Labour reinstates Palestine campaigner

Jo Bird addressing a meeting in 2018. (Labour Against the Witch Hunt)

After grassroots outrage at her suspension, Palestine solidarity campaigner and left-wing Jewish Labour councilor Jo Bird is back in the race to be elected to UK Labour’s ruling national executive.

The Electronic Intifada understands that Bird’s membership suspension, imposed last week, has now been reversed.

The Labour Party did not reply to a request for comment on Saturday, but its website confirms the news.

The news comes the same day The Skwawkbox reported that up to 90 percent of evidence in recent anti-Semitism investigations is rejected by a key Labour disciplinary committee as “flimsy or irrelevant.”

Labour’s online tally of local party nominations to the National Executive Committee now again lists Bird.

A copy of the same page from earlier this week omits Bird’s name.

Her current tally of 111 nominations puts her in fourth place. Before her suspension, Bird had been in joint first place.

Labour’s ruling national executive has the power to set the party’s rules and enact disciplinary measures against members. Three seats on the committee are up for election.

Voting will take place next week.

Bird was suspended earlier this month in what many members said was an attempt to rig the election against the left and Palestine solidarity campaigners.

Despite Bird’s suspension from the race, local Labour groups continued to nominate her.

This membership pressure on the party appears to have been successful.

Update

The Labour Party wrote to Bird soon after to confirm the news her suspension had been lifted.

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Just what is happening to the Labour party? Ever since people such as long time Labour supporters have been accused of antisemitism such as Ken etc by Mann it has just got worse- we all know it's the media that has killed labour. I cannot understand how Labour is being controlled by Israel. We have half a million Labour members that should have stopped this. Begun to think politics is full of corruption- the only true guy is JC

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If there was a genuine case against her, why was she re-instated? If your house is burgled and the thief caught red-handed, no amount of pressure from the streets will make the police drop their prosecution. Jo Bird's reinstatement is evidence, if any more were needed, that the accusation of racism against 2,178 Labour members is significantly factitious. Surely the bureaucracy has backed down because it knew it had no case against her and that would become clear, leaving the Party exposed as witch-hunters. That there are staffers willing to manipulate elections to the NEC points to a dark culture at the heart of the Party. Never let it be forgotten that the British Board of Deputies, LFI, the CST conspired in a dishonest, malicious, vicious, underhand campaign to undermine Corbyn, to smear all his supporters as racists and to scupper the possibility of a democratic socialist government. Never let it be forgotten they were ably assisted by Ellman, Hodge, Mann, Berger and many more. Never let it be forgotten that these people set their faces against honesty, principle, democracy and equality. Posterity sees with different eyes and its judgements are harsh. It will condemn them and vindicate us. But what we must also take from Jo's re-instatement, of course, is the lesson that grassroots pressure can work. Every Labour member who deplores the 10 totalitarian pledges demanded by the unrepresentative B o D should protest to the candidates for the leadership. Every members who believes that uncritical acceptance of Zionism is embracing racism and turning the Party into a supporter of Israeli apartheid and oppression of the Palestinians should protest in the same way. The three remaining candidates need to be overwhelmed with protests over their glib support for Zionism, their refusal to condemn Israeli oppression, their shyness in calling for an autonomous, independent State for the Palestinians. They have turned themselves into apologists for a racist regime. Enough.

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Do we know if local groups who wanted (pardon the word choice) to nominate her but didn't because of the suspension still have the chance to change their nominations?

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Are hate crimes and should be prosecuted, at very least members should be suspended pending expulsion, this is an air tight case of a vexatious claim of anti semitism
We only need one to be proven then we can have a proper clean out of those responsible

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Not a peep from the MSM, LabourList or Labour themselves... Just Jo appearing on the nomination lists of the last two again without comment!

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They didn't reinstate Pauline Hammerton. They fast-track expelled her. Why? Because she expressed support for the Palestinians. A decades-long Labour activist expelled by the dark coterie of Zionist lackeys in the Labour bureaucracy. Now she is dead. We should honour her memory. There should be a Pauline Hammerton award for courage in the face of Zionist lies and bullying. We will not forget her nor the democracy and socialism she stood for.

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No tweet or clumsy statement in support of Palestine and/or critical of Israel or Zionism can ever hope to bring the UK Labour Party into disrepute to the degree that Labour's shambolic disciplinary process does so on a daily basis.

According to Skwawkbox, the NEC has now taken it upon itself to suspend (expel?) without the bother of referring a case to the NCC to speed up the process. The suspended can then opt to have the NCC review their case, presumably when they decide that they just might get round to it. Of course, the greater the 'efficiency' in the NEC suspending, the longer the wait for the NCC to review. That makes sense.

It remains to be seen if Jo Bird's reinstatement lasts longer than her suspension; is this more like Chris Williamson rather than Moshe Machover. She could be once more suspended on a new vexatious charge coming to the very efficient NEC.

The whole mess is beyond satire. We hear Rebecca Long-Bailey agree in the Leadership debate that Corbyn said an 'anti-Semitic' thing. If she truly believes this, then surely she needs to lodge a formal complaint and have Corbyn suspended. The only thing that is going to stop this witch hunt is either a substantial rank and file rebellion or a successful appeal to the Courts.

If Labour can't manage an internal disciplinary process, it can't hope to govern a nation.

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That is very good news that she has been reinstated. Her popularity was at an all time high before her suspension and probably she will make it back to the top spot before the elections.

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Asa Winstanley

Asa Winstanley's picture

Asa Winstanley is an investigative journalist and associate editor with The Electronic Intifada. He lives in London. Biography here.