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Purged Labour members set up fightback against suspensions

PURGED Labour Party members have set up a campaign opposing the suspensions of local party officials for allowing motions supporting Jeremy Corbyn.

The Labour In Exile Network (LIEN) aims to bring “true democracy” to the Labour Party through its Plan for Change campaign.

The plan will aim to make the party more democratic, protect the right of members to debate issues of their choice, and radically overhaul the party’s disciplinary procedures, the group says.

LIEN member Norman Thomas, who was chairman of South Thanet Labour Party until his recent suspension, said he was targeted because he allowed debate on a motion calling for the restoration of the whip to former party leader Mr Corbyn.

He said the party was now “fundamentally undemocratic,” adding that members’ right to free speech has been “outrageously curtailed” and that many “active and hardworking members are being suspended for no good reason.

“The current leadership has launched a kind of ‘reign of terror’ in the party, ordering people not to even talk about these issues at their local meetings and suspending anyone who dares to fight back. This cannot go on,” he said.

“Our aim will be to provide a model for a reformed, truly democratic Labour Party. 

“It is appalling that the party of social justice has been so unjust and unfair to its own members.

“The purge has, of course, demoralised many members into resigning. We urge them to stay and fight — fight for change.”

The group will hold an Alternative Labour Party Conference in 2021, at which its plan will be debated and put to a vote.

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