Can anyone “guarantee the integrity” of the Labour leadership ballot?
More than a week after thousands of Corbyn supporters were suspended from the Labour Party on spurious pretexts, there is sadly no evidence that the clique at party HQ are interested in an appeals process.
For me this is day 9 of the suspension. I have sent 5 emails to the party HQ, none of which has received a reply. I have also had a telephone conversation, which led to a vague assurance that the evidence on which I am suspended would be sent in a few days.
Countless other people are reporting the same stalling of their appeals. I am not aware of anybody who has been told a timescale for their appeal to be heard.
I continue to work with other suspended members to battle against this. We are building momentum, and it is sign of the interest in the campaign that this series of Blog posts have been viewed over 11,000 times in the last few days.
Seeking a new angle, I telephoned Electoral Reform Services today, and followed up with an email detailing our discussion – set out below:
Thank you for the information you provided in our telephone conversation today. As I said, I understand your position that Electoral Reform Services are limited in what you as an organisation are able to do in respect of the Labour Party leadership ballot, but wished to register my concerns in writing.
Would it be fair to paraphrase you in stating that the role of ERS is to issue ballots to people the Labour Party has advised you are entitled to vote, count the votes, and report the outcome to Iain McNicol, General Secretary of the Labour Party, who is the returning officer for the leadership election?
Below are the series of emails I have sent to the Labour Party appealing against the suspension of membership, which has led to my leadership ballot vote being removed. I have not received a reply to these emails. I do not have any indication of the timescale in which my suspension will be investigated. I therefore fear that there will not be time for my vote to be reinstated before the final ballot reissues take place on September 14, a week prior to the ballot closing on September 21.
I mentioned media reports that a group of people at Labour Party headquarters are seeking to disadvantage Jeremy Corbyn, by looking for evidence upon which to suspend party members planning to vote for him. You confirmed that ERS are aware of these reports.
My Labour Party membership number is xxxxxxx. Are you able to advise whether the Labour Party initially advised you that I was due a ballot paper? If so, at what point were you told that my vote had been removed?
Your website states:
Electoral Reform Services is the UK’s leading independent supplier of ballot and election services
Our expertise is recognised worldwide and our status as an independent scrutineer of voting is authorised by the UK Parliament.
Our election and voter registration services are also used by most of the UK’s local authorities.
Each year we help thousands of organisations hold their own ballot, election, vote, survey or referendum. Some have fewer than a hundred voters; others have more than a million; but all choose Electoral Reform Services to guarantee the integrity and independence of their ballot process.
In view of the way in which the Labour Party has arranged the ballot, I believe that the ability of ERS to “guarantee the integrity” of the current leadership ballot cannot be certain.
Please could I have an email response to the points I have raised here.