Solidarity with Howard Beckett! Statement and model motion

Joint statement by Labour Against the Witchhunt, Labour Left Alliance, Labour in Exile Network, Rotherham Labour Left and Sheffield Labour Left. To add your organisation’s name, please email info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org

Solidarity with Howard Beckett!
Nominate him in the UNITE general secretary elections!

Of course Howard Beckett was not being racist when he sarcastically wrote that Priti Patel should be deported instead of the hundreds of people who are being sent back every year into war zones, poverty and abject misery. He was tweeting during the ongoing attempts in Glasgow to deport two Indian men on “immigration offenses”, who were later released after hundreds of protestors blocked the van (fantastic video here). 

He wrote: “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees. She can go along with anyone else who supports institutional racism. She is disgusting.”

It is clear that Beckett was in fact criticising the racism of Priti Patel, who we should remember, had to resign once before because of her attempts to schmooze various Israeli dignitaries. He later clarified that, of course, “No one should be deported”. It clearly takes a lot of bad will to purposefully misinterpret his sarcastic tweet as supporting deportations or being racist.

Beckett is the latest victim of the witch-hunt against the left in the Labour Party, which has spread into wider society. Just like Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and many hundreds who have wrongly been branded antisemites, Beckett is being misrepresented as a racist by those who really could not care less about fighting against antisemitism or racism.

This shows that Beckett is becoming a threat to the Labour establishment, because he is leading the race to replace Len McCluskey as leader of the powerful UNITE union. All the more reason to to go all out and support his campaign to get onto the ballot paper. 


Model motion:

This branch/CLP notes 

  • The suspension of Howard Beckett from the Labour Party over a quickly-deleted tweet that read: “Priti Patel should be deported, not refugees. She can go along with anyone else who supports institutional racism. She is disgusting.”

This branch/CLP believes

  • Howard Beckett was not being racist when he sarcastically wrote that Priti Patel should be deported instead of the hundreds of people who are being sent back every year into war zones, poverty and abject misery. 
  • Beckett was clearly criticising the racism of Priti Patel.
  • Beckett is becoming a threat to the Labour establishment, because he is leading the race to replace Len McCluskey as leader of the powerful UNITE union.
  • Just like Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein, Marc Wadsworth, Chris Williamson and many hundreds have wrongly been branded antisemites, Beckett has been wilfully misinterpreted as a racist by those who really could not care less about fighting against antisemitism or racism.

This branch/CLP demands:

  • Howard Beckett must be immediately restored as a full member of the Labour Party and Keir Starmer and David Evans should issue an apology to him. 
  • All those who were summarily expelled or suspended in the witch-hunt against the left should be immediately reinstated, pending an independent investigation. The whip must be restored to Jeremy Corbyn.
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