COUNTY NEWS: Labour executive committee resigns over harassment claims

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The leadership of the Bexhill and Battle constituency Labour Party (CLP) unanimously resigned this week due to allegations of ‘serious abuse and harassment’.

On Sunday (November 12), the CLP announced that all six members of its executive committee had resigned following a series of complaints about the alleged conduct of a ‘particular member’ of the CLP.

The Bexhill Observer understands these complaints relate to the alleged harassment of another member, which is claimed to have taken place as part of a dispute over transgender policy.

In a letter announcing the mass resignation, a spokesman for the executive committee criticised the regional and national branches of the Labour Party for not acting on calls for help from its members, saying the alleged harassment had ‘seriously damaged’ the work of the CLP.

The letter reads: “We deeply regret that all six members of this Constituency Labour Party’s Executive Committee today (November 12) took the unanimous decision to resign.

“Our primary reasons for resigning relate to disciplinary complaints against a particular member which we are not allowed to discuss by name or in detail but which include serious abuse and harassment that has been continuous and ongoing for months.

“This has seriously damaged the ability of the CLP to function as an effective campaigning unit of the Labour Party with an ever-increasing proportion of officers’ time being siphoned away onto internal disciplinary matters when we should be focusing on fighting the Tories.

“We have also been deeply disappointed by a lack of meaningful, timely and decisive action from regional and national party structures to support the CLP’s executive committee in addressing these disciplinary issues.

“The stress of this and of handling the divisions they have caused or exacerbated within this CLP has taken a real toll on executive officers’ physical and mental well-being and places a completely unfair and disproportionate burden on unpaid volunteer officers none of whom are trained to deal with very serious complaints of abuse and harassment which we will no longer bear.”

The letter adds that the executive committee had informed Labour’s South East regional party office of the resignations and it expects an early AGM or extraordinary meeting to be held in the near future.

A CLP general meeting, on Tuesday, November 14, was also cancelled as a result of the resignations.

A Labour South East spokesperson said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints extremely seriously and has robust procedures in place to deal with them.

“We do not comment on individual membership matters.”