andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

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:

Hello 

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. 

Thank you

 

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.

Mr McNicol

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

 

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22 thoughts on “Suspended from the Labour Party

  1. I’ve known Andrew Godsell for some time now. He has campaigned valiantly for Southampton Labour and I am upset that he has been suspended. His tireless work will be sadly missed when we come to fight the general election in 2010.

  2. Hello Mary, and thanks for your comment. Actually I am confident that the suspension will be lifted, and I will be back campaigning with the Labour Party well before the next General Election, whenever that will be.

  3. Lizzie on said:

    Contact the electoral reform society on Tuesday morning . They are overseeing this election and have already resolved many cases though they are inundated with requests . Good luck and please let us know how you get on . Lizzie , one of the purged for bias by declaring I only joined the party because I believe in Jeremy Corbyns policies .

  4. thanks for letting us know about this Andrew – look forward to hearing that you are re-instated. the current actions of the NEC are unforgivable and so damaging for our party

  5. Andrew Godsell have you made a subject access request under section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). The request does not have to be in any particular form. They must send you all the written information that they have about you and do it quickly. Also complaints to the electoral Commission are getting excellent results.

  6. Jed Bland on said:

    @Unity March Facebook page
    If anyone is in contact with anyone who has been barred from voting please can you pass this info on:
    The Labour leadership election is being run by electoral reform services, it’s their job to make sure the election is impartial and properly run, if you feel you have been unfairly deprived of your vote you can call them on 0208 365 8909 and they may be able to help you (apparently they sorted out at least one other member’s vote in similar circumstances ) https://www.electoralreform.co.uk

    Also @Labour Party Suspensions have a Facebook page anbd are planning a meeting possibly in London

  7. I can totally understand your outrage, and salute you for making a public stand. I hope your disenfranchisement is rescinded, and you can continue your work as a long-standing pay activist. Veryan xx

  8. Hello all and many thanks for support and suggestions. I made Data Protection request to Labour Party yesterday and will call Electoral Reform Services. Will also keep Blogging about what is happening! Annoyed, upset, but still battling for fair votes in Labour Party.

  9. Have you considered a case for libel? We could really use a test case and you sound like a good one.

  10. Anya Gone on said:

    Well done and thank you for sharing this – I will follow your progress keenly – good luck!

  11. Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating and commented:
    Are the NEC sending these emails to every labour member who supports Jeremy Corbyn? I came across another one of these this morning http://www.thejeremycorbyneffect.com/jeremy-corbyn-blog/from-owen-smith-poster-girl-to-suspended-from-the-labour-party

    I hope your appeal is succesful and in time to vote for JC, realistically though I do have my doubts it will be.

  12. Pauline Lozoya Hocking on said:

    With you in total solidarity. Disgusting behaviour on the part of the NEC. 😦

  13. Kathlyn Gadd on said:

    My husband has just received a similar message about supposed comments on Twitter – except for the fact that he doesn’t have a Twitter account – or indeed any social media accounts. He wouldn’t have a clue how to use Twitter.

  14. Rachelle on said:

    Well done Andrew and good luck. We’re all behind you, please keep us informed!

  15. Martin Locock on said:

    One of the criteria that has been used to identify potentially abusive accounts is the use of the word “traitor”. In your tweet on June 12 you use the word (not in an abusive way), and I suspect that you may have been mistakenly included as a result. If you send them the tweet and suggest that if this is the reason the decision is incorrect you should be reinstated.

    • Hello Martin thanks for comment. Yes I have had a look, and find I merely reported that somebody else had added me to their Traitors to Britain list.

      Somebody else has suggested I retweeted a message by person who called Angela Eagle a traitor, for setting up the Angela 4 Leader website before she had even resigned from Shadow Cabinet, but I cannot find that on my Timeline.

  16. pauln2901 on said:

    I am just trying to think of any other voluntary organisation that suspends people based on unfounded allegations. People join the Labour Party because of their convictions. They pay to join. How can the NEC suspend anybody before they investigate?

  17. John Wilks on said:

    Dear Andrew
    I have today received an email from the Labour Party informing me that I am no longer eligible to remain a member because in October 2014 I tweeted in support of the Green Party. I only joined the Labour Party a few months ago and since then have been paying a monthly subscription (in addition to the £25 to be able to vote in the leadership election). I was not informed when I joined the Labour Party that support for another party in 2014 made me ineligible. I will be submitting a complaint and will copy it to the Leader of the Party. I am not happy!

  18. Robin Vyrnwy-Pierce on said:

    Andrew – keep up the fight. I have also been vocal on social media in pursuit of what I see as the democratic way forward for our party. I do not abuse men, women, gays or straights. In fact I have often defended Jess Phillips from abuse from others. After all it is not her fault that she sees a different way into government than the honest, democratic and principled way that I see under Jeremy Corbyn.
    I have campaigned in constituencies in Wales and England over the last 50 years and have met many MPs and MEPs past and present. We have had differing views at times but Labour always WAS a broad church. Unfortunately since Mr Blair became leader I have seen great changes in the party I have known and loved and supported for 50 years.
    There will be much work to be done to repair the damage once this challenge ends.

  19. Frank Carthy on said:

    Just been suspended, and my vote cancelled, apparantly because I replied ‘f*** off’ to an Owen Smith campaign email…..how can this have brought the Party into disrepute? I was merely venting my spleen at the ‘splitters’ for trynmg to break my party…..what is the best thing I can do to fix this and get my vote reinstated, thanks.

    • Hello Frank

      Get an email reply in as quick as possible – but sadly I do not think Labour HQ interested in dealing with appeals at the moment. If Jeremy re-elected, think the suspensions will be lifted.

    • Mary Lloyd on said:

      Do you know any Labour MPs who might support you? Or what about the Chair of your local CLP? – Which CLP do you belong to? Who is the Chair?

      Have you already written to a rep on Labour’s NEC?

      You may have to wait till after the weekend before any of these people will be available.

      Don’t give up. I am a delegate at Conference and if you give me all the details I’ve requested I shall try very hard to make your case.

      All best,

      Mary

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