Endgame in Brighton and Hove as grassroots prepare for council elections

In advance of the inaugural meeting of the Labour Party’s Local Campaign Forum (LCF) in Brighton and Hove on Sunday, November 26, I was invited to submit the brief article below to the latest edition of Labour Briefing.

It’s endgame in Brighton and Hove. Unsurprisingly, the nastiness of the few has re-emerged — in a final attempt to thwart the aspirations of the many.

A new Local Campaign Forum will soon hold its inaugural meeting — and the Machiavellian machinations of a tiny minority of anti-Corbyn conspirators will reach a climax.

In the last 18 months, grassroots members have witnessed a litany of undemocratic interventions by the Labour Party machine: annulment of elections that overwhelmingly voted for a pro-Corbyn leadership; suspension of an all-member citywide party; enforced dissolution of the biggest party unit in the country; its replacement by three delegate-based Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs).

Now — with all three CLPs led by pro-Corbyn executive committees, with most branches led by pro-Corbyn officers — everything is to play for when it comes to the LCF, which will oversee the selection process of Labour Party candidates for council elections in 2019.

It is against this background that Councillor Warren Morgan, the Progress member who is leader of the Labour Group on Brighton & Hove City Council, brought the party into disrepute — with his public smear, during the Labour Party conference in Brighton, about “anti-semitism being aired publicly in fringe meetings and on the floor of conference”.

His outburst was a gift for the Daily Mail, The Sun, and Theresa May, who referred to it in her Tory Party conference speech and then during Prime Minister’s Questions.

For me — suspended for more than a year after I exposed Cllr Morgan’s lies about the “spitting” that triggered the suspension of the citywide party — it was followed by a fabricated attack by social-media trolls who libellously asserted I was suspended because of alleged anti-semitism.

I have not been told why I have been suspended, but not even my worst enemies have accused me of such a vile crime. I have complained to Iain McNicol, the Labour Party general secretary.

One of the people behind the self-styled “Labour Against Antisemitism” is chair of a nearby CLP in Kent; another is a party member in Lewisham East.

This is indeed endgame. For socialists in my city — and for me.

Greg Hadfield has been suspended by the Labour Party — without charge, without knowing the name of the complainant, and without a hearing — since October 26 last year. He blogs at: www.medium.com/@greghadfield

Pro-Corbyn. Elected secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party; votes annulled by NEC; suspended Oct 2016; re-instated Feb 2019. Ex-Fleet Street.