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Veteran Labour member warns ‘witch-hunt’ is ‘endangering the very existence’ of the party

Parliamentary reporter @TrinderMatt

A VETERAN Labour member became the latest grassroots figure today to condemn the leadership’s apparent “witch hunt” against socialists, warning that it is “endangering the very existence” of the party.

Graham Bash, chairman of South Thanet Labour Party and a leading left activist, has been threatened with expulsion for allegedly supporting Labour Against the Witch-hunt (LAW).

The group was one of four supposedly “toxic” left organisations banned last month at the request of party leader Sir Keir Starmer’s team.

Mr Bash, who has spent more than 50 years in Labour’s ranks, denied being a current member of LAW, which stands in solidarity with people it says have been unfairly expelled from the party.

Nonetheless, in a letter to Labour’s governance and legal unit, Mr Bash, also a political officer with Jewish Voice for Labour, stressed that he is in full agreement with LAW’s opposition to the apparent purge of socialist members.

The move comes just days after legendary film director Ken Loach was thrown out of the party for refusing to condemn those already ejected.

Mr Bash wrote: “The expulsion of Ken is a hugely destructive and foolish act by the Labour leadership which they will come to regret. Ken is a hugely talented and sincere socialist and we cannot afford to lose him.”

Sir Keir’s actions have driven out thousands of members who joined under former leader Jeremy Corbyn “in the belief Labour could become a vehicle for socialist transformation and a beacon of hope throughout the world,” he charged. 

“I will continue to fight for socialism in Britain and internationally – inside the party if I may, outside if I must.”

Labour has been contacted for comment.

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