Why we have Resigned as Officers of the Sheffield Labour Local Campaign Forum (LCF)
We have resigned today as officers of Sheffield LCF with immediate effect for two reasons.
The issue that has triggered our resignation has been the events of the last few weeks. The suspension and withdrawal of the whip from Jeremy Corbyn is just the latest attack from the Starmer leadership upon the left in the party. We believe that all socialists in the party must stand up against these attacks.
The determination of the party leadership to erase democracy and socialism within the party, as also demonstrated in the suspensions across the country following the exercising of rights to free speech in the party to defend Corbyn and the policies he represents, demonstrates yet again the direction of the party leadership.
In Sheffield, a delegate to the LCF and a member of the LCF Executive, Lee Rock, has been suspended from the party for having the temerity to have successfully proposed a motion to the LCF calling for the withdrawal of the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn. As LCF Officers we cannot stand by silently whilst others are unfairly treated.
The fact that the current levels of democracy in the party – or lack of democracy – has led to the other four LCF Officers being intimidated into not being able to support Lee publicly persuades us that there is little to be gained in staying in post.
Secondly, Sheffield Council’s ruling Labour Group has shown complete contempt for the party membership with its refusal to work with, and to provide any financial support to, the LCF leading to the redundancy of the LCF’s paid organiser in May.
The Group’s contempt was further demonstrated by the appointment of its own organiser four months later with the same money that it should, under Party convention, have been contributing to the LCF. The Labour Group’s idea of a partnership with the membership is clearly only one that primarily serves the interests of Group members.
We cannot continue to pour time and energy into something which is neither genuine nor productive in representing those we have been elected to speak for – the party membership across the city.
We have always believed that we need to promote a political approach based on equality, democracy and solidarity that presents a socialist alternative to Tory policies.
We urge Labour members to stay in the party and build a genuine socialist opposition from the grassroots upwards which is where our energies will be devoted from now on.
Sheffield Labour Left is the natural home for anyone who despairs at the direction of leadership at both local and national level.
Anne Phipps – Vice Chair, SLCF
Adrian Roxan – Vice Chair, SLCF
Karen Wilson – Treasurer, SLCF
24 November 2020