“Such practices would not be tolerated in the workplace, nor in the justice system”

Pamela Fitzpatrick posted this response to the Labour Party’s threat of ‘auto-exclusion’ on Facebook on August 23rd

I received a letter by email this morning from the Labour Party compliance unit. Not sadly to tell me the outcome of the complaint I made 3 years ago of sustained and serious harassment. No. The letter was to inform me that the party has reason to believe I am a supporter of Socialist Appeal. It threatens that I am to be ‘auto excluded’ from the party unless within 7 days I provide evidence that I am not such a supporter.

The evidence provided in support of the accusation is a screenshot of me in my home on zoom when I was interviewed by Socialist Appeal in May 2020. At the time I had applied for for the position of General Secretary of the Labour Party. I explained at the interview with Socialist Appeal that I would want to see the party have a fair complaints and disciplinary process which adhered to the rules we as trade unionists demand of employers and the justice system.

I am an active councillor out on the doorstep every week trying to persuade residents to vote for Labour.  I am Chair of the Labour Group and Chair of the Planning Committee. I am also an active trade unionist, Chair of my union branch and Treasurer of Harrow Trades Council. I am co-Vice Chair of the Labour Representation Committee and just elected to the Labour National Women’s Committee.

I also have a full time job running a busy legal charity in Harrow providing free legal advice to the community. I am a trustee of a local charity working with young people. I have given years of service both to the Labour Party and to the community.

Wearing these various hats I have taken part in many interviews with different groups, charities and religious groups.  Sometimes I even have to sit in the same room as Tories.  Doing so does not make me a member or supporter of such  groups, charities or religions.

Such practices as set out in the Party letter to me would not be tolerated in the workplace, nor in the justice system but we are allowing a small group of people in our party to use these practices on our own members.

Clearly it is completely against the rules of natural justice to introduce a rule and then apply it retrospectively. Clearly it is impossible to prove a negative. Clearly it is at odds with Article 6 of the Human Rights Act to conduct a trial in this way.

Members need to decide whether they support such appalling practices.  If they do they surely are the ones who have no place in our party.  So which side are you on?

Pamela Fitzpatrick was the Labour candidate for Harrow East in the 2019 general election. She has now instructed solicitors who have written to the Labour Party to put them on notice of potential legal proceedings.

Sign the petition in support of Pamela Fitzpatrick here.

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