More outcry as Labour suspends another prominent CLP figure

UK Map of Labour CLPs Alan Gibbons and Keir Starmer
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Just when you thought Labour’s “strong-arming” of it’s Constituency Parties (CLPs) couldn’t get any worse – it does. Because the party machinery has now suspended a prominent figure in a Liverpool branch.

Big Brother

The Canary has been following developments in CLPs. As it reported last week, after suspending chairs and secretaries of two Bristol CLPs, the Labour Party moved the attacks onto Bath. SKWAWKBOX reported that Bath CLP:

has been forced to cancel a planned meeting to elect officers and discuss motions after ‘deliberate confusion’ in which all the planned motions it submitted were ruled out by the party’s regional office – except one to mark the anniversary of the death of George Orwell

It called this “literally Orwellian”.

Why is the party doing this? Because back in November, it sent an internal memo out. SKWAWKBOX reported that it stated that “all motions which touch on” the “issues” surrounding Corbyn “must be ruled out of order”. In other words, CLPs must throw out any motions relating to the former Labour leader. But now, the party has gone even further.

A step too far?

SKWAWKBOX reported that it has suspended Alan Gibbons, secretary of Liverpool Walton CLP. He is also an elected rep on Momentum’s National Coordinating Group (NCG). The Labour Party reportedly gave no reason for its suspension of Gibbons. But SKWAWKBOX said that:

Walton CLP recently voted in support of Jeremy Corbyn, one of hundreds of CLPs to do so. Officers of other CLPs have been suspended for respecting the democracy and free speech of their members

Read on...

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People on social media were shocked. Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell weighed in:

So did former shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon:

The Canary‘s editor-at-large Kerry-Anne Mendoza had this to say:

And Gibbons himself said he’d fight this “authoritarian twaddle”:

A “Merseyside legend”

SKWAWKBOX wrote that Gibbons:

is a Merseyside legend with organising and campaigning in his blood. When fascists tried to organise marches through Liverpool, Alan was at the forefront of organising to make sure they barely left Lime Street station before ‘squirming’ back inside and hiding until they all left again. He did it not once, but twice. He marches regularly in solidarity with the victims and survivors of Grenfell and is right at the heart of Black Lives Matter solidarity protests.

It seems the latest socialist to fall foul of the Labour Party purge will not be going down without a fight. But Gibbons is now part of a long line of prominent CLP members subject to this authoritarianism from the party machinery. So, The Canary has begun to document what’s happening.

Mapping the purge

We’re mapping CLPs that are resisting the main party line. You can view our interactive map here. On it, you can see the number of CLPs that oppose the main party’s stance:

The Canary Interactive Map

Our investigative journalist Emma Guy is coordinating the map. She said:

Thank you to everyone who we have worked closely with over the last few days. We’ve realised that what we initially found is just the surface of a much larger story. We’re working around the clock to verify our information and will have a big announcement for you all next week. Thank you for your patience, we won’t keep you waiting for long.

We want to keep this project up-to-date. So, if you’re a member of a CLP that has recently passed a motion that goes against the main party line, contact us. You can speak to Guy by emailing emma.guy(at)

Alternatively, you can securely get in touch via our Tip Offs page here.

Labour’s suspension of Gibbons is perhaps the peak of this current purge. Removing a principled pillar of the community is beyond a step too far. It is peak authoritarianism. Its reinstatement of him must be swift and apologetic.

Featured image via The Canary, Sky News – YouTube and Forward Momentum – YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Compliment in disguise. How anyone can want to stay in such a party of corruption, double standards, hypocrisy, lack of conviction, meaningful political direction and lack of morals defeats me. Better off out of it. This is banana republic kangaroo court stuff. Don’t vote for them either when the time comes. Corruption is wrong wherever it exists. Standards of decency and fairness are simply not high enough to attract my vote.

    2. After next years council elections, there must be a concerted effort to get rid of Keir Starmer. If that is unsuccessful, then the left must form a new party. There just will not be enough difference between Starmer and the Tories to make it worth while.

    3. I’m guesing about 400,000 voters will be dumping the Labour Party. It’s hard to understand Starmer by what they say. Its so vague, and lacks any reasoning to think with so one can make up one’s mind.
      Where are their reasons???
      Apart from the Big LIe to silence people with that is it looks like a blank vision.
      Hard to imagine anyone taking an interest in joining a Party without a discussion about values , and why. You know, debate.
      No debate, no problem!
      No new thought either.

    4. Why Alan Gibbons looks like one of the orignal inahbitants of Britian with a rebellious wild look in his eye the Romans found difficult to deal with. This much be simply too much for Keir Starmer’s flock who no doubt will be upset at having look upon this threat to their conceived social order. Why his teeshirt has the word “Gaelic” on it, and is the colour blue!

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