The chair, co-secretary, and various other members of Bristol West CLP have been suspended for allowing a motion to be heard condemning the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn.
After one branch passed the motion, the unelected regional director of the Party advised the chair against the motion being heard at the CLP. The chair nonetheless called a meeting which first voted to hear the motion, by 94 to 59, and then passed motion 99 to 80. No debate was heard on the motion itself, reportedly to ensure the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on Labour and antisemitism itself could not be discussed or challenged.
The motion, like Corbyn’s initial statement, reveals a serious blind-spot on antisemitism on the Labour left. It is good that Corbyn has partly rowed back (on 17 November), saying that “concerns about antisemitism are neither ‘exaggerated’ nor ‘overstated’.”
Nonetheless, we opposed Corbyn’s expulsion, and authoritarian and anti-democratic shutting down of discussion is wrong, and does not solve the problem. Members need the right to discuss important political issues, including disciplinary injustices and the politics of big issues like antisemitism.