Momentum set to launch “support process” after NCG member suspended

Labour left organisation Momentum is set to launch a “support process” for suspended party members after one of its own top elected representatives was suspended by Labour this week pending investigation.

Alan Gibbons, a member of Momentum’s national coordinating group (NCG) and the secretary of Liverpool Walton Constituency Labour Party (CLP), was administratively suspended from the party on Tuesday.

The specific grounds are not known, but the move came after his local party passed a motion calling for the whip to be restored to Jeremy Corbyn. This kind of motion has been banned by general secretary David Evans.

LabourList now understands that Momentum is preparing to launch a process that will more easily allow socialist lawyers to support Momentum members who have been suspended from Labour for helping to pass such motions.

A spokesperson for Momentum told LabourList: “The mass suspension of members like Alan, with no evidence, is yet another example of the anti-democratic crackdown waged by the Labour leadership on ordinary Labour members.

“This crackdown is not only wrong in principle, but it also undermines our most fundamental electoral asset: the energy and ideas of the mass membership and local Labour Parties.

“Momentum is absolutely committed to opposing these suspensions, and this week we will be launching a support process for our members who have been wrongly suspended. Labour needs profound democratic reform. Our campaign for an elected general secretary is just the start.”

The left-wing organisation revealed last week that it is preparing to launch a campaign for the Labour Party to change its rulebook and enable all members to have a say in who takes up the top job of general secretary in future.

In a piece for piece for Tribune today, Gibbons wrote: “I am organising with other wrongly suspended members, and with the thousands of socialists who oppose the crackdown on principled, socialist Labour Party members.”

The Liverpool Walton activist has received support from many high-profile figures on the party’s left since his suspension. John McDonnell described him as a “principled socialist, who wins respect for the party for the work he does in the community”.

His own MP Dan Carden said: “Alan is my CLP secretary. You will not find a more committed, passionate and caring champion for their community. Suspending members without explanation is no way to treat people who give everything to our party.”

Neighbouring MP Ian Byrne also expressed solidarity, saying: “This man and his family work tirelessly to lift up our class, tackling inequality, injustice and poverty. Alan embodies the best of the Labour Party and our communities.”

Former party chair Ian Lavery, Socialist Campaign Group secretary Richard Burgon and Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett are among those in the labour movement who have spoken out in support of Gibbons.

A Labour Party spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints seriously and they are fully investigated in line with our rules and procedures and any appropriate action is taken.”

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