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Discussion not suspension

“This CLP expresses no confidence in Keir Starmer as leader and David Evans as general secretary”.

Where local Labour Parties have meetings in December and early January, this looks like the best format for motions.

Mostly local Labour Parties have deliberately avoided going against the rule issued by Jennie Formby as general secretary in March 2019 barring us from debating motions on disciplinary cases. In mid-November, anyway, local Labour Parties were told we could however debate motions on restoring the whip; but now those too are banned.

Those bans are wrong. One way of fighting them would be to have such a big wave of CLPs passing motions which break those bans that they become unworkable. Young Labour has tweeted about restoring the whip, been instructed to take down the tweet, and refused without incurring disciplinary action so far.

So far, however, the Labour leadership has responded by suspending selectively, a few rather than the “thousands and thousands” it has threatened. And, since many Labour Parties do not meet in December, going for a wave of motions openly defying the ban looks likely just to get left-wingers picked off, rather than to overwhelm the ban.

“No confidence” motions express the message as sharply or more so, and it will be very difficult to ban them.

The “no confidence” motions must be coupled with other motions recognising the shameful verdict of the EHRC inquiry and calling for a political offensive against antisemitism in the Labour Party. We want a political offensive against antisemitism; but we want it to be a political drive, with disciplinary measures secondary and for clear-cut cases. The current suspension-mania sends no clear political message other than a denial of democracy.

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