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In an official investigation letter, seen exclusively by Evolve Politics, Labour’s Investigations Team allege that the party member – who wishes to remain anonymous – had “engaged in conduct prejudicial and / or grossly detrimental to the Party in breach of Chapter 2, Clause I.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book”.
The charge relates to social media posts published by the party member, which Labour claim:
“a) may reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on race, religion and belief and / or;
“b) may reasonably be seen to involve antisemitic actions, stereotypes and sentiments;
“c) undermines the Party’s ability to campaign against racism:”
However, despite the letter explicitly referring to charges of racism, item 1 of the evidence list details a social media post which Labour’s Complaint Team says makes “derogatory and abusive comments” about people who “don’t believe in a four-day working week and giving people free broadband.”
The letter then details the social media post in question – a tweet originally published by Evolve Politics on Twitter, which was screenshotted and shared to our Facebook page, and then subsequently shared by the Labour Party member.
The tweet, which Evolve published shortly before the 2019 General Election, castigates people who argued against their own interests by mocking the idea of free broadband and a four-day working week – stating:
“Just imagine being an ordinary person genuinely arguing against working a 4-day week and having free broadband.
“If this is you, the super-rich are pissing themselves laughing at how fucking stupid you are.
“Stop reading billionare-propaganda rags, you daft bastards.”
Whilst the post’s language can obviously be construed as inflammatory – as is often the case with Evolve‘s typically blunt posts – it is extremely difficult to see exactly which part of the post could reasonably be described as racist.
Indeed, on receiving news of the allegation, even we were taken aback at the charge of racism against the post – and we wondered whether the post may have actually been in breach of a separate, non-racism related, rule.
But no. The single charge on the investigation letter relates specifically to racism, and nothing else.
Speaking to Evolve Politics regarding the investigation against them, the Labour Party member said the accusation of racism against the post was “Ludicrous, insulting and offensive.”
Labour have given the member seven days to respond to the charges against them, and have also warned them that the matter could result in their expulsion from the party.
This latest bizarre disciplinary case comes hot on the heels of Labour’s Disciplinary Team performing an incredibly swift u-turn regarding their suspension of Jess Barnard, Chair of Young Labour, for the heinous crime of opposing transphobia (yes, *opposing* transphobia).
On Friday, Barnard was sent a letter informing her that she was under investigation by the party for publishing tweets opposing discrimination against trans people.
However, after an almighty uproar on social media – including outrage from members belonging to normally-opposing wings of the party – Labour rescinded their accusation against Barnard, before claiming that the investigation had somehow been issued in “error”.