The Progress pogrom against Jeremy Corbyn claimed its first victim tonight, when Andrew Fisher, the Labour leader’s policy adviser, had his party membership suspended.
Fisher, however, seems set to continue to work in Corbyn’s office and he confirmed to Inside Croydon tonight that, in an act of some defiance, he will be fulfilling his speaking commitments this weekend.
Fisher must be re-assured that he has the support of his employer. Corbyn said tonight: “I have full confidence in Andrew Fisher and his work. I respect the integrity of the General Secretary’s office and trust that this matter will be settled as quickly as possible.”
Fisher’s suspension came in response to a complaint from that well-known Women’s Equality Party supporter, The Hon Emily Benn, as Inside Croydon reported here last month.
Fisher’s offence? At a time when he held no office within the Labour Party, he expressed his own opinions on Twitter, including one attempt at sarcasm about the oxymoronic anarchist who was standing as a candidate against The Hon Emily in the Croydon South constituency.
And someone in Labour in Croydon filed away that tweet from 18 months ago and has used it to try to embarrass the party’s new leadership team.
Fisher – an occasional contributor to Inside Croydon – issued an apology for that “misinterpreted” tweet last week, which probably made his suspension inevitable. According to a Labour spokesperson tonight: “Andrew Fisher has been suspended from the Labour Party. The NEC [National Executive Committee] will now be asked to authorise a full report to be drawn up with recommendations for disciplinary action if appropriate.”
One of the influential members of the NEC is Ken Livingstone, the former London Mayor and no stranger himself to going head-to-head with his party’s right wingers. Tonight, Livingstone responded to the news of Fisher’s suspension by tweeting (ahhh, Twitter again): “I hope Labour’s General Secretary will now move swiftly over Simon Danczuck and Frank Field. Not one rule for staff and another for MPs.”
Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party in September after gaining 60 per cent of the vote from members, supporters and affiliated organisations.
- Want to find out what Andrew Fisher really thinks, in more than 140 characters? His Inside Croydon article archive can be found here
- Andrew Fisher and John McDonnell are among those due to speak at the Croydon People’s Assembly on Nov 7
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