Suspended from the Labour Party
I have voted for the Labour Party at every opportunity in General, local, and European Elections since 1983, when I was 18. I have been a member of the Labour Party since 1984, and a party candidate in local elections on 10 occasions between 1989 and 2015. As a party activist, I have delivered countless leaflets, spoken to countless people on their doorsteps, and helped in the election of my local MP, MEPs, and many local councillors. I have put an enormous amount of time, effort, and emotion into my belief in the Labour Party, and our campaigns for a better Britain. In recent years this has often been difficult, as I struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I have remained loyal to the party through several changes of leader and policy outlook, believing that – whatever our faults – Labour offers hope to our society, whereas the Conservative Party merely defend the interests of the powerful and wealthy.
I received an email from the Labour Party National Executive Committee yesterday, advising that I have been suspended from the party, and prevented from voting in the leadership election, due to “allegations” about “comments you posted on Twitter”. No further detail has been given. The email says there will be an investigation, but no timescale for this is mentioned.
I have decided to battle against this, and make public the progress of the fight. I believe in transparency, whereas the people who have suspended me appear to be operating in secret. I am aware that thousands of other members of the Labour Party face the same situation, being disenfranchised by the party machine.
Shortly after receiving the email from the NEC, I forwarded it on to Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team, with the following covering note:
I have today received the email below advising that I have been suspended from the Labour Party, and banned from voting in the leadership election. As a loyal member of the Labour Party for 32 years, I am disgusted by this.
I have not abused anybody on Twitter.
It seems unfair that the general secretary of the Labour Party can unilaterally suspend me, without giving specific detail of what it is alleged I have done, and who has made the allegation. I suspect the allegation has come from somebody in my local Labour Party, as I have been receiving quite a few messages from such people on Twitter attacking my pro-Jeremy Corbyn views.
Please are you able to offer any advice on action I can take to get the suspension lifted.
I have today sent the following email to Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party, and the man who made the decision, on behalf of the NEC, to suspend me.
I reply to your email of August 24.
As a loyal member of the Labour Party for 32 years, I am aggrieved that I have been suspended from the Labour Party, and banned from voting in the leadership election.
It is unfair that you, as general secretary of the Labour Party, can unilaterally suspend me, without giving specific detail of what it is alleged I have done, and who has made the allegation.
I am not racist, and I have not used abusive or foul language on Twitter.
Suspending me on the basis of an allegation which has not yet been investigated is contrary to natural justice. I have been found guilty without trial.
Given the fact that the leadership ballot closes less than a month from now, I expect a prompt resolution of this matter.
I hereby request that the suspension of my membership of the Labour Party is immediately lifted.
Please respond to me by email before 5.00 pm on Tuesday August 30.
I shall post further on this Blog when there are developments.
Thank you for reading, and I would welcome any positive advice or comments.
Andrew Godsell – disenfranchised but fighting for Labour Party democracy