Labour NEC member suspended for speaking at proscribed group’s event

A newly elected member of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) has revealed that she has received a ‘notice of allegation and administrative suspension’ for appearing at an event organised by a group proscribed by the party.

Sharing the news of her suspension on social media this afternoon, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi confirmed that she had been told she had “committed a prohibited act” contrary to Chapter 2, Clause I.5.B of the party’s rule book.

Her suspension for speaking at the event last September means that she is not allowed to attend meetings of the NEC, the party’s governing body to which she was elected earlier this month, including the annual general meeting (AGM) of the committee due to take place during Labour’s conference in Liverpool next week.

Wimborne-Idrissi was elected to the NEC as a Constituency Labour Party (CLP) representative on September 1st in the 14th round of voting after standing on a slate of left-wing candidates.

Tweeting in response to the suspension, Wimborne-Idriss wrote: “No link of course to my appearance in [Al Jazeera’s] #LabourFiles series exposing multiple abuses within Labour. First one out tonight. Not to be missed.”

TV channel Al Jazeera will broadcast the first part of a three-programme series today focused on the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn.

She added: “Solidarity with all the many, many left delegates to conference and other comrades who have been expelled or suspended in recent days and weeks. What a travesty of democracy! Don’t we have some Tories to fight?”

Reacting to the suspension today, a Momentum spokesperson said: “This is yet another abuse of process by [Keir] Starmer’s Labour. Naomi was elected by members just weeks ago, but the Labour machine has wasted no time in working to undermine party democracy. This wave of proscriptions and suspensions is at odds with natural justice and basic principles of free speech.”

Labour’s rules say “proscribed acts” include “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”.

NEC members voted to proscribe four groups – Socialist Appeal, Labour in Exile Network, Labour Against the Witchhunt and Resist – at a meeting in July 2021. They proscribed three further groups – the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL), the Labour Left Alliance (LLA) and the Socialist Labour Network – in March 2022. Supporters of the groups were automatically expelled.

Jewish News reported that Wimborne-Idrissi’s suspension is thought to relate to a speech given at an event organised by Resist, proscribed in July last year. Nine NEC members voted against the proscription of the group, which is led by former Labour MP Chris Williamson and intends to register as a political party.

A Jewish Labour Movement spokesperson said of the proscriptions at the time that they “welcome this decision and the strong political signal it sends”, adding that “membership of these groups is incompatible with Labour’s values and its drive to tackle antisemitism in our party”.

NEC member and ex-MP Laura Pidcock published a statement criticising the proscription of the four organisations in July. It was signed by most left NEC members – nine, plus Unite rep Amy Jackson – but not all.

Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi has been contacted for comment.

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