This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
ANGRY Labour backers accused the party of instigating a “purge” yesterday after hundreds of members received emails barring them from voting in the leadership election — including one of the party’s own council candidates.
Robert Sharpe, a two-time Labour candidate for Salford Council’s Walkden South seat, was caught up in yesterday’s mass expulsions and slammed the party’s “shambolic” response to entryism scare stories.
He said: “It’s been a bit of a shambles. I voted last night and this morning I had an email saying:‘We cancelled your membership, we rejected your application to be a member.’
“My membership got renewed about a month ago. It’s renewed every year. So I called the party and they said ‘We cancelled your membership and you’re not eligible to be a supporter.’ I said I’ve been a council candidate for the last few years, I’ve been a member for five years.’
“My MP has called to say the party has realised their mistake. They confused me with another Robert Sharpe, and they will ring me to apologise.”
Many took to social media to express their anger and disappointment at being barred from the election process.
The Labour Party has repeatedly argued that it wants “the widest number of supporters to have their say in Labour’s leadership contest,” but that it is scrupulously sifting through new applicants.
Those receiving rejection emails have been told that the party had reason to believe they did not support Labour’s “aims and values.”
Many were vetoed retroactively after they had cast their vote, raising concerns of “McCarthyite” style purges of the party’s left wing — in particular Corbyn voters.
Claims of far-left “entryism” have been instigated by the right-wing media since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid took up.
Comedian and writer Pete Sinclair, who was banned after receiving his ballot papers, said he had first backed Labour in 1979 and continued to “vote Labour solidly until Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq, which I couldn’t possibly support.”
But at the last elections he made it public knowledge he would be voting for the Green Party in the safe Labour seat of Greenwich, London.
“I passionately wanted Labour to beat the Tories” he argued, adding that his vote was cast “in order to show Labour that there were supporters to the left that needed to be won back to the party.
“The clincher is that I actually donated to the election campaign — £20.
“The same guy, Iain McNicol, whose name was on the email thanking me for my donation, telling me that I was a valued party supporter, is also on the email saying I am not allowed to vote.
“I would like to ask them if Tony Blair is getting a vote?
“Is being paid to advise the dictator of Kazakhstan consistent with the aims and values of the Labour Party?”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £10 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.