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POET Kevin Higgins remains suspended by the Labour Party 18 months after writing a satire about critics of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
A letter printed in today’s Morning Star, signed by more than 30 people, has called on Labour to reinstate Mr Higgins’s membership, branding his continued suspension from the party “absurd.”
Mr Higgins was one of the many to receive letters from Labour’s compliance unit suspending him from the party after the Labour right organised a failed attempt to dislodge Mr Corbyn as leader in the fallout of the EU referendum vote in 2016.
Included in the list of accusations against Mr Higgins was that he had refashioned German writer Bertolt Brecht’s poem Ballad of the Soldier’s Wife as a satire about Tony and Cherie Blair.
The poet lives in Ireland but campaigned for Labour during a visit to Britain and has continued to pay his membership fee as an overseas member.
He has been a member of the party since the age of 15 and was active in the anti-poll tax movement.
In 2015 he wrote the satirical poem Blair’s Advice on hearing that the former prime minister had written a column in the Observer saying Labour would only be successful by occupying the “centre ground.”
He tweeted at the time: “Tony Blair needs to just go away. I hear he has an article in today’s Observer. I’d rather make love to John Prescott than read it.”
Mr Higgins’s supporters wrote: “We think it absurd that someone can remain suspended from the UK Labour Party for 18 months for the supposed crime of writing satirical poems.”
They called on the party to “immediately clarify this situation.”
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