Norwich South MP Clive Lewis silently watched as his local party members were prevented from considering a no confidence motion in the national leadership.
Party leader Keir Starmer, and his side kick, general secretary David Evans, have clamped down on members wanting to show solidarity with Jeremy Corbyn, after Starmer withdrew Corbyn’s right to sit as a Labour MP.
Inspired by a wave of resistance from other local parties across the country in recent weeks, left party activists in Norwich proposed “a vote of no confidence in the party leader and general secretary.”
As soon as the online meeting began the chair immediately blocked the motion claiming otherwise his party membership would be suspended.
He stated that the motion discussed the Equality and Human Rights Commission report (into the complaints procedure) and “therefore made Jewish members feel uncomfortable and unwelcome”, according to guidance received from Eastern Regional office.
The motion made no reference to the report, Corbyn, or antisemitism.
The chair’s decision not hear the motion was challenged and should have been put to a vote immediately requiring a two-thirds majority to pass.
The chair rejected the challenge, a blatant breach of party rules. As it swiftly became obvious he was in the minority he began muting members as they spoke out objecting to his behaviour and actions.
Clive Lewis MP was present and suggested the content of the motion be discussed in his question and answer session, rather than being heard as a motion.
Lewis’ initially defended the chair but later became silent as the chair’s hostility and rule breaking escalated.
A minority, attempted to ignore the challenge to the chair and move on to the next agenda item and hear a speaker from the Labour Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller campaign.
But even the guest speaker said he would be happy for the motion to be heard, discussed, and voted on before he gave his talk.
At this point the chair declared he could defiantly move to next business or close the meeting. Refusing to take a vote on whether to hear the motion the chair abruptly ended the meeting.
Behaviour exactly like this, fully condoned by regional officers, has been happening up and down the country. Chairs and secretaries who have dared to allow members a voice have been summarily suspended and face disciplinary action.
The banned motion: “This [Constituency Labour Party] notes with concern the communication issued this week from the general secretary which places further restrictions on what CLPs can discuss. Due to these actions causing a breakdown in trust between members and leadership, this CLP proposes a vote of no confidence in the party leader and general secretary.”
- Party officials have so far suspended 54 elected officers from membership in 27 constituency Labour parties.
Click here for a secure way to sign up, you will be supporting independent news. Click the button below.
Disagree with this article? why not write in and you can have your say? email us