CLP Secretaries for Labour Party Democracy

Dear David Evans,

We are writing to you, as Constituency Labour Party Secretaries and Chairs, to raise our concerns about recent emails you have sent us, that instruct secretaries and chairs to prohibit discussion on certain topics.

Our party membership and its collective discussion in local branch and CLP meetings are vital to building an effective local political party. Unfortunately, the recent emails from you, placing restrictions on items of party business that can be discussed in meetings, accompanied by threats and suspensions, are undermining our efforts to build up our local parties. Democratically discussing the issues of party business that concern our members helps us develop and motivate our local party.

Treating our members' rights with respect is also important for morale and increases the capacity of local parties to turn outwards and campaign in elections. Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that was long fought for and has been traditionally upheld by the Labour Party, including in our party meetings. The right to freedom of expression is not only about the right to speak but it is also about the right to listen to others and for different views to be heard. Party members should have the right to express their views, including on whether the whip should or should not be restored to Jeremy Corbyn.

The policing of discussion, on a decision which has received a lot of media attention, is also demanding a great deal from volunteers who take up the role of administrators to facilitate and encourage dynamic campaigning local parties. Our local members and party officers are all volunteers, many of whom work very hard for the party. We feel that your recent guidance only puts us further into the firing line, and is affecting the mental and physical health of chairs and secretaries, many of whom are standing down from their posts because of the stress. This is expertise the Party can ill afford to lose with important elections coming up in May 2021.

Suspensions of officers who allow discussion on the removal of the whip from Jeremy Corbyn to take place also raises serious issues– chairs have in some instances had their membership of the party suspended for allowing discussion to take place when the General Committee or All Member Meeting has voted for them to do so. As CLP Officers, we are elected by General Committees or All Member Meetings, not appointed by the General Secretary and therefore we are being called upon, under threat of membership suspension, to break our own standing orders, and the rules of the party.

It is vital for us that the national party acts in a responsible way to help us maintain members' enthusiasm to campaign for Labour. The attempts to stifle legitimate discussion are harming our local parties and their campaigning capacity, notwithstanding the suppression of members’ rights to speak and be heard.

We urge you to withdraw the 'guidance' you have sent to our CLPs and halt any disciplinary action currently being taken against Party Officers for facilitating democratic discussion of party business.

We look forward to your response. 

--

Signed by 284 CLP Chairs and Secretaries from 194 CLPs
Includes all signatures received by 6pm on 20th December, apart from those for which additional checks are being done.

