On 9 November Bristol West Constituency Labour Party, one of the largest CLPs in Britain, held an Emergency General Meeting, called in response to Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension by the party leadership. It heard a motion, proposed by Easton and Lawrence Hill branch, condemning the suspension, and demanding the former leader’s immediate reinstatement.
The motion from the branch (below), correctly identifies Corbyn’s suspension as a politically motivated attack on the left by the party leadership and committed the CLP to opposing any such attacks on the left in the future.
Jeremy Corbyn was suspended supposedly for his response to the EHRC report on anti-Semitism, where he correctly argued that much of the accusations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party had been exaggerated for political purposes. While anti-Semitism in any form should not be tolerated in the Labour Party, the idea of an anti-Semitism “crisis” on the left has been weaponised by the press, the Tories and the right-wing of the Labour Party in order to damage the Labour Party and its left leadership. Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension is a continuation of this campaign.
Enormous pressure was placed upon the democratically elected executive of the CLP by the party apparatus, with the South West Regional Director Phil Gaskin threatening the CLP Chair with disciplinary action if the motion was even heard. Bristol West’s Labour MP, Thangam Debbonaire, reportedly attempted to mobilise supporters to vote that the motion not be heard and, when that failed, to vote the motion down.
It is therefore of extreme significance that Bristol West CLP passed the motion, slightly amended (also below), with 99 votes for, 80 against, with 3 abstentions. It sends a signal to the leadership of the party that the left, and the thousands of members energised by the left-wing movement in the Labour Party since 2015, will not be intimidated by the leadership’s use of bureaucratic bullying and character assassination.
Motion Passed (as amended) by Bristol West Constituency Labour Party
Motion passed by Bristol West Constituency Labour Party Emergency General Meeting tonight:
This CLP notes:
1. That the Labour Party leadership has suspended Jeremy Corbyn MP from the party and removed the parliamentary whip, ostensibly due to his statement regarding the EHRC’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
2. A number of public figures, including but not limited to the leader of the party, the deputy leader of the party, and the Socialist Campaign Group have issued public statements on the suspension, and that the SCG has called for re-instatement, yet the general secretary has nevertheless ordered that CLPs cannot do the same.
This CLP believes:
3. That Jeremy Corbyn MP is a socialist and life-long fighter against racism inside and outside the Labour Party
4. That his suspension is a politically motivated attack against the left of the Labour Party by the leadership.
This CLP resolves:
5. To condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and demand his reinstatement to the party.
6. To oppose any and all politically motivated disciplinary actions against the left by the leadership.
7. To send the contents of this motion to the Leader’s Office and the NEC.
8. That the voting numbers, for, against or abstain of any motions will be included with any messages sent within the Labour Party.
Motion Passed by Easton and Lawrence Hill Labour Party Branch
This branch notes:
1. That the Labour Party has suspended Jeremy Corbyn MP from the party and removed the parliamentary whip, ostensibly due to his statement regarding the EHRC’s report on antisemitism in the Labour Party.
This branch believes:
2. That Jeremy Corbyn MP is a socialist and life-long fighter against racism inside and outside the Labour Party
3. That his suspension is a politically motivated attack against the left of the Labour Party by the leadership.
This branch resolves
4. To condemn Jeremy Corbyn’s suspension and demand his reinstatement to the party.
5. To oppose any and all politically motivated disciplinary actions against the left by the leadership.
6. To raise this motion with Bristol West CLP, instructing the CLP to send its contents to the Leader’s Office and the NEC.
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