Labour report anonymises disciplinary cases, sparking ‘transparency’ concerns

Labour report anonymises disciplinary cases, sparking ‘transparency’ concerns

EXCLUSIVE: Conference report omitting names of individuals investigated by main disciplinary body sparks scrutiny concerns

Last year's protest against antisemitism outside Labour HQ in central London
Last year's protest against antisemitism outside Labour HQ in central London

Concerns have been raised about transparency in Labour’s complaints process after names were omitted for the first time in recent memory from an annual report of cases heard by Labour’s top disciplinary body.

The report, which is updated each year and published online ahead of Labour Conference, records all cases heard by the National Constitutional Committee in the previous calendar year – including antisemitism.

The report has in the past contained the names of each individual being investigated, their Constituency Labour Party, the specific party rule allegedly breached and the outcome of the investigation.

But unlike in past years, this year’s list has been entirely anonymised, making it impossible to keep track of individual complaints related to antisemitism, including high profile cases.

MP for Ilford North Wes Streeting told Jewish News the omission “seems very irregular and a serious step backwards in terms of transparency, especially when confidence in the complaints process remains low.”

Labour is currently under investigation by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission – making it the second party to be probed by the watchdog after the British National Party.

General Secretary Jennie Formby released statistics earlier this year on disciplinary cases concerning antisemitism, revealing it had received 673 complaints by members between April 2018 and January 2019.

A Labour Party source said: “Following legal advice, the party anonymised cases in the report to ensure we are complying with data protection legislation. The party has to uphold such legal responsibilities and any failure to do so could result in legal action against the party.”

The Data Protection Act 2018, given royal assent in May last year, controls how personal information is used by organisations and the government.

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