Today, Left Legal Fighting Fund won a major victory against the Labour Party in the High Court. The Party suffered a double defeat and the judge awarded costs to our side.
This was an important first step in a wider legal battle.
The Fund is supporting an ongoing group claim against the Party by grassroots members who have been unfairly suspended for lengthy periods of time.
Today, their legal team successfully added two additional claimants to the existing six, who filed their court claim last December.
The Fund was initially supporting the joinder of five additional claimants: Alma Yaniv, Ayfer Orhan, David Watson, Gavin Johnston and Sameh Habeeb.
However, after their cases were left unresolved for years, the Party exonerated Ayfer, David and Gavin at the eleventh-hour with no case to answer. This meant that their three cases no longer needed to be brought before the court.
The Party had sought to deny Alma and Sameh from joining the group claim. But the judge said that would cause ‘a duplication of costs and a duplication of decision’ and that it was ‘desirable’ for all the claimants ‘to be heard together’.
Labour’s legal team also asked the judge to grant the Party a ‘preliminary issue trial’ in order to determine whether the court was even entitled to intervene in its disciplinary proceedings. The judge rejected that plea, as it would have driven up costs and caused delays.
In just two weeks, the Party has incurred costs of over £75,000 in respect of its own lawyers, and for the claimants in this hearing.
Instead of needlessly pursuing this costly hearing, the Party could have used that money on issues that matter to its members.
The full hearing will be listed later this year at the High Court.
Whenever the Fighting Fund wins back costs, they are always reinvest to support others. Its work is not done yet.
The current court action has the potential to set a new legal precedent about how Labour treats its members.
The Fund has proven that if we stand together and fight back, we can win.
Left Legal Fighting Fund relies on donations. Click ttp://www.fightingfund.org/ for more information.
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