The now infamous leaked report appears to show that some of the most influential and highly placed Labour Party officials actively campaigned against our Party and wanted us to perform poorly in the 2017 General Election. These revelations have caused deep hurt and anguish among members up and down the country.

The 860-page document titled “The work of the Labour Party’s Governance and Legal Unit in relation to anti-Semitism, 2014-2019” is reported to show active feuds driven by factionalism, intolerable levels of corruption and deliberate efforts to undermine the then leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The previous General Secretary, Iain McNichol, our Party’s Head Quarters and The Legal and Compliance unit all face some very serious allegations.

This leaked report appears to evidence:

  • abusive, misogynistic and violent language
  • structural racism
  • factionally motivated social media trawling
  • factionally motivated blacklisting & purges
  • party officials ‘feeling sick’ that Labour performed better than had been expected in the 2017 General Election
  • revelations of diverting party funds towards safe seats favoured by party officials
  • obstruction of anti-Semitism complaints, giving the impression little was being done on this issue, both through general incompetence and, in some instances, deliberate actions or inactions
  • obstruction of parliamentary candidates on factional grounds

We note also the report fails to mention NEC meetings, Council selections, CLP’s and how such a toxic culture is likely to permeate down to Regional Offices and even local members’ behaviour.

With the benefit of hindsight and knowing we came within 2227 votes of a Labour government in 2017, the alleged disgusting behaviour exposed by this report is truly galling. The fact it appears that paid party officials were potentially involved in the actions that may have cost us that election multiplies the pain of losing by such a small margin.

If Labour is to win, it must be able to work together, yet evidently there are those who appear incapable of supporting this aim. Indeed, our own EC members have personal experience of such abuse, defamation and obstruction, locally. This report merely adds to our fears it is endemic. There is no excuse for abuse or undermining. This has to stop. Inaction is complicity. To win, we must form a broad church, and that simply cannot happen while those who would behave in the way that this report alleges are allowed to remain as party members, let alone in senior positions within it.

Both Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have pledged to bring unity, which is badly needed. South West Devon CLP Executive support this aim but note unity cannot be achieved with a whitewash. While clarity is needed, any subsequent investigation runs the risk of detraction and subtraction, which could further demoralise members and alienate voters. This matter is urgent, and strong leadership is required.

We simply cannot harbour abusers, defamers or members who seek to undermine our electoral chances. While we welcome Iain McNicol standing down from his position as Chief Whip in the House of Lords, the Party must not allow this report merely to scapegoat individuals, and leave the underlying culture of division, obstructionism and hypocrisy, intact. Simply drumming-out high profile figures will not correct a rotten culture. This too must be reformed, and all those guilty of subverting our Party’s aims must face our members in the name of justice. Justice for every person who knocked on doors, who sent donations, who pays a subscription and who hoped for a Labour victory in 2017 and beyond. We speak for all of these good people.

Therefore, South West Devon CLP Executive express full solidarity with the victims of abuse, obstruction and structural racism described in this leaked report. Furthermore, while we do not condone the leaking of an unredacted version of this report, the anti-democratic, racist, misogynistic, abusive and factional behaviours alleged within it must be openly investigated and challenged. We stand side by side with the whistle-blowers, as all socialists, trade unionists and members of the Labour Party should, in the best traditions of our movement.

We call for suspensions pending investigations and the immediate expulsion of any member guilty of undermining our movement, values and electoral chances: their continued membership is an affront to our movement, history, members and the hopes of millions betrayed by their incompetent and immoral actions. Further, if the Labour Party is to recover, we urge a root and branch approach to dealing with this behaviour now be a priority. Only by dealing with this effectively can we hope to move forward, heal and recover from the damage that has been done and work together to elect a Labour government.

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