Crime and Punishment (in the Labour Party)

Dave Levy
3 min readJul 31, 2022
labour conference 2019 CC DFL 2019 BY-SA

I have not studied all the new rules as passed at 2021 conference, but this is a note on proscribed acts and prohibited acts and how they are dealt with.

The existence and role of the Independent Review Board and Independent Complaints Panel are defined across multiple clauses and chapters of the rule book. I think it was designed such that all complaints about discrimination would be dealt with by the new independent review process; certainly this is how it was sold, I think it is two stage. i.e. one bunch of mates of David Evans finds you guilty and you can appeal to …… you get the idea although I should read that part of the rules more thoroughly and write a commentary. It’s certainly designed to be hard to read having cross references across three chapters and delegates at conference were given hours to read them. There is still a role for the NCC but I think it’s easy enough for the bureaucracy to avoid it both within the rules and by bureaucratic manipulation.

On top of this, there are proscribed and prohibited acts. Proscribed acts is supporting other parties in elections, or starting a vexatious legal case against the Party. The duty to offer the accused the rights of natural justice and the right to be fairly treated are excluded from the process of dealing with proscribed acts, but not prohibited acts.

Prohibited acts include supporting another party, physical abusing, threatening or harassing staff, but not other members, failing to pay cost awards against the party, being found guilty by a court of a serious offence, or being the subject of a safeguarding concern. The definition of supporting another party other than at elections is down to the NEC and for each of the organisations proscribed, they have a different list of activities. These powers are defined in this rule,

Possessing membership of, providing financial assistance to, sitting on the ruling body of or otherwise supporting (as may be defined by the NEC) any political organisation that the NEC in its absolute discretion shall declare to be inimical with the aims and values of the Party.

Labour’s Rule Book

An NEC panel makes the decision which may be appealed to the NCC, on a series of limited grounds, but including,

Dave Levy

Brit, Londoner, economist, Labour, privacy, cybersecurity, traveller, father - mainly writing about UK politics & IT,