19 August 2016: Email received: You should receive your ballot for the Labour leadership election by the end of August, with some of the first ballots arriving next week.
29 August: Email sent: I have not yet received an email ballot. Please will you confirm that I will be sent a vote. The NEC ballot came through without a problem so I know I am properly on your list
30 August: Email received: Thank you for your email. Unfortunately you do not currently hold any status with the Labour Party, and will not be receiving a ballot in the leadership election. […] Thanks for getting in touch.
“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour Group or unit of the Party or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour
candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member, subject to the provisions of part 6.I.2 of the disciplinary rules”.
Under Clause 6.I.2 of party rules you may apply for re-admission but this must be made directly to the National Executive Committee (NEC) for their consideration. Clause 6.I.2 of the Labour Party’s rules states:
“When a person applies for re-admission to the party following an expulsion by the NCC on whatever basis or by automatic exclusion under 2.I.4.A of the membership rules, the application shall be submitted to the NEC for consideration and decision. Such
applications shall not normally be considered by the NEC until a minimum of five years has elapsed. The decision of the NEC shall be binding on the individual concerned and on the CLP relevant to the application.”The NEC will only relax the “five year” exclusion period in what it deems to be exceptional circumstances. Any application to re-join should be sent directly to the Compliance Unit at the Newcastle address given above.
Iain McNicol, General Secretary of The Labour Party
7 September 2016: Email received:
Please find attached the evidence that the NEC panel have used to make their decision to revoke your voting rights in the Leadership Election 2016. It is an exhaustive record of everything which the NEC panel was sent with regards to your case.
All decisions are made by the majority decision of a panel of 3 NEC members – these particular NEC members have been chosen to sit on this panel by the NEC.
The NEC is the governing body of the Labour Party. It is made up of 33 elected members, including the party Leader and Deputy Leader, members of the Shadow Cabinet as well as representatives of Constituencies, Trade Unions, Socialist Societies, the Parliamentary Labour Party and Labour Councillors.
Your original letter will outline if you are eligible for an appeal. Please note, that only full members of the Labour Party have the right to an appeal. If you are eligible and would like to appeal this decision, please submit it in writing to firstname.lastname@example.org within the timeline outlined in your original letter.
Please note, replies to this email are not monitored. If you are not the intended recipient of this information, please delete it and let us know immediately.
The Validation Team.
and more creepily:
7 September 2016: Email sent to Validation, Appeals and Legal:
The Legal Unit advised me that I should reapply for membership and explain why the evidence used to expel me was wrong. The guy said that Appeals deals with other kinds of issues and as the NEC has decided that I should be expelled then Appeals will not deal with that.
He said to apply again for Membership and explain why I do not agree with the decision and therefore why the 5 year rule should not apply, but pointed out that recent support for another political party was the reason given for being expelled – it was actually current support for Left Unity that was given as a reason but I thought there was a message there.
This decision was made without any approach to ask what I had to say about the evidence you have. The evidence used to expel me was historical and I think it was used to expel me as an opportunistic swipe because I was given no right of reply. I believe that the Party knew of my previous Left Unity activity before allowing me to join. In effect I am very disgruntled and frustrated that my time, my CLP members’ time, and your time has been so wasted when we should be fighting the cutbacks, not each other.
The ‘evidence’ used by the NEC to expel me included an article from the Left Unity website:
This page was written in March 2013 when Left Unity was being established and I was indeed the initial organiser in Leicester. The other piece of ‘evidence’ is a Facebook extract dated January 2015 – yes, I was then in Left Unity and organising the Branch, also Chair of the Disputes Committee, and I chaired one National Conference however I left Left Unity in May 2015 and provide evidence of that below in my email exchange with Kate Hudson, Party Leader in May 2015.
When I applied to vote in the Labour Party 2015 Leadership election (which came after I had left LU) I was called by the Guardian who knew about my application to Labour and my link to Left Unity – I can only surmise that their information came from the Labour Party. I applied to join Labour Party at the same time as others in my house after Jeremy Corbyn took the Leadership but my membership application took a lot longer than theirs to be processed. I know that the Chair of the CLP was asked about me, and I surmise that I was being screened before being allowed in.
I was however admitted and have been Oadby & Wigston Branch Chair, Vice-Chair of Harborough CLP, CLP rep on the LCF and observer at the Labour Group. I have been out door knocking a number of times with Willy Bach in the PCC elections, canvassed in the streets on behalf of Labour in the EU elections and attended the count; I have attended a newcomers’ meeting, the East Midlands conference, the Leicester meeting, and had paid for a ticket to Conference which I have now cancelled. I was given a vote in the NEC elections.
My direct debit payment last went out on 22 August 2016. I have cancelled this arrangement now but would be happy to make any necessary back payments. I will sign up for Direct Debit when I have confirmation that my membership has been restored.
What a waste of everyone’s time! If I had been given a right of reply in the first place, all this would have been avoided.