Emergency resolution about the Labour Party decision to expel Riad El-Taher

Riad El-Taher, 77, has been told he can apply to re-join in March 2022.

Below is an emergency motion passed by a substantial majority on March 15 by Brunswick, Adelaide, and Central Hove branch (whose members include Ivor Caplin and Peter Kyle). Download the resolution. More background can be found here.

On Thursday 8 March, Riad El-Taher received an email stating he had been expelled from the Labour Party under Rule Chapter 2.1.4D. A letter of appeal against his expulsion has been summarily rejected. Therefore:

We call upon the NEC to review this decision in the interests of natural justice.

1. We believe that Rule Chapter 2.1.4D should not be applied retrospectively. At the time of the conviction Riad El-Taher was not a member of the Labour Party. When he moved to Hove he met Peter Kyle, his Labour MP, in his constituency office and made him fully aware of the events surrounding Mr El-Taher’s involvement with Iraq. Mr el-Taher subsequently joined the Labour Party and has played a full part in meetings of Brunswick, Adelaide and Central Hove branch (Mr Kyle’s branch)

2. We believe that this use of Rule Chapter 2.1.4D contravenes the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act provides that for a prison sentence of the length Mr El-Taher served the offence is deemed spent after 4 years, i.e. before Mr El-Taher joined the Labour Party.

3. The context should be fully considered by the NEC.

The situation surrounding Mr El-Taher’s conviction is complex. Throughout his time in the UK, Mr El-Taher maintained close connections with Robin Cook, Tony Benn, Tam Dalyell and Jeremy Corbyn. They regarded him as an ally and a friend. Mr El-Taher was a courageous campaigner whose primary motive was to lessen the suffering of ordinary people in Iraq.

The Labour Party has been disgraced by its leadership role in the Iraq war. The fact that it now expels a member who desperately tried to prevent the rush to war is a further travesty.

It is for the reasons above, this branch asks the NEC to intervene in the expulsion of Riad El-Taher and have a thorough investigation into the application of Chapter 2.1.4D, the relevance of the ROA to this case and the integrity of Mr El-Taher. Furthermore, it asks the executive officers of Hove CLP and other CLPs to support such a request.

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