Today I was deeply concerned to here about the shock expulsion of Pete Radcliff, CLP Chair for Broxtowe. In an email sent to him today he learnt he was to be expelled for 'being an active supporter of the AWL'. Now I may not know him personally, I am aware of how much of a fantastic CLP Chair is and a keen Labour activist. I'm saddened by this news.
In a statement on his Facebook page, he explains how his expulsion came after an 'anonymous complaint' to the party, which he believes may have been sent just hours before Owen Smith's attack on the AWL as being Anti-Semitic. He has made it clear that he is purely against Anti-Semitism and has campaigned against it on numerous occasions. So why is it that being associated with a group Owen Smith has named as being racially prejudiced against Jews has led to a loyal Labour member and CLP chair being kicked out of the party?
The timing is odd, being only a couple of weeks away from the results of the Leadership election being announced. The Chair of a PLP that supported Jeremy Corbyn, and who endorsed Jeremy Corbyn, has been expelled for being linked to a group Owen Smith has called Anti-Semitic. Conspiracy? Maybe...
Scrolling through the comments on the statement released by Broxtowe PLP, I saw many people saying that the decision was outrageous, and many cried out conspiracy. There has been a lot of support for Pete Radcliff, and many people are threatening to write to the party and campaign to get Pete reinstated. This shows true togetherness still prevails in our crippled party.
But this is just one of many incidents that has tarnished the reputation of Labour recently, and it definitely won't be the last. I believe Pete should be reinstated, and will be supporting his campaign. Something needs to be done to stop people who have done nothing wrong being suspended or expelled from the party. People who support certain groups should not be punished unless the group is extremist and hurts the party. Whether the AWL hurt the parties reputation is up for debate, but personally I believe they do not, and Pete's suspension upsets me deeply.
I hope that Labour will reinstate him and let freedom of speech, and indeed the togetherness of his supporters, prevail.