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Statement on Labour Party independent inquiry

16 Apr 2020
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GMB thought we had been clear about this - but it seems we needed to be clearer.

The allegations in the leaked internal Labour Party document and the reported conversations are unacceptable.

Any racism or discrimination – on any side – based on race, gender, disability or political belief is utterly unacceptable.

Leaking an unredacted report, containing names and personal messages of employees and the names of people who made complaints about racism on the understanding of anonymity is unacceptable.

Both things can be wrong without condoning the other.

An independent inquiry in which all sides can have faith is a responsible, reasonable and welcome step to determine exactly what happened in all aspects of this situation. It is only with all of the facts to hand – not one version handed to the media in order to advance one political agenda or another – that a proper judgment can be made.

We completely understand that people are upset and angry at the content of the leaked report, and it must be a crucial part of the investigation that those allegations are thoroughly examined and strong action taken if borne out. GMB will categorically condemn those comments and activity if they are proven to be true but there are rules, processes and principles of natural justice that must be adhered to.

GMB is a democratic, member-led union where members in their workplaces – and volunteer elected reps - call the shots. We don’t represent one group of members differently to another because of what’s said on social media.

Behind the headlines, there are hundreds of staff who are saddened and frustrated by the content, worried about what this means for their jobs, wondering if they are being monitored at work, whether they will be targeted or their personal messages released on the internet (keeping in mind that the vast majority of people named in the report do not work at the Party anymore).

No union would accept such workplace conditions, which is why we’ve asked – and continue to ask – that people keep in mind the health, safety and wellbeing of the vast majority of Labour Party employees who are not involved in this and to reserve judgement on everything else until the investigation has reported. Those members do not have the right of public reply – and have to bear witness to commentary and collective vilification on social media. We have received reports of death threats and bullying.

So GMB is clear.

If the findings of the independent report show incidents of racism, discrimination or of working against the election of a Labour Government which our union physically and financially worked so hard to achieve, we will utterly condemn each incident.

Now, the independent investigation must be allowed to do its job and GMB will not be commenting further until we have the outcome.

 

 
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