Labour NEC approves proscriptions

The party backs Starmer's plans as groups protest


Labour's NEC backed the proscription of four groups at just before 7pm on Tuesday after a marathon session.

It also approved plans for a new two tier independent complaints process.

The shake-up of complaints handling forms part of the action plan agreed with the Equality and Human Rights Commission in the wake of its damning report into antisemitism within Labour last October.

The decision will still need to be approved at Labour’s conference in September but the overhaul prompted protests outside Labour headquarters as activists accused the leadership of trying to silence dissent.

The plan would see the creation of a 12 strong Independent Appeals Board, made up of four lawyers, four lay members and four experts in human resources.  

Labour party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds said: “We are acting decisively to put our house in order and show that Labour is, and always will be, the party of equality.

“We are getting on with the job of making sure the Labour party is a safe and welcoming space for the benefit of all our members.  This will be the fairest, most robust process of any political party that we know of.”

Ms Dodds said consultations with “those who have been subject to harassment” would continue to finalise plans ahead of the crunch vote at conference in Brighton.

Hard left activists have branded the proscription a ‘Star Chamber’ and accused the leadership of stifling free speech with its purge

While the meeting took place, a protest outside Labour headquarters organised by groups opposing the expulsion of hundreds of members who denied claims of antisemitism in the party included a speech by Covid-denier Piers Corbyn and "notorious antisemite" Tony Greenstein.

The protest took place as the National Executive Committee was voting on whether to proscribe four Jeremy Corbyn-supporting groups which have denied the extent of Labour’s antisemitism problem and which are said to promote communism. 

The groups – Labour Against the Witch Hunt, Socialist Appeal, Labour in Exile and Resist – also welcome members who have been expelled or suspended from the party over antisemitism allegations, including former Momentum vice-chair Jackie Walker. 

It is understood that anyone found to be a member of a proscribed group will be automatically barred from the party.

Demonstrators included members of Jewish Voice For Labour, which is not to be proscribed. 

The JC understands that one of the reasons the group JVL has not been included as one of the groups to proscribe is because they would have “reasonable” grounds to sue the party for discrimination. 

The source said that “a fair number” of the group’s executive is currently suspended and they hoped they would become "insignificant."

Speaking outside the Southside building in Victoria, central London, Piers Corbyn heaped praise on Tony Greenstein who was among the activists. However some of those present sought to distance themselves from Mr Corbyn for being a “Covid denier.”

He said he wanted to give “100 per cent support” to fellow activists who were “being purged from the Labour Party.

“It’s not just for my brother – I support his right to go back into the PLP fully, and everybody who is being purged.”

One female protestor carried a banner claiming “informed Jews” know that “Palestine is occupied.”

The crowd also heard from expelled former Labour activist Mr Greenstein, who appeared to be trying to direct Mr Corbyn away from speaking. He told those at the demonstration it was “just a start” and called for protestors to “nail down the coffin” on Keir Starmer.

Also speaking at the event was Hove Labour activist Greg Hadfield who bragged about tweeting “Israel is a racist endeavour” ahead of his suspension.

A stand set up by Labour Against The Witch-Hunt included leaflets saying “Labour never had an antisemitism problem.”

Party sources said Facebook posts from around 500 members who have resigned will be retained to show they have made claims including “Zionist” control of Labour under the current leader. 

It is expected that the NEC will approve an independent disciplinary complaints process as recommended by the EHRC report. 

Meanwhie the NEC has agreed to make antisemitism training bythe JewishLabour Movement compulsory for any member seeking elected public office or office in the party.

THis piece was editted to include the updated news of the NEC vote


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