After sending six emails, and having three lengthy telephone conversations with Labour headquarters, since receiving the “evidence” for my suspension more than a month ago, the long-promised written reply to my challenge finally arrived two days ago.
As I had asked a series of specific questions, I thought I might get specific answers, but all that the helpful Compliance colleagues managed was a few standard sentences, one of which claims to remove my right to appeal:
Apologies for the delay in responding to you.
Your Subject Access Request has been posted to you and should be with you within a week.
There is no ability to appeal an administrative suspension. Suspensions are put in place while an investigation is carried out therefore you will have the opportunity to put your case across as part of this investigation. You will be contacted shortly regarding this.
Having given myself 24 hours to calm down, I tried another patient and diplomatic appeal, which I emailed yesterday. I do not know if there will be any meaningful response from party HQ, but at least I have more evidence of my trying in good faith to resolve the issue – when the party finally address the case:
Thank you for replying.
I maintain that this process has been mishandled, and am disappointed that nobody in Compliance or Legal seems able to respond in detail to the points made in my series of emails below.
My email of September 8 reports telephone conversations in which Compliance and Legal said they would look at my response to the evidence, and lift the suspension if they agreed with me that I had not Retweeted the relevant messages. Why has this not happened?
I have been suspended for 7 weeks, and lack a right of appeal. The party has failed to meet its obligations under the Equality Act, and the situation is harming my mental health.
Your email states “you will be contacted shortly” about the investigation, but I have been told this several times across 7 weeks without anything happening. Please can you be more precise about a timescale?
I am copying this email, for information, to Jennie Formby, who has taken up my case within the NEC, and Simon Letts, leader of Southampton City Council. I have worked, and campaigned, with Jennie and Simon for several years, and they have both expressed a wish that the suspension be lifted, enabling me to return to Labour Party activity.
Please can somebody see sense, and lift this mistaken suspension?