Labour to ban 'abusive' members from voting in leadership election

Jeremy Corbyn supporters greet the arrival of the Labour leader
Jeremy Corbyn supporters greet the arrival of the Labour leader
Adam Bienkov By

The Labour party is to ban members from voting in the leadership election if they engage in "abusive behaviour" the party's most senior official said today.

Labour Party general secretary Iain McNicol said anyone witnessing Labour members or registered supporter engaged in abusive or intimidatory behaviour, should report them to the party.

He added that those accused of abuse could be suspended and barred from voting while the investigation takes place.

"I want to be clear, if you are a member and you engage in abusive behaviour towards other members it will be investigated and you could be suspended while that investigation is carried out," he said in a statement.


"If you are a registered supporter or affiliated supporter and you engage in abusive behaviour you will not get a vote in this Leadership election."

He encouraged members to forward details of any abusive behaviour to validation@labour.org.uk.

McNicol's call follows repeated claims by Jeremy Corbyn's opponents that those supporting the Labour leader have been abusing and bullying Labour MPs.

Corbyn's critics accuse him of standing by while his supporters attempt to intimidate and harass his opponents.

The Labour leader has strongly denied this and has previously signed a "code of conduct" against abusive behaviour during the leadership election. However, McNicol said such statements were "meaningless" without action.

"The two candidates Jeremy Corbyn and Owen Smith, our Deputy Leader Tom Watson and our NEC have been very clear –  there is no place for abuse of any kind in the party.

"However words of condemnation are meaningless unless they are backed up by action."

The last Labour leadership election was beset by rows over attempts by Labour officials to strike off registered supporters who did not "share the values and aims of the Labour party".

Hundreds of people who had signed up to support Corbyn, were banned from taking part in the vote, amid fears about an attempt by "entryists" to take over the party.

Last week more than 180,000 people applied to be registered supporters in the coming election.

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