UPDATE, SEPTEMBER 2018: The rule change is coming up at Labour conference. For a statement on supporting it, see here.
Please note – this Rule Change has to be passed by CLPs and submitted to the Party before the deadline of July 7th. Please do your best to get it passed and submitted by then.
If you do get it passed and submitted please notify us on StopTheLabourPurge@gmail.com
Available in printable format from this link
All supporters of Labour Party welcome in Labour Party
The Labour Party Rule Book 2017, Chapter 2 Membership rules, Clause I Conditions of membership, subclause 4 Exclusions, (B) reads as follows:
‘A member of the Party who joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other 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 Chapter 6.I.2 below of the disciplinary rules.’
Delete: ‘joins and/ or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the Party, or’
Supporting argument (as information to CLPs considering submission)
The Labour Party is a broad church, that should be seeking to recruit as widely as possible from amongst its electoral support. Given the necessity of political breadth, it is inevitably that Labour will be an organisation in which there is a constant and healthy discussion and contest of ideas and policies.
Many Party members, at all levels of the Party, currently organise together to advance their particular policies and views. Different political currents amongst Labour MPs, Councillors and other Party members, organise in formal groups and also in informal ways.
The right to organise, within Labour’s rules, should be upheld across the entire Party, from its right-wing through the centre and on to the Party’s left-wing. The principal condition of Party membership should be that of supporting the Labour Party and its candidates in elections. If that condition is fulfilled, then it should be the case that a Party member can support Tribune, Progress, Labour First, CLPD, Open Labour, a left wing newspaper, or Compass etc. A Labour supporter, who abides by Labour’s rules, should not be excluded because they also support, associate with, or organise with one of these many political currents/groups.
During the 2015 and 2016 Labour Party leadership elections, and since, there have been a number of “automatic exclusions” under Chapter 2 Clause 4 (B), sometimes just citing the “a political organisation other than an official Labour group” clause without further detail, sometimes specifically claiming that the member supports a left wing newspaper. Such exclusions are overwhelmingly imposed on Labour Party supporters on the left.
We know there were 618 “auto-exclusions” during the 2016 leadership campaign alone. This level of exclusions is high compared to any previous period of the Party’s history, including under right-wing leaderships. A number of those excluded were active Labour Party members, expressing their left-wing ideas, under Blair and Brown, and yet were not excluded then.
Those “auto-excluded” receive no notice of charges, no hearing, and no right of appeal, but only a letter from the Compliance Unit saying that they are out.
The current procedures allow for the exclusion without notice of charges, hearing, or right of appeal of anyone whom the Labour head office authorities do not like, and thus threaten all independent-minded members of the Party.
The purpose of this rule change is to end the exclusion of left wing Labour Party supporters, so that all Labour supporters that abide by Labour’s rules, are entitled to join the Party.