In May 2020 Keir Starmer asked the barrister Martin Forde to investigate an explosive leaked Labour Party report which included outrageous allegations of racism, hyper-factionalism and even electoral sabotage by party officials. It also seemed to show how the Corbyn leadership tried to appease the right, leading for example to the expulsion of Jackie Walker and the resignations of Chris Williamson and Ken Livingstone.
But over a year later the Forde Inquiry still hasn’t reported. Many people believe Forde’s findings are being suppressed because the party’s leadership wants to bury the truth. But we’re not going to let that happen.
That’s why we held the “Not The Forde Inquiry”, to give people the chance to say in public what they would have told the inquiry if they’d had the chance.
Testifying to the inquiry were:
Greg Hadfield and many many more
The inquiry also heard a special message from film director Ken Loach
Anyone who wants to put a question or comment to the inquiry can email it to us on email@example.com or just do it in person on the day. Whistleblowers are particularly welcome!
This motion has been drafted as a model motion to go to Labour Party conference 2021, but it can be tweaked for other purposes. Please note that this has to go through your branch first, then your CLP and needs to be submitted to the NEC by September 13 in order to be heard at Labour Party conference. Remember that a CLP can either submit a rule change (which needs to be submitted by June 11) or a ‘contemporary’ motion like this one.
1. We note
1.1. That the ‘working definition’ published by the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) has been rejected by numerous legal practitioners and academic scholars , because it conflates anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism and has been used to ‘chill’ freedom of speech on campuses.
Please move this in your CLP asap – the deadline for rule changes to be received by the Labour Party is June 11. Please remember that you need to send all motions to your CLP secretary in advance of the meeting (one or two weeks).
Almost 1,500 people have been involved in Labour In Exile’s first fightback meeting on Saturday 27 March.
More than 550 people registered for our Zoom meeting and the rest watched via Facebook, many of them live. You can watch the video below. People from across the country, including comrades who have been expelled and suspended as well as many still in the Labour Party, spoke about their opposition to the assault on democracy by the current leadership.
In the first part of the meeting we heard reports about how comrades are carrying on the struggle for socialism and free speech by setting up “shadow” or “ghost” CLPs. The second part of the meeting saw the launch of eight fightback working groups. These will tackle everything from transforming the Labour Party and analysing the witch-hunt to engaging with the media and the weaponisation of antisemitism.
As part of the fight-back against the witch-hunt of socialists from the Labour Party, LIEN is conducting a survey of all members of the network in order to determine the extent of the number of suspensions, resignations and expulsions since 2015 when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader. By building up a detailed picture of the mass purge we will be in a stronger position to take counter-action, including legal action if necessary. The more members who participate, the greater will be the weight of the outcomes, so your cooperation in this survey will be much appreciated.
Watch this powerful testimony by Benjamin Davy, suspended member from Plymouth CLP, who explains why he has become involved in the Labour in Exile Network. There are many more comrades who feel similarly and we have already posted some of them on our website here – please send us your video and/or short article!
This is the text of a speech given by GRAHAM BASH at a meeting “The Labour Party, Free Speech and Democracy” held on Saturday 30 January 2021. Graham Bash has been a Labour Party member for 52 years, and is the political officer for Jewish Voice for Labour. Graham speaks in a personal capacity about how the Left should respond to the current attack on free speech in the Labour Party.
I want to make two basic points:
First, this attack on free speech is unprecedented in my lifetime.
Secondly, although we are facing and fighting this attack primarily in the Labour Party, it is an issue that goes well beyond the Labour Party.
TO THE LEADER AND THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OF THE LABOUR PARTY
We the undersigned members of the Labour Party demand:
• the restoration of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn;
• the reinstatement of all Labour Party members wrongly suspended or expelled since the appointment of the current general secretary;
• a review of all previous suspensions and expulsions imposed during the previous leadership;
• a root and branch reform of the deeply flawed complaints and disciplinary processes of the party;
• and an immediate restoration of the right of constituency parties to freely discuss and pass motions on political issues as they see fit.
Until these demands are met we will pursue a policy of non-cooperation with the party’s general secretary, regional officials and the governance and legal unit, and we will absolutely refuse to comply with any advice, guidance or instructions from any of the above which we consider unfair and discriminatory.
As members of the labour movement we are taking immediate, collective action in solidarity with our comrades who have been unfairly punished.
We are a new kind of non-geographical Constituency Labour Party (modeled on the Labour International CLP), for all those who no longer feel that they are welcome in the Labour Party.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of people have been suspended or expelled from the Labour Party. It began under Jeremy Corbyn with the fake ‘anti-Semitism’ campaign whose aim was to protect the Israeli state from criticism.
ACTIVITY. Thus far we’ve had 30 responses. The respondents are predominantly from the south of England (73%) with no representation from East Midlands, Wales or Scotland. The vast bulk of them (60%) were 2015 joiners/rejoinders who became very active members (86%) with about 50% having held positions of office or who had been delegates.
INVESTIGATION AND JUDGEMENT. Currently 63 % (19/30) are or have been under investigation, mostly from 2018 onwards and peaking in 2020, with 15 suspended, three expelled and three resigned. In total 19 of the 30 respondents had been suspended or disciplined in some manner. Of these 12 held positions of office or where delegates. By far the largest category of “charge” was under Chapter 2, clause 1.8 of the Rule Book. None of the recent cases were given an NCC hearing.
IMPACT. About 21% (four of the 19 respondents suspended or expelled) were contacted by journalists. In terms of the effect of mental health, there are two distinct groups. About 30% did not experience ill effects, but about 55% experienced serious mental health effects. Eight of the 19 respondents suspended or expelled made SAR requests, but only one received a response.
FUTURE. Most respondents who haven’t been expelled or resigned are planning to remain. The most popular left groupings are LLA and Momentum. Of those who have been expelled or resigned three have joined other organisations. The respondents are divided on whether there is a future for socialists in the LP, with 33% YES but 50% ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Didn’t say’. There is considerable uncertainty about whether there is a need for a new party, with more that 70% ‘Don’t know’ or ‘Didn’t say’.
PART III: CLP Membership and Activity
III.1 CLPs (30 responses). See Figure 1.
South East: Brighton Kemptown (1), Chesham and Amersham (1), Chichester (1), North Thanet (2), South Thanet (3), Rochester & Stroud (1), E Worthing and Shoreham (1).
South West: Bristol North West (1), Central Devon (1), Exeter (1), Plymouth Moor View (1), South West Wiltshire (2), Weston-super-Mare (1). London: Cities of London and Westminster (1), Greenwich (1), Hampstead and Kilburn (1), Streatham (1). North West: Burnley (1), Cheadle (1). East: Cambridge (2), Saffron Walsden. West Midlands: Coventry North East (1). Yorkshire and Humberside : Keighley and Ilkley (1). North East: Sunderland Central (1).
Figure 1: Respondent CLP by Region
III.2 YEAR JOINED (30 responses, Figure 2).
Figure 2: Respondents by year of joining.
III.3 POSITIONS HELD (30 responses, Figure 3).
Figure 3: Respondent by position held within CLP.
III.4 ATTENDANCE (30 responses, Figure 4).
Figure 4: Percentage of respondent by frequency of attendance.
Monthly 83% (25/30), Quarterly 13% (4/30), less than once a year 3% (1/30).
PART IV: INVESTIGATION
IV.1 UNDER INVESTIGATION? (30 responses, Figure 5a and 5b).
Figure 5a: Percentage of respondents under investigation.
YES 63% (19/30), NO 37% (21/30).
Figure 5b: Cross-tabulation of respondent under investigation by position held within CLP.