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LABOUR’S left was in uproar today after the party outlawed four so-called “toxic” grassroots groups – leaving up to 3,000 members at risk of immediate expulsion.
Former shadow home secretary Diane Abbot warned that the move “does nothing to help ordinary people, and nothing to fight the Tories,” as Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s war on socialists intensifies.
On Tuesday evening, Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) voted to proscribe membership of Resist, Labour Against the Witchhunt (LAW), Labour in Exile Network and Socialist Appeal, meaning any members or those involved with the groups are likely to be expelled from the party.
The organisations supposedly stand against party values by “promoting” communism, suggesting anti-semitism allegations against members are overblown, and demanding that former leader Jeremy Corbyn be reinstated as a Labour MP after Sir Keir withdrew the party whip in October.
Slamming the move, Ms Abbott told the Morning Star: “Divided parties don’t win elections. [Former leader] Neil Kinnock tried this and look where it got him and us. Even [ex-PM] Tony Blair was sensible enough to realise that Labour’s left is integral to it.”
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell pointed out there are already procedures in place for any members who break rules, stressing attacking socialists “flies in the face of what Labour has always stood for.”
The Hayes and Harlington MP also questioned which groups may be targeted next, amid fears that Momentum is in the cross hairs of the leadership team.
In a statement ahead of the vote, Mr Hodson said that the Labour leadership is an “absolute disgrace,” saying: “We must not allow them to get away with this purge. My union is totally opposed to the return to McCarthyite thought control.”
Socialist Appeal editor Rob Sewell blasted the vote as a “blatant, politically motivated attack on the left [from] the right-wing determined to expunge socialism” from the party.
Attempts to create an exclusive “star chamber” — to act as judge and jury on similar decisions in future — failed, however, after the proscription paper was amended to specify such moves needed to be ratified by a meeting of the entire NEC.
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