andrewgodsell

Tales from an author

Labour Suspension – Encouraging Developments

I have pledged to Blog, on a daily basis, about the suspension of thousands of Lavbour Party members until something is done about this affront to our democracy. I have been suspended from the Labour Party after 32 years of loyal membership, and prevented from voting in the leadership election, due to “allegations” about “comments you posted on Twitter”.

Many thanks to the thousands of people reading the Blog, and spreading the message on other Blogs, Twitter, and Facebook. I have received hundreds of messages of support and advice – thank you for these. I always read the messages, but am having trouble finding the time to respond personally to everybody.

On day 8 of the suspension, I feel there are some encouraging developments to report.

1 I have been telephoned by Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign team, and have given them information for a dossier they are compiling about the suspensions. I cannot say much more at the moment, but hope that this will raise the profile of our battle to regain our votes and membership.

2 The Guardian have published a letter from a group of 17 Labour Party members, including myself. The letter points to the organised campaign to prevent many Corbyn supporters from having a vote – and the lack of action against abusive opponents of Corbyn.

3 I had a positive telephone conversation with the Equality Advisory Support Service, an organisation that provides official advice on the practicalities of the Equality Act and Human Rights Act. They are looking at the Labour Party’s legal responsibility to deal fairly with party members who have a disability, including the long-term mental health issues experienced by myself, and other suspended members who have been in touch.

Once again, thank you and good luck – working together we can tackle this.

I have not yet received any reply to the series of emails sent to Labour headquarters appealing against my suspension, but have sent another chaser today, set out below.

Hello

I write further to the series of emails below.

As I have Asperger Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, long-term mental health conditions, I feel I should be entitled to expect reasonable adjustments, in accordance with the Equality Act, in the way that the Labour Party deals with my appeal against suspension. I think the clearest way in which the Labour Party could demonstrate this is by a prompt response to the series of emails.

Having not received a reply to the emails, I telephoned yesterday, and this added to my anxiety. One aspect of my condition is that I find written information easier to deal with than verbal information. I feel that the Labour Party’s delay in replying is disadvantaging myself as a disabled person. I have been suspended from the party on the basis of allegations, the specific detail of which has not been shown to me, and deprived of my vote in the current leadership election, thereby infringing on my right to take part in the democratic political processes in Britain.

In the first email in this chain I requested a reply by August 30, which was a reasonable timescale. It is now August 31 and I still have not received a reply.

Thank you

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19 thoughts on “Labour Suspension – Encouraging Developments

  1. Just brilliant Andrew. What you have done is fantastic. It must be so hard for you.My husband and I worked with students with Aspergers ++. Brilliant young people, highly intelligent, and lovely people. We must, if we can, maintain help for our young people in education who have difficulties.

    I think you are amazing. Thanks for all you are doing for so many of us. I still haven’t heard anything about the ballot. Pretty upset about it all. This stuff is terrible. Democracy just doesn’t exist now does it? We must battle against these people who are attempting to undermine our democratic rights. Bless you Andrew.

    • I’m a Labour member of 50 years’ standing, and was a Southampton City Councillor 2012-2016.

      Andrew Godsell has campaigned with us valiantly in Eastleigh and in Southampton. I just can’t understand why, as such an active supporter, he has been suspended.

  2. Way to go Andrew! I have STILL not received my ballot; the recorded message on the Labour Party contact telephone number said that if it’s not received by 2 Sept to contact them again. Originally, they said ballots should be received by the end of August! I personally think that the deadline to vote in the leadership election should now be extended so that the appeal process for suspended members will be fully concluded and those members found “not guilty” of the spurious allegations be allowed their vote.

  3. The Trial by kafka and the Thought Police in 1984 pop to mind.

  4. Thank you so much for all that you are doing to try to support democracy in this country.

  5. Every email to Labour HQ I sent has been ignored and now my CLP contact appears to have dropped off the planet too.

  6. Janis Garbutt on said:

    Your pledge is amazing Andrew,I really can’t believe what is being done within the party,I am still ( along with my husband and some CLP/ Momentum friends ) waiting for my e mail to vote we are receiving later and later dates each time we contact them.My first vote was Wilson and I have always voted and been proud to be Labour.I will not go back to the status quo though,as too much has now been revealed I’m in for the long haul to see our party return to democracy.Im so sorry for your suspension and look forward to your blog that says justice and victory is yours.

  7. Walter Heaton on said:

    I have just been told that I can’t vote either, due to a comment I posted last September .

  8. Denny Tuckerman on said:

    Andrew – do you actually have any idea what you are supposed to have said on Twitter to get disenfranchised like this? By whom – NEC? I voted for Corbyn online the first day – have you been blocked from voting online? Keep pushing them (whoever they are?) for an answer – you have my best wishes
    Denny

  9. I have not been shown the evidence. I have been told by member of NEC, who has seen evidence – two retweets not even comments of my own – that this should not have led to suspension. NEC member was over-ruled by compliance.

    • I think following Denny’s advice is the best thing at this stage. It just MAY help if you say I know & support you. (ex-Southampton councillor isn’t that impressive but it just may help with the hierarchy) As ever, Mary Lloyd

  10. Hello Mary and thanks for continued support. The problem is that suspension process controlled by compliance unit at HQ. They are going to delegate investigations to regions, but not until AFTER leadership ballot complete.

    • Yes, Andrew, I know. It’s pretty horrifying. Please email if there’s more you’d like me to pass on to Lab Leadership – I’m going to Liverpool conference & have met John McDonnell a few times.

  11. Eileen Peakman on said:

    it is a sad time for Labour the elite of the party are afraid of the members and wish to cut out their voice altogether . I am not surprised that they have not found a way to shut up Jeremy he has withstood all their arrows and distortion of any words or actions of this group.

  12. Thank you for this Andrew. Rather than take up space here, I’ll just post a link to my retelling the story of my suspension (which has just happened). I hope it might be helpful – and likewise should be very grateful indeed for any help you might be able to offer. http://boulezian.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/why-have-i-been-suspended-from-labour.html

    With best wishes,

    Mark Berry

  13. Clare N Ayton-Edwards on said:

    I was just given details of my “crime”, it was 2 very short PRIVATE emails to Hilary Benn with a few home truths, polite but used the word “traitor” once in one, long BEFORE the word was banned on Twitter, I am a 69 year old housebound OAP with MH issues, LP supporter over 50 years member & donor over 30 years & NEVER supported ANY other party, I FEEL TOTALLY ABUSED, now they say appeals not even being looked at until AFTER ballot closes !!!

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