Greg Hadfield

Brighton and Hove: It's not over yet

Greg Hadfield

IT BEGAN WITH FALSE ALLEGATIONS ABOUT SPITTING. And about members' safety being put at risk.

It moved on to accusations of ballotrigging. Which turned out to be little more than concerns by one individual - Ivor Caplin, a former MP and defence minister during the war on Iraq - worried that buckets were used as ballot boxes. Buckets! The decision to suspend Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party - the biggest party unit in the country - was a political decision.

The 6,200-member City Party had the audacity, at its annual meeting on July 9th, to vote for a leadership team whose members supported Jeremy Corbyn. This was unacceptable to a clique of right wing antidemocrats who lied, and lied, and lied again.

Finally, after an inquiry that dragged on for almost four months, the Disputes Panel of the Labour Party's Organisation Committee came to a decision. But did not publish its report. The panel ruled the City Party should be forced to split into three, with the old leadership team left in place. There is no timetable, but panellists hope progress can be made by 2017.

Meanwhile, it emerged Mark Sandell, the elected chair, has been expelled - after being the target of a despicable Channel Four Dispatches. Separately, at least 15 other members have been suspended. One for a Facebook post made in December last year, suspended only days after he voted for Mr Corbyn in last month's leadership ballot. His vote was cancelled.

What are the lessons learned? And what is to be done?

Firstly, there is no level so low that members of Progress will not stoop lower: Warren Morgan, the leader of the Labour Group who repeatedly smeared party members, has not apologised. Secondly, no matter how many times socialists score a victory, there's always time for party officials to move the goalposts. Socialists in Brighton and Hove can promise one thing: the game is far from over.

» Greg Hadfield was elected secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party on July 9th; the results were “voided” on July 14th. He blogs at: greghadfield. Twitter: @greghadfield

was elected secretary of
Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party on
July 9th; the results were ‘voided’ on July
14th; he was suspended on October 26th. He
blogs at
Twitter: @greghadfield