRC”, as well as those relating to “ongoing disciplinary cases”.
He said motions of solitary “are providing a flashpoint” for Labour’s “ability to provide a safe and welcoming space for all members, in particular Jewish members.
“Therefore all motions which touch on these issues will also be ruled out of order”.
Evans also said he had “no desire at all to hamper discussion by our local parties, but until we can improve our culture such restrictions may be required to stay in place.”
A Labour spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken.”
Hendon CLP has been approached for comment.
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