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CLPs "banned" from discussing motions supporting charity bike ride for Palestinian children

MEMBERS of two constituency Labour parties (CLPs) in London have been banned from discussing motions supporting a charity bike ride in aid of Palestinian children.

The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) east London branch said that Bethnal Green and Bow CLP and neighbouring Poplar and Limehouse CLP had planned to discuss supporting the annual bike ride, staged by PSC groups across Britain, until local party officers stepped in.

It added that the ban came under a directive, issued late last month by Labour general secretary David Evans, that motions in support of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are “out of order.”

The East London PSC said: “The motion in support of the Big Ride for Palestine was submitted to the CLPs in November 2019.

“Due to suspension of Labour Party meetings during the pandemic, the motions were referred back to the CLPs for resubmission last month. Members were assured this was merely procedural.

“However, hours before branch meetings were due to be held in December, members were informed the motion in support of the Big Ride had been ruled ‘out of order’ and could not be discussed. This fell under the same prohibition of motions regarding party democracy and reinstatement of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

“East London PSC condemns any decision that prohibits discussion or support for a motion in support of a charity event in aid of Palestine by the Labour Party.”

The party has adopted the widely criticised definition of anti-semitism drawn up by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which equates criticism of Israel with anti-semitism. 

East London PSC said: “Last year, the PSC warned that the adoption of the non-legally binding IHRA ‘working definition’ of anti-semitism risked a chilling effect and suppression of solidarity with Palestine. Our warnings and worst fears have proven justified.”

The Morning Star has approached the Labour Party for comment.

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