Let me start by giving you a brief outline of how my suspension started.
I got an email that said “supporter’s application.” Now you do get a lot of spam off the Labour Party, selling raffle tickets etc. I opened it and I was absolutely gobsmacked to find that I’d been suspended without any hearing, without anyone asking me questions, and more importantly without any reason!
They banned me from conference, from any meeting, and of course they banned me from having a vote in the election, and I believe the whole thing is totally down to the fact that I am a major supporter of Jeremy Corbyn as is the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union.
Once I had tweeted it I had press from all over the world ringing me asking me why this had happened. Well we can give you the reasons, and all the press knew the reasons I had been suspended! Of course, if you look at the Chakrabati Report, it talks about the party having fair procedures and good communications and none of that happened.
I’ve got to say I can’t be absolutely certain [why I have been suspended] but the reasons that were given to the press were two tweets: One where I said, “Hodge, Kinnock and Smith won’t be missed when they leave the party, no room for traitors in our fight against the Tories.” Pretty mild. The second one said, “the traitors in the LP who have voted no confidence in JC, they s hould turn their light blue bile on the Tories.” That is my crime.
In any workplace where we represent people, if an employer gave the reasons out to everybody else before the person who is being charged, that would automatically be ruled as unfair.
When I was suspended I rang the number I was given. I said I had rung up to find out the reasons for my suspension. In the letter it says to ring this number to get the reasons why you have been suspended. I was told I couldn’t be given these over the phone. I said this is absolutely ludicrous, you don’t get the reasons in the letter, you won’t tell me over the phone. How am I supposed to find out?
We sing The Red Flag at the Labour Party Conference, we sing it at our annual conference and so do most other unions, so all of us strictly speaking could be barred for use of the word traitor.
Comrades I would say we have got to keep on fighting. This was an orchestrated attack on Corbyn supporters to make sure he doesn’t get in.
I tell you what they can’t suspend enough of us to stop that happening. Jeremy Corbyn will be re-elected as our leader and we have to make sure we support him right through until he is made Prime Minister.