David White, the local official who was summarily suspended without a hearing by Labour over his now notorious Ken Livingstone/Zionist/Hitler tweet, has received no information from the party regarding the procedure for any hearing, who has accused him, nor what rules he is alleged to have broken.
It is nearly one month since Labour drew-up its letter to advise White of his suspension.
Labour’s handling of his case has persuaded White, a retired solicitor, to look to co-ordinate his own campaign for reinstatement with other party members “who have also been suspended in what appear to be unfair circumstances”.
Some observers of recent Labour Party wranglings saw the suspension of White as one of the latest expressions of the power struggle between socialists and the right-wing Blairites from Progress, the party-within-a-party.
Steve Reed OBE, the former leader of Lambeth Council and since 2012 the MP for the neighbouring constituency of Croydon North, is a vice-chair of Progress.
Croydon Central was one of the CLPs which nominated Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Party leader. White is the second Croydon Central figure to have been suspended by the party, following Andrew Fisher, the Corbyn adviser, who was also investigated following complaints, it is thought from Progress, about his activity on social media.
Reed is understood to have briefed close colleagues that he had no knowledge of the complaint against White which led to his suspension.
White, 67, has been a Labour Party member since 1970. Prior to his suspension, White was the secretary of the Croydon Central Constituency Labour Party.
Just before the Bank Holiday weekend, White issued a brief update on his position to friends and party colleagues. “I’m grateful for the many expressions of support on the issue of my suspension,” he said. “To date, I’ve received no details of the procedure or timescale for the investigation or what Labour Party rules I’m alleged to have breached,” White said.
“I have, however, been told that the investigation will be conducted by Dan Simpson, the London regional director. Dan will no doubt be delighted to have been assigned this task at the same time as he’s running the Tooting by-election and London’s EU Campaign.
“I’m in touch with some other party members in different parts of the country who have also been suspended in what appear to be unfair circumstances, so that if appropriate we can co-ordinate campaigns for reinstatement.”
White’s frustration with the apparent flaws in the Labour process – which has denied him any information about what he is alleged to have done, or who his accusers might be – has persuaded him to consider submitting evidence to the Chakrabarti inquiry, the Labour Party’s response to repeated and varied allegations accusing members of anti-semitism.
White said that he believes that, “… true instances of anti-semitism and other forms of racism must be opposed and rooted out”, while adding that “the issue of anti-semitism is being used at present by the Tories and some in the Labour Party for political purposes and in an attempt to undermine the Labour Party leadership”.
White said, “The Labour Party should review its internal procedures so that people are not routinely suspended when anonymous accusations are made against them, and all investigations should conform to the principles of natural justice.”
White’s local party wrote to Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, on May 11 stating that his suspension should be lifted immediately.
“I received an email from Mr McNicol on May 17 referring to this letter and saying, ‘An Administrative Suspension itself confers no blame or guilt on the recipient and is issued purely to protect the integrity of the Party. There will be an investigation and you will be contacted about this in due course’.”
To date, after nearly a month since being belatedly informed that he was suspended, that remains the only information about his case which White has received.
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