Chair, Aberconwy CLP
Secretary, Aberconwy CLP
Chair, Almond Valley CLP
Secretary, Almond Valley CLP
Chair, Arfon CLP
Chair, Arundel & South Downs CLP
Secretary, Arundel & South Downs CLP
Chair, Bath CLP
Chair, Battersea CLP
Co-Secretary 1, Battersea CLP
Co-Secretary 2, Battersea CLP
Secretary, Beaconsfield CLP
Chair, Bedford & Kempston CLP
Chair, Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP
Secretary, Berwick-upon-Tweed CLP
Secretary, Beverley & Holderness CLP
Secretary, Birkenhead CLP
Chair, Birmingham Ladywood CLP
Chair, Bishop Auckland CLP
Secretary, Bishop Auckland CLP
Chair, Blaydon CLP
Chair, Blyth Valley CLP
Chair, Bolton West CLP
Chair, Bournemouth East CLP
Chair, Brecon & Radnorshire CLP
Secretary, Brecon & Radnorshire CLP
Chair, Brent Central CLP
Secretary, Brent Central CLP
Chair, Brentwood & Ongar CLP
Chair, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Secretary, Brighton Pavilion CLP
Chair, Bristol North West CLP
Secretary, Bristol North West CLP
Chair, Bristol South CLP
Co-Secretary 1, Bristol South CLP
Chair, Bristol West CLP
Co-Secretary 1, Bristol West CLP
Co-Secretary 2, Bristol West CLP
Chair, Broxtowe CLP
Secretary, Broxtowe CLP
Chair, Burton CLP
Secretary, Burton CLP
Secretary, Caithness, Sutherland & Ross CLP
Chair, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Secretary, Camberwell & Peckham CLP
Secretary, Camborne, Redruth & Hayle CLP
Chair, Cannock Chase CLP
Chair, Cardiff North CLP
Secretary, Carlisle CLP
Chair, Carmarthenshire East & Dinefwr CLP
Secretary, Carmarthenshire East & Dinefwr CLP
Chair, Carshalton & Wallington CLP
Secretary, Carshalton & Wallington CLP
Chair, Ceredigion CLP
Secretary, Ceredigion CLP
Secretary, Charnwood CLP
Secretary, Chelmsford CLP
Secretary, Chingford & Woodford Green CLP
Chair, Chipping Barnet CLP
Secretary, Chipping Barnet CLP
Chair, Cities of London & Westminster CLP
Chair, City of Durham CLP
Secretary, City of Durham CLP
Secretary, Cleethorpes CLP
Chair, Clwyd South CLP
Secretary, Clwyd South CLP
Chair, Colchester CLP
Chair, Colne Valley CLP
Secretary, Colne Valley CLP
Chair, Croydon Central CLP
Secretary, Croydon Central CLP
Chair, Cynon Valley CLP
Secretary, Cynon Valley CLP
Chair, Dover & Deal CLP
Secretary, Dover & Deal CLP
Chair, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
Secretary, Dulwich & West Norwood CLP
Secretary, Dwyfor Meirionnydd CLP
Secretary, Ealing North CLP
Secretary, Ealing Southall CLP
Chair, Easington CLP
Secretary, Easington CLP
Chair, East Worthing & Shoreham CLP
Secretary, East Worthing & Shoreham CLP
Chair, East Yorkshire CLP
Secretary, East Yorkshire CLP
Secretary, Edinburgh Central CLP
Chair, Edmonton CLP
Secretary, Edmonton CLP
Secretary, Ellesmere Port & Neston CLP
Chair, Elmet & Rothwell CLP
Chair, Filton & Bradley Stoke CLP
Secretary, Filton & Bradley Stoke CLP
Chair, Forest of Dean CLP
Secretary, Forest of Dean CLP
Secretary, Glasgow Kelvin CLP
Secretary, Great Grimsby CLP
Secretary, Guildford CLP
Chair, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
Secretary, Hackney North & Stoke Newington CLP
Chair, Hackney South & Shoreditch CLP
Secretary, Hackney South & Shoreditch CLP
Secretary, Halifax CLP
Chair, Hall Green CLP
Secretary, Hall Green CLP
Secretary, Hampstead & Kilburn CLP
Chair, Harborough CLP
Chair, Harrow East CLP
Secretary, Harrow East CLP
Chair, Hastings & Rye CLP
Chair, Hemsworth CLP
Secretary, Hemsworth CLP
Chair, Hendon CLP
Secretary, Hendon CLP
Secretary, Hexham CLP
Chair, Heywood & Middleton CLP
Secretary, Heywood & Middleton CLP
Chair, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
Secretary, Hornsey & Wood Green CLP
Secretary, Horsham CLP
Chair, Hull West & Hessle CLP
Chair, Islington North CLP
Secretary, Islington North CLP
Chair, Kenilworth & Southam CLP
Chair, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Co-Secretary, Kingston & Surbiton CLP
Chair, Kingston upon Hull North CLP
Secretary, Kingston upon Hull North CLP
Chair, Labour International CLP
Secretary, Labour International CLP
Secretary, Leeds Central CLP
Chair, Leeds East CLP
Secretary, Leeds East CLP
Chair, Leeds North East CLP
Secretary, Leeds North East CLP
Secretary, Leicester South CLP
Chair, Leicester West CLP
Chair, Leyton & Wanstead CLP
Secretary, Leyton & Wanstead CLP
Secretary, Lincoln CLP
Chair, Liverpool Riverside CLP
