Following the leaking, over the weekend, of an internal party report, Labour members are extremely concerned at the revelations that senior party officials were engaged in organised attempts to undermine both the 2017 general election campaign and the party’s disciplinary processes, all the while smearing and bullying those working in good faith towards the election of a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister.
Keir Starmer must now take the lead, that he promised to take during his leadership campaign, in dealing with racism and bullying within the party, and to implement without delay the demands made by the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs, whose statement (reproduced below) we fully endorse. While it is positive that he and Angela Rayner have announced an inquiry, it is a matter of concern that the remit focuses disproportionately on how the report came to be compiled and eventually leaked, rather than on its troubling contents. Whoever released the report should be treated as a whistleblower, and afforded whatever protection is required. It is also worrying that Starmer and Rayner did not consult the NEC or its officers before making their announcement.
Considering the seriousness of the revelations, and the senior labour movement positions still held by several of those named, they should surely be subject to administrative suspension from the party, pending a full disciplinary investigation of their apparent role in working against the stated aims of the party, and/or their involvement in what looks like bullying behaviour. Given the party’s previous swift action against ordinary members accused of serious contravention of the rules, such a robust approach would be no more than consistent.
The Welsh Labour Grassroots Steering Committee will be meeting online this weekend to discuss this matter, and our response, in greater detail, as well as considering wider questions facing the left in the post-Corbyn era. We will report back to WLG members on our conclusions.
Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs Statement.
In light of the recent revelations about senior officials undermining the 2017 GE campaign, we, as members of the socialist campaign group of Labour MPs, making the following demands
We express our solidarity with Labour volunteers who give up their spare time to fight for a better society and to get a Labour government.
We believe people must stay and fight for a Labour government, organise to defend our socialist manifesto and push for action.