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!
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Solidarity with Howard Beckett! Nominate him in the UNITE general secretary elections!
This is a model motion of no confidence in Keir Starmer suggested by Socialist Appeal – click here (the motion is at the foot of the article).
Model Motion: No confidence in Keir Starmer
This CLP believes that the election result in Hartlepool is a disaster for our party. Instead of winning back voters in key working-class areas, we are losing further seats to the Tories.
This CLP believes that this is the result of the rightward turn taken under Keir Starmer’s leadership: abandoning class-based policies, and instead resorting to flag-waving and appeals to big business.
Instead of attacking the Tories, Keir Starmer has spent more time attacking grassroots members, with unjust suspensions and suppression of members’ democratic rights.
For all these reasons, this CLP declares that it has no confidence in Keir Starmer. We call on him to stand down immediately, and for a leadership contest to be set in motion – so that the membership can elect a new leadership that will fight the Tories on the basis of a bold socialist programme.