As Starmer & Evans focus on attacking the left rather than the Tories, our left MPs need to fightback:
Open letter to Olivia Blake, MP for Sheffield Hallam
We write to you both as concerned constituents and members of Hallam CLP, to seek your support in our efforts to defend democracy in the Labour Party.
We know that you share our belief that the Labour Party needs to be a vibrant force locally protecting the most vulnerable in our community, but we believe that we have now reached a crisis point in the Labour Party with, as we are sure you are aware, a series of actions by the leadership which bring democracy in the Party into disrepute.
As we know that you have supported efforts questioning the leadership’s decisions around denying the Labour whip to Jeremy Corbyn, hopefully you will share the growing concerns among many members of Hallam CLP.
In particular, you will be aware that, as we write to you, at least three officers or delegates of the CLP have been suspended for the “crime” of following party procedures in either proposing motions to be debated or chairing meetings that allowed motions to be debated. They are, in order of their suspension dates:
Lee Rock – Hallam CLP Representative on the Sheffield district body (Local Campaign Forum) – suspended 13 November 2020
Joe Simpson – Hallam CLP Chair – suspended 15 December 2020
Joseph Ashton – Hallam CLP Vice-Chair - suspended 18 December 2020
We know you will share our view that discrimination in all its forms cannot be allowed within the Labour Party and that, to achieve a way forward to fight intolerance, members need to be allowed to discuss the very real challenges society faces.
Members at Hallam CLP have now voted twice to oppose the actions taken against Jeremy Corbyn, and also to oppose the suspensions of Hallam CLP members for speaking out in his defence, or for allowing motions to discuss the issues. Therefore we are writing to you both as our local MP and as the Parliamentary representative for our CLP to ask you to:
a) join with other Socialist Campaign Group of MPs in speaking out publicly to halt these summary suspensions;
b) publicly support the reinstatement of the three suspended Hallam members;
c) continue to help in securing the reinstatement of the PLP whip to former leader Jeremy Corbyn;
d) campaign with others to ensure that ordinary Labour Party members can discuss political issues within their local branches and CLPs
Ben Bower, CLP Secretary 2019 to 2020, CLP Policy & Political Education Officer 2020 to present
Anne Davies, CLP Treasurer 2018 to present
Dylan Cope, CLP Youth Officer 2019 to 2020
Tom Gartrell, CLP Campaigns & Communications Officer 2017 to 2018
Anne Hollows, CLP Women’s Officer 2018 to 2019
Elizabeth Lawrence, CLP Vice Chair (Inclusion) 2017 to 2020
Tony Mercer, CLP Fundraising and Social Officer 2017 to 2019
Adrian Roxan, CLP Campaigns Officer 2017 to 2020
David Sedgley, CLP Secretary 2017 to 2018
Joel Thorpe, CLP Vice Chair (membership) 2017 to 2020
and 41 other members of Hallam CLP
Full list of signatories, and if you wish to sign, here: