I joined Labour as a teenager in the 1980s and was expelled in 2003 for standing against Labour when the local Labour council was privatising housing and closing nurseries and other services.
I applied to rejoin last year. My CLP (Hackney South and Shoreditch) objected on the grounds that (a) I (allegedly) support TUSC and (b) I’m a member of Workers’ Liberty. I appealed, and had a hearing in late March in front of a panel of three members of the Regional Board. Thank you to David Osler for giving evidence in support of my application.
I explained that the first objection is not true and never has been, and freely admitted the second, arguing that there are plenty of factions in the Labour Party and that is part of healthy debate. I also explained that I have worked hard for Labour candidates in elections, and am campaigning vocally — against the stream — for my trade union, RMT, to reaffiliate to Labour.
A week later, I received a letter refusing my application to join, but not giving any reason. Apparently I may apply again in two years’ time.
I get annoyed when I think about some of the people who have been allowed to join and the efforts of the Labour Party bureaucracy to keep out people who support its leftwards direction rather than keep up the Party’s membership growth and unite to kick out the Tories.
• If you would like to campaign against this and other exclusions of socialists from the Labour Party, please visit the Stop the Labour Purge website