August 20, 2022

Solidarity with Sam Gorst and John Dunn!

Emergency motion agreed at LLA conference August 22 2020

This Conference notes the twelve months suspension of LLA supporter and councillor Sam Gorst this week by the Labour Party HQ.

He was previously investigated, but cleared. Sam’s new suspension, enforced after an investigation lasting six weeks, is punishment for a small number of entirely harmless media posts he wrote criticising the two anti-Corbyn MPs Louise Ellman and Luciana Berger for resigning from the party, calling for the expulsion of Margaret Hodge, criticising the Jewish Labor Movement and announcing that he was leaving Momentum.

Nothing he wrote was even vaguely antisemitic, but it seems to be enough to criticise somebody who happens to be Jewish to be branded “antisemitic”. This is slander and actually makes the fight against real antisemitism and racism much, much harder.

Sadly, these new disciplinary measures (as well as fast-track expulsions) were introduced at Labour Party conference 2019, with the support of Jeremy Corbyn and his allies – proving once again the futility of trying to appease the right and the pro-Israel lobby.

We also wish to express our solidarity with LLA supporter John Dunn from the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, who has been placed under a second investigation for being ‘rude’ to Owen Smith – a ‘crime’ for which he had already been found not guilty. The first investigation came to the obvious conclusion that ”no further action” should be taken.

We believe that the ongoing and expanding witch-hunt against socialists in the Labour Party is unacceptable. Labour’s disciplinary process is deeply unfair and lacks any natural justice.

We resolve to:

  • Express our solidarity with Sam Gorst and to campaign for his re-instatement.Express our solidarity with John Dunn and to campaign for all charges against him to be dropped.
  • Campaign for an investigation into mis-carriages of justice against socialists. All disciplinary cases processed during the last five years should be overturned, pending unbiased re-examination. The leaked report proves how biased those running the investigations were.
  • Campaign for free speech on Palestine.
  • Campaign to overturn the disciplinary measures and fast-track expulsions introduced in 2019.
  • Campaign for the Labour Party’s complaints and disciplinary procedures to be overhauled so that disciplinary procedures are carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice, and be time-limited: charges not resolved within three months should be automatically dropped. An accused member should be given all the evidence submitted against them and be regarded as innocent until proven guilty.
  • Require the publication of data on suspensions such as length of suspension and other key data, including protected characteristics.

Moved by Peter Bloomer (West Midlands LLA, OG)
Seconded by Tina Werkmann (Labour Against the Witchhunt)