andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

Labour Suspension Telephone Call

Yesterday I felt a positive, having obtained detail of the Labour suspension appeal process. Today has brought a bizarre and frustrating development, as I telephoned party HQ. The email I sent after the call will form a large part of this post.

On a brighter note, many people are sharing links to this series of Blog posts on Twitter and Facebook.

My Blog posts have been viewed 6,400 times in just 5 days.

One lady has kindly told John McDonnell on Twitter that “Andrew Godsell has been working tirelessly to get suspension appeal info”.

So that is where I am on day 7 of the suspension – more to follow, but here is the email.

 

Hello

Further to emails below I have today telephoned, and spoken to X in the compliance department.

I said I had been suspended from the Labour Party, and been advised that if I telephoned I would be told the reason for the suspension.

X said the reason is on the suspension letter.

I said the letter only mentioned allegations about comments on Twitter, and I understood, from guidance sent to NEC members, that if I telephoned I would be told the exact detail of which comments had led to the suspension.

X said this would be emailed to me, probably two days from now.

I said I was frustrated that after several emails and telephone calls in recent days I was still not being given the opportunity to look at the exact detail, believing this could be sent as soon as I called. I asked if there was a manager, or anybody else I could speak to, to get the detail today.

X said there was not anybody else there who would tell me anything different to what she had said, and there was not a manager available.

I said I was not happy with that, after 32 years of loyal party membership, during which I had stood as a Labour candidate for local council elections several times, I had been suspended due to allegations about Twitter comments. I had phoned as I had been advised to do, and was now met with more delay.

X said she would check with a colleague.

A moment later, X said she had spoken to a manager, who said the detail would be emailed to me in three or four days.

I asked X why the timescale had moved from 2 days to 3 or 4 days, and how she had been told this by a manager when there was not a manager there.

I again asked to speak to a manager, but X now returned to telling me there was not a manager there. X added she had been told not to pass the call to a manager.

I asked for the name of the person who advised X that I could not speak to a manager.

X said she would not tell me the name of that person, and would not take the call any further, whereupon she put the phone down.

All of this leaves me feeling increasingly frustrated and upset. I suffer from Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and the unjustified actions of the Labour Party in suspending me are currently making my condition worse. I have been unable to focus on anything apart from battling against suspension for several days. I have been contacted by other Labour Party members with mental health conditions, who share my anxiety on this issue. I am also aware that complaints about misuse of data by the party have been submitted to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

I am copying this email to Y, a member of the National Executive Committee.

Please can I have a prompt reply from somebody advising how this will be resolved.

Thank you

 

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11 thoughts on “Labour Suspension Telephone Call

  1. Still waiting for my ballot paper let alone news of my status as a member stick to your guns i am convinced natural justice as well as common sense will prevail. If not what is the Labour Part without its members?

  2. Sadly, whether they eventually get told the reason for their suspension or not ( and in my view for the majority it will be totally specious), nobody’s vote will will be reinstated before the leadership election. That’s the point, the outgoing NEC with the full cooperation of the General Secretary are doing their damnedest to damage the Corbyn vote.

  3. Michael McLaughlin on said:

    Andrew, from what I have read the LP have employed 120 people based in Newcastle and London to trawl through social media. On the basis of this a rolling committee of the NEC is suspending and refusing memberships.

    But they – who is they ? Ian McNicol a few NEC members or the whole NEC ? – have given no thought to a fair appeal process have not put extra staff in to deal with thousands of appeals or complaints that the 120 are generating. It is a shambles.

    In the meantime blatant blind eyes are turned to avoid dealing with rich donors who have similar profiles to those suspended.

    It gonna take time but this nonsense must be put right.

  4. Thomas Li on said:

    Thank you for your post Andrew. I’m sorry to find that you have been treated this way and can well understand your frustration. I have also been alarmed over recent events and contacted two NEC members over the suspension or expulsion of members. Whilst I suspect this may be information which you may already have, I will share below in case it may be any use to you.

    The important thing is to formally write to express your wish to appeal the decision by the deadline. This may be done by emailing appeals@labour.org.uk. Clearly state that you have not been provided with the evidence seen by the panel and cannot address the reason for your suspension until you have received the evidence, which you requested on [insert date]. Ask to be informed of the date by which your appeal will be considered and confirm that you will be providing a full written statement of appeal before this date, whilst you await information to be sent to you. The important thing is to lodge your intention to appeal in writing before the deadline. Once you have received the evidence used against you, I would draft the statement and return it by both email and recorded delivery so as to make certain that it will be received.

    The following is additional information the NEC has sent to me:

    “The procedural rules for the leadership election state that: No abuse of any kind by members or supporters shall be tolerated. All eligible members and supporters must conduct themselves in a calm and polite manner and be respectful to each other at all times. Behaviour including, but not limited to, racist, abusive or foul language, abuse against women, homophobia or anti-Semitism at meetings, on social media or in any other context will be dealt with according to the rules and procedures of the Labour Party. Membership of, or support for, another political party or candidate standing against Labour is also against party rules.

    Allegations of breaches to the rules have, in all cases, been referred to a panel of the National Executive Committee to make a decision on whether further action needs to be taken. Where appropriate, such as in cases of abuse, this includes the power to revoke the voting rights of members and supporters in the Leadership Election. The NEC panel’s decision to revoke voting rights is not prejudicial to the outcome of any future investigation.

    If members or supporters who have received a notification would like more information on the evidence seen by the panel, from today they can call 0345 092 2299 and a team in Newcastle will be able to help them. There is no right of appeal for registered or affiliate supporters, but if members wish to appeal they can make this in writing to appeals@labour.org.uk

    Best of luck!

  5. The methods being used to Verify Membership details & Scrutiny is causing unnecessary stress to ALL members of the Labour Party. Those not yet targeted are wondering if they have ever liked a joke or retweeted something satirical or perhaps put a ‘like’ against Ed Milliband’s ‘Green’ posts even which share common ground cross party. We should not be made to feel anxious on a daily basis like this.

  6. Maxine McBeth on said:

    Andrew this is a terrible way for you to be treated and I gope ot will be positivelu resolved soon

  7. Have you put this on Jeremy & John FB & Twitter pages I would it’s a sorry state of affairs for a democratic socialist party …. I am confident JC will win & each & every one of us will fight to remove the blatant corruption & stop the demolition of our Labour Party . The truth will shine through eventually !

  8. Eileen Peakman on said:

    Labour is in sad state when it is acting against so many members many tweets and comments are made tongue in cheek and this is a witch-hunt. I often use sarcasm will I now be banned ? I realise that this may now be the case but where has our freedom of speech gone, many comments can be claimed to be abusive when taken out of context, the NEC has become an Aegean Stables, too many of them have forgotten loyalty to the democratically elected leader, brotherhood, sisterhood and strength in fighting for a better world.

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