There have been claims of a new ‘purge’ within a London CLP, after hundreds of local members were threatened with having their party membership rescinded within days because they were not on the electoral roll, despite confirmation that they ARE registered.
A tweet by a young member in East Ham showed an image of a letter which they claim was sent solely to pro-Corbyn members in the ward, where a byelection is due shortly following the resignation of Cllr Veronica Oakeshott (no relation!)
It reads: “A routine review shows that you are not registered at [address] the address given in your Labour Party membership application” and asks the recipients to send proof of their registration from Newham Electoral Services.
They are informed that failure to do this would mean: “...your membership of the Labour Party will be cancelled without further written notice to you, as provided for by Rule 2.1.7 which states ‘The NEC may rescind endorsement as a full party member when evidence is provided that the individual concerned neither resides at the address given on the membership system and/or is not on the electoral register and is therefore (subject to 5 above) ineligible for membership’”
According to local blog forestgate.net:
“There will be a by-election to fill the ‘casual vacancy’, most likely in late October. Labour will, of course, hold the seat easily. The real interest will be in who is selected as the candidate. No names have emerged yet, but Momentum is already organising to ensure that it is one of their people”
There have also been complaints that members within the ward were not sent an email inviting them to put themselves forward as candidates, whereas members in a neighbouring ward had been contacted - even male members, despite the seat being women-only.
The date for the by-election has been set for Thursday 1 November, and Boleyn ward will be holding its selection meeting on Tuesday 2 October. Needless to say, any member whose membership had been rescinded would be ineligible to stand.
Incidentally, sharp-eyed readers will notice the date in the letter reads ‘21st September 2019’ – we believe this to be a simple typing error, as it seems unlikely that ineligible members would be permitted to remain for more than a year if their status was known.
East Ham CLP and London Labour have been contacted for comment and further details will be added as and when they become available