A long, long timeline of bureaucratic inertia, ineptitude and incompetence surrounding the expulsion of a Holocaust denier.
In the summer of 2016, a Labour International member submitted a complaint to the moderators of a FB group, involving antisemitic abuse they had received from another member, ‘X’. Eighteen months later, following an exhaustive and often exhausting effort, that complaint, along with further evidence including praise of Mosley’s Blackshirts at Cable St, and Holocaust denial, culminated in [X]’s suspension and eventual expulsion a year later.
Following the leaking of an internal report on antisemitism entitled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to antisemitism, 2014 – 2019“, now subject of the Forde Inquiry, it transpired that one of the antisemitism cases referenced was Labour International’s complaint against [X] (pages 277-281).
In the light of claims, counter claims and denials surrounding the leaked report, the ongoing issues of antisemitism, the coming EHRC report and the ongoing Forde enquiry, there is a clear and urgent need to keep Labour International and other UKLabour members and supporters as fully and as objectively informed as possible of the facts surrounding the case.
To that end we are publishing a copy of a petition signed by 289 members of Labour International sent to the NEC demanding the expediting of the already overlong process of the case, and a timeline of the events eventually leading to the member’s eventual expulsion.
All referenced facts and events below are a matter of record. All information presented here and on video is fully verifiable and made available to the Forde Inquiry along with any supporting evidence. In concordance with European privacy laws use of full names has been avoided where possible unless a matter of public record, and job functions used rather than the names of the individuals holding them.
The case against [X] including the evidence was published in the LI Newsletter of January 2018. In order to dispel any doubts as to the veracity and magnitude of X’s antisemitism, and why there is no room in the Labour Party for those of X’s ilk, here is an extract illustrating a small sample of the evidence. An enamel receptacle close to hand is strongly advised as this is literally stomach-churning. Please bear in mind that there is further evidence, such as photographs, that won’t be published here in the interests of public decency.
It will come as no surprise that in the light of this compelling evidence the petition was signed by members from across the very broad LI political spectrum.
Timeline of events
Labour International member submits complaint to admins concerning anti-Semitic abuse by another LI member (hereafter ‘X’) in an LI Facebook group. Earlier complaints had reportedly been made in 2015, but group since deleted by admins.
The complainant follows up with further evidence of antisemitism concerning the abusive member.
| November 4|
LI Facebook admins email the CLP Secretary copying in NEC Representatives concerning X.
Evidence submitted to Head of Disputes at Labour Party HQ which includes Holocaust denial and praise for Nazis from X.
CLP Secretary follows case up with NEC Representative.
| December 11|
CLP Secretary emails NEC asking why 12 members are suspended but the Holocaust denier X is not included.
CLP Secretary requests update on the LI complaint.
Labour Disputes Unit responds there is “no proof that the Holocaust denier [X] is a named party member”
Additional evidence submitted confirming identity of member X.
Labour Party responds to enquiry that the evidence has been lost and requests resubmission of evidence. Labour International Executive
| September 28|
Further proof of Holocaust denier identity submitted to NEC Representative.
Original complainant issues further complaint that no action taken
“for two years”
Disputes Unit advises NEC Representative they have not had sufficient time to deal with the complaint.
|December 13 |
NEC Representative sends reminder to Disputes Unit that complaint had gone unanswered
LI submit petition with 289 signature from LI members to the General Secretary and NEC pursuing an update on suspension proceedings.
Iain McNicol resigns as General Secretary of Labour Party.
[X] finally suspended
[X] expelled by NCC
In total, between August 2016 and February 2018, an 18 month period, the case of [X] was raised directly with Head of Disputes twelve times, with the Governance and Legal Director four times and with other GLU staff four times, as well as being forwarded from “Legal Queries” to the appropriate inbox for action (“Validation” and then “Disputes”) five times. It also went directly to the General Secretary twice.
The petition demanding action on the case is reproduced here, along with the accompanying letter and a selection of comments submitted by signatories. The signed petition was circulated on 11th of January 2018 and submitted to the Labour Party on the 15th of February that year.
Selection of comments submitted by LI signatories to the petition
- “I’m really shocked at the lack of speed which this has been dealt with, especially with allegations of antisemitism being something that is thrown at the party so often, it’s truly astounding it would take more than 2 years for this to be properly resolved.”
- ” ‘Tis odd how long this process of investigation of a potentially serious situation is taking to get started”
- “Deeply distressed by the delay in dealing with this serious case.”
- “It is over a year since this complaint was first made.”
- “These delays are really unacceptable and discredit our party.”
- “There can be no place in the Labour Party for a holocaust denier.”
- “Given some of the other suspensions that have been handed out, some of them for very silly (and blatantly political) reasons, it’s incredible nothing has been done about this”.
Opinion: In spite of the negatives of this unpleasant affair, we believe there is a positive and fundamental lesson to be learned from our experience.
Firstly, the fight against racism of any kind, anywhere, isn’t won by leaving it to bureaucrats; it is won by ordinary people working persistently and collectively to make sure there is no place for discrimination or hatred in our CLP, Party, or anywhere else in society.
Secondly, it shows simple actions like the oft-derided humble petition have got a lot more mileage in them yet.
To be continued…