We are dismayed that our friend and colleague Glyn Secker, has been suspended from membership of the Labour Party without being told of any specific allegations against him. Glyn is an Executive Committee member of Jews for Justice for Palestinians, was captain of the Jewish Boat to Gaza in 2009, and is Secretary of Jewish Voice for Labour.
Here are the charges against Glyn: “Allegations that you may have been involved in a breach of Labour Party rules have been brought to the attention of national officers of the Party. These allegations relate to comments made on social media that may be in (sic) anti Semitic and therefore in breach of Labour Party rules.” No accuser is known, the charge is appallingly vague, and no evidence is produced.
In respect of allegations of misconduct, the Shami Chakrabarti Inquiry report states “It is also important that the procedures explain that those in respect of whom allegations have been made are clearly informed of the allegation(s) made against them, their factual basis and the identity of the complainant – unless there are good reasons not to do so (e.g. to protect the identity of the complainant).” This recommendation does no more than follow the principle of natural justice. Even though the Labour Party accepted the Chakrabarti report, it has clearly not implemented it.
It is an abuse of power to use what amounts to smear and innuendo, and unsubstantiated allegations of antisemitism, to persecute active members of the left on the merest say-so of those who oppose their political beliefs. The Labour Party must now either inform Glyn of the ”factual basis” of the allegations or withdraw his suspension and issue an apology.
We call on our signatories who are Labour Party members to move motions of censure in their branches and CLPs, and to e-mail the Private Secretary to the Shadow Chancellor, Madeleine Williams; the Head of Disputes, Sam Matthews; and the Head of Complaints, Sophie Goodyear.
E-mail addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org
Addendum February 12.
A victory. Five days after suspending him, the Labour Party lifted his suspension. In a graceless, bureaucratic letter, Sam Matthews, Labour’s Head of Disputes “lifted” Glyn’s suspension. There was neither apology nor even a hint of what Glyn was supposed to have said on social media. Nevertheless, this is a victory for all those who protested against Glyn’s suspension. Let us hope the speed of the climb-down indicates the end of the Labour Party trying to use unsubstantiated allegations of antisemitism to intimidate opponents of Israeli policies.