Chair, Liverpool Walton CLP
Secretary, Liverpool Walton CLP
Chair, Liverpool West Derby CLP
Chair, Loughborough CLP
Secretary, Loughborough CLP
Chair, Luton North CLP
Secretary, Luton North CLP
Secretary, Luton South CLP
Secretary, Maidenhead CLP
Chair, Maidstone & The Weald CLP
Secretary, Maidstone & The Weald CLP
Secretary, Mansfield CLP
Chair, Mid Bedfordshire CLP
Secretary, Mid Bedfordshire CLP
Chair, Mid Dorset & North Poole CLP
Chair, Mid Sussex CLP
Secretary, Mid Sussex CLP
Secretary, Mid Worcestershire CLP
Chair, Montgomeryshire CLP
Secretary, Montgomeryshire CLP
Chair, Morley & Outwood CLP
Secretary, Morley & Outwood CLP
Secretary, New Forest East CLP
Chair, Newark CLP
Secretary, Newark CLP
Secretary, Newbury CLP
Secretary, Newcastle Central CLP
Secretary, Newcastle North CLP
Secretary, Newcastle-Under-Lyme CLP
Secretary, Newton Abbot CLP
Chair, North Devon CLP
Chair, North Dorset CLP
Secretary, North East Bedfordshire CLP
Chair, North East Cambridgeshire CLP
Secretary, North East Fife CLP
Chair, North West Cambridgeshire CLP
Secretary, North West Cambridgeshire CLP
Secretary, North West Durham CLP
Chair, North West Leicestershire CLP
Secretary, Northampton South CLP
Chair, Nottingham East CLP
Chair, Ochil CLP
Chair, Orkney Islands CLP
Secretary, Orkney Islands CLP
Chair, Oxford East CLP
Chair, Pendle CLP
Secretary, Pendle CLP
Chair, Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP
Chair, Penrith & The Border CLP
Secretary, Penrith & The Border CLP
Chair, Peterborough CLP
Secretary, Peterborough CLP
Chair, Pontypridd CLP
Chair, Poole CLP
Secretary, Poole CLP
Chair, Poplar & Limehouse CLP
Chair, Pudsey CLP
Chair, Reading District CLP
Secretary, Reading District CLP
Chair, Richmond Park CLP
Secretary, Rochford & Southend East CLP
Chair, Romsey & Southampton North CLP
Chair, Rotherham CLP
Secretary, Rotherham CLP
Chair, Rushcliffe CLP
Secretary, Rushcliffe CLP
Chair, Scarborough & Whitby CLP
Secretary, Scarborough & Whitby CLP
Chair, Sedgefield CLP
Secretary, Sedgefield CLP
Chair, Sefton Central CLP
Secretary, Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough CLP
Secretary, Sheffield Central CLP
Secretary, Sheffield Hallam CLP
Chair, Sheffield Heeley CLP
Secretary, Sheffield Heeley CLP
Chair, Shipley CLP
Secretary, Shipley CLP
Chair, Somerton & Frome CLP
Chair, South Dorset CLP
Secretary, South Dorset CLP
Secretary, South East Cambridgeshire CLP
Secretary, South East Cornwall CLP
Chair, South Staffordshire CLP
Secretary, South Staffordshire CLP
Secretary, South Suffolk CLP
Chair, South Thanet CLP
Co-Secretary, South West Bedfordshire CLP
Chair, South West Devon CLP
Chair, South West Wiltshire CLP
Secretary, South West Wiltshire CLP
Secretary, Southampton Itchen CLP
Chair, Southport CLP
Secretary, Southport CLP
Chair, St Austell & Newquay CLP
Secretary, St Austell & Newquay CLP
Chair, Stafford CLP
Secretary, Stafford CLP
Secretary, Stevenage CLP
Secretary, Stockton South CLP
Secretary, Stoke South CLP
Chair, Stretford & Urmston CLP
Secretary, Suffolk Coastal CLP
Secretary, Sutton & Cheam CLP
Chair, Swansea West CLP
Secretary, Thornbury & Yate CLP
Chair, Tonbridge & Malling CLP
Secretary, Tonbridge & Malling CLP
Chair, Torbay CLP
Secretary, Tottenham CLP
Chair, Truro & Falmouth CLP
Secretary, Truro & Falmouth CLP
Chair, Wallasey CLP
Secretary, Wallasey CLP
Chair, Wansbeck CLP
Secretary, Wansbeck CLP
Chair, Warley CLP
Secretary, Warley CLP
Secretary, Washington & Sunderland West CLP
Chair, Wells CLP
Chair, West Ham CLP
Secretary, West Suffolk CLP
Chair, Weston-super-Mare CLP
Secretary, Weston-super-Mare CLP
Chair, Wimbledon CLP
Secretary, Wimbledon CLP
Secretary, Winchester CLP
Chair, Windsor CLP
Secretary, Windsor CLP
Chair, Wirral West CLP
Secretary, Wirral West CLP
Secretary, Woking CLP
Chair, Wolverhampton South West CLP
Secretary, Wolverhampton South West CLP
Chair, Worcester CLP
Secretary, Worcester CLP

If you are a CLP Chair or Secretary, you can add your signature below. You will be sent an email with a link to confirm your signature - we will not receive your details until you have confirmed. Your details will not be used for any other purpose than to verify and list your signature unless you check the box to register for email updates.
* indicates required
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp