August 20, 2022

Settlement with witch-hunters: Not in our name!

The Labour Party settlement of July 22 2020 is an insult to all Labour members. We are outraged that our dues have been used to pay ‘damages’ to people on the right of the party, some of whom have been shown in the ‘leaked Report’ to be actively involved in the vicious campaign against Jeremy Corbyn and the Left – a campaign which they continued by participating in the dreadful and one-sided BBC Panorama programme. This settlement gives us even less confidence that the result of the Forde Enquiry into the leaked Report will be anything other than a politically motivated whitewash. 

As experienced activists in the Labour Party, we knew that the Right in the party was plotting against Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters from day one. We knew, because we were the victims of their wrongful suspensions, their expulsions and their public smears and lies, all based on the flimsiest of evidence.

This settlement and apology are especially absurd, as the legal advice apparently stated that the Labour Party had a very good chance to win the libel case – and given the evidence contained in the ‘leaked Report’, it is not hard to see why. This is therefore a clear misuse of party funds and this payment should be condemned by branches and CLPs all over the country. 

In a time of austerity, mass unemployment and a looming economic crash, to give away hundreds of thousands of pounds to right-wingers is beyond arrogance and insult. Further, this settlement opens the door to further cash-grabs. We understand that the BBC journalist John Ware and former general secretary Iain McNicol are in the process of suing the party and even Jeremy Corbyn himself.

Some of those who have now been paid off by Keir Starmer and thanked “for their services” have been actively behind the campaign to amplify the very few cases of real antisemitism in the Labour Party, in order to harm the left within Labour. This smear campaign became a useful proxy war, and it contributed to our defeats in 2017 and 2019. Tragically, it actually harms the fight against real antisemitism and other forms of racism.

We therefore demand:

  • The immediate publication of the full legal advice received over the BBC Panorama “whistleblower” libel case.
  • That the NEC launches an urgent review of how members’ money could be spent on such a questionable and clearly political settlement.
  • That the NEC repudiate the IHRA misdefinition of anti-Semitism, along with its so called examples, which deliberately conflates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism;
  • That members of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs repudiate the Board of Deputies’ ‘Ten Pledges’;
  • Unite, Unison, GMB, Aslef, FBU, RMT, PCS, BFAWU and other trade unions stop funding MPs who refuse to oppose the anti-left witch-hunt.

-> Click here for an excellent model motion drafted by Labour Aainst the Witchhunt