Party bosses have told Brighton, Hove and District Labour members that they won’t be able to rerun key elections until after the national leadership contest has decided Jeremy Corbyn’s fate.
In the meantime the local party has been suspended and the elections held last weekend have been declared void.
Nor is the local party allowed to meet in the meantime – a ban that looks likely to be defied within days.
Katherine Buckingham, Labour’s head of disputes and discipline, emailed John Warmington, who held the post of secretary before the weekend. The former councillor was one of the defeated candidates, having stood for the post of treasurer.
The letter said:
“Dear Mr Warmington
“Notice of administrative suspension of Brighton and Hove Labour Party
“Following the recent Brighton and Hove AGM, many complaints and reports of concern have been made to the National Labour Party.
“These allege abusive behaviour by some attendees, as well as reports that the ballots results were not properly reached.
“We are particularly concerned that the safety of members at the meeting was compromised.
“The decision of the chair of the NEC’s Disputes Panel is that the results of this AGM be voided.
“There will be a new AGM, under the following conditions
- It will take place after the result of the national leadership election
- It will be organised and operated by Party staff and members of the regional board, who will also act as monitors
- It will be held in a larger venue
“The procedural rules of the leadership election state that no CLP (Constituency Labour Party) meetings may be held during the contest.
“Brighton and Hove Labour Party is also precluded from meeting to make a supporting nomination, or any other business.
“Please note that this also precludes Brighton and Hove Labour Party from organising any leadership hustings.
“The activities of some during and following the AGM may put the safety of members at risk should any further meetings be held until the contest is over.
“I hope that the local party will return to comradely conduct and that this matter will soon be behind you.”
The chair of the NEC’s (National Executive Committee’) Disputes Panel is Ann Black, who is also the secretary of the Oxford East CLP.
According to the Labour Party website: “The NEC Disputes Panel is a panel of the NEC Organisation Committee which hears membership appeals, re-admission applications, party disputes and conciliation, minor investigations and local government appeals where referred to the NEC.
“It operates in a quasi-judicial fashion, conducting hearings and interviews around the country where necessary.”