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Socialist Labour MPs demand Ken Loach is immediately reinstated to the party

THE Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs called on the party to immediately reinstate the membership of filmmaker and anti-racist Ken Loach today.

Mr Loach announced his exclusion from the party through Twitter on Saturday.

He had been a supporter of Labour Against the Witch Hunt, which argues that the right of the party has used anti-semitism claims to purge left-wing members.

The campaign group was banned by the Labour NEC last month alongside three other socialist organisations.

In a statement, the Socialist Campaign Group that said it strongly opposes Mr Loach’s expulsion.

The signatories include former shadow ministers Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon and John McDonnell, MPs Apsana Begum, Ian Lavery and Bell Ribeiro-Addy, former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and some members of the Lords.

“Ken is an outstanding socialist and a fierce opponent of discrimination in all its forms, whose work has done more than any other living British filmmaker to shine a light on injustice and oppression,” the statement read.

“The values embedded in his films — solidarity, compassion, equality — should be the values proudly championed by our party.

“That Ken is expelled while Islamophobes are welcomed is shameful and suggests the party leadership is drifting yet further away from these values.”

The statement goes on to warn that attacks on left-wing party members aim to demoralise and push socialist members away from the party.

It continued: “The only way to return our socialist and internationalist principles to the heart of British politics is for Labour members to stay in the party and champion them.

“The socialist leadership that hundreds of thousands of you made possible need not be consigned to the past of our party.”

Mr Loach received widespread messages of support on Twitter from politicians, trade unionists and campaigners.

Unite’s outgoing general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Solidarity with my friend [Ken Loach], a tireless campaigner for working people and our class. We stand with him.”

Trade union law specialist Lord Hendy said: “I refuse to disown Ken Loach, a friend and comrade. And one of the greatest film makers this country has ever produced.”

Former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard posted a photo with the filmmaker and wrote: “[Ken Loach] is guilty of applying his rare talent to exposing the real life impact of poverty, inequality and injustice.”

 

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