South Shields Labour Party suspension is lifted

South Shields Labour Party HQ, Ede House Westoe Road
South Shields Labour Party HQ, Ede House Westoe Road

A suspension placed on South Shields Labour Party has now been lifted.

An investigation was launched last year after a number of “serious complaints” were made against the local party.

Councillors are there to represent the electorate and need to be able to put their views across without being accused of bullying. That’s what democracy is about.

Labour party member

The suspension saw representatives from Labour North take over the day to day administration of the branch while issues highlighted by the probe are addressed.

It is understood some of the issues centred on allegations of bullying and intimidation and an investigation found there was a “genuine problem” in relationships between some members.

The suspension had been due to be lifted in January 2017 but was extended.

Now, members have been notified by Labour North that the suspension has now been lifted.

Correspondence sent to South Shields Constituency Labout Party members said: “I am pleased to tell you that the NEC have agreed that the suspension should be lifted.

“Following an Annual General Meeting, the CLP will be ready to move forward under its own leadership again.

“The suspension was put in place in March 2016 following an investigation into several serious complaints. The investigation found that a pattern of uncomradely behaviour between some key members of the CLP had made it impossible for the CLP to work effectively as one united team.

“The suspension was put in place to prevent further escalation of these problems.”

It adds: “Since the suspension was put in place, it is clear that significant progress has been made. The Review noted the effective and well-organised General Election campaign, and how members from across the constituency pulled together to once again return Emma Lewell-Buck as the MP.

“While there are still some outstanding issues that need to be addressed, the review found that the CLP is now capable again of operating as an effective local party when it needs to, as it did during the General Election campaign.”

According to the letter, Labour’s National Executive Committee has taken “disciplinary measures” against members who they deemed as having fallen short of the standard expected from Labour members.

Labour North spokesperson said: “The suspension of South Shields CLP has been lifted by the NEC with a number of transitional measures taken to ensure that every member gets the opportunity to play their maximum part in the activities of the local Labour Party. We will be making no further comment on this matter.” Ends

An AGM is currently being organised by the regional office where a new executive committee will be elected to take on the day-to-day running of the CLP.

One Labour party member said: “The whole thing has been a shambles from the beginning. It should never have come to this,

“Councillors are there to represent the electorate and need to be able to put their views across without being accused of bullying. That’s what democracy is about.”