The recent Sunday Times article on some excluded left-wingers being readmitted to the Labour Party was very thin, utterly sensationalist and full of inaccuracies. However it did include the following, very much of interest:
“A senior party source told the paper it no longer recognised the list of proscribed organisations so people linked to them could not be banned.
“The source said: ‘There is a debate about whether these existed at points in Labour history. Our view is that they no longer exist.'”
We should trumpet this loudly and demand similar clear and public statements from the leadership. At the same time, expulsion notices of those linked to socialist currents within the party have not cited “proscribed organisations”. Instead they have cited rule 2.I.4(b), which states that “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… shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a Party member”. Clearly this is only ever applied to organisations on the left, never eg Progress or Labour First.
We should get as many of those expelled for being left-wing activists, under this or other justifications, readmitted now as we can. At the same time we need to remove that part of the rule – which is what our rule change coming up at Labour conference this autumn does.