CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Branch votes in support of Corbyn

12 November, 2020 — By John Gulliver

Jeremy Corbyn

SUPPORT for beleaguered Jeremy Corbyn came from a well-attended Zoom meeting of a local Labour Party meeting on Tuesday with a motion that – in coded language – won a slight majority, 33 votes to 29.

Under an edict sent by the party’s general secretary, David Evans, members are banned from objecting to Corbyn’s suspension on the ground that they are not “competent” to discuss disciplinary matters.

More than 60 members of the key Highgate branch apparently zoomed into the meeting, and a debate lasted about half an hour.

But, I understand, the motion simply stated “solidarity” for Corbyn and stressed his campaigns against racism and anti-semitism.

Corbyn’s historic suspension – the first time for a former party leader for more than a century – followed his comments after the publication of Equality and Human Rights Commission report into anti-semitism, when he stated that the scale of the problem had been “dram­atically over-stated for political reasons”.

Though the motion did not call for his reinstate­ment it argued the party had grown massively under his leadership. A speaker on the motion also said Corbyn was “over a barrel” with Brexit trying to keep competing party factions together – and lost out in the bitter defeat of the election. He empha­sised Corbyn did not have a “racist bone in his body” – and he spoke as a Jew brought up in the shadow of the Holocaust. To accuse Corbyn of anti-semitism “drained” any meaning from the word.

Other branches in London have passed motions of support as a coded way of getting around rules but the Highgate motion is significant because it has emerged in the heart of the constituency of Sir Keir Starmer – Corbyn’s opponent.

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