Briefing, Labour Party

Suspension of Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi

Labour Briefing Co-op deplores the suspension of newly elected NEC member Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi. This is clearly intended to frustrate the democratic decision of members and draw attention away from the shocking contents of Al Jazeera’s The Labour Files which contains a wealth of information on the shocking persecution of Jewish socialists within the party.

Below is Jewish Voice for Labour’s statement on Naomi’s suspension:

We deplore the decision of the Labour Party to “administratively suspend” Jewish Voice for Labour’s Media Officer, Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi, on the eve of the Party’s Annual Conference. Naomi was due to attend the conference as NEC member elect but she is now prevented from doing so.

This suspension along with a flurry of other eve of conference expulsions and suspensions bears out the evidence presented in the Forde  Report and the Al Jazeera programme, The Labour Files: The Purge, about the Party’s factional abuse of the disciplinary system.

Furthermore, the notion that the Action Plan, introduced in response to the EHRC investigation, has solved all problems has been shown to be travesty.

On Thursday afternoon Naomi received a Notice of Allegation and Administrative Suspension which charged her with having “spoken at an event run by proscribed organisations. That event took place almost a year ago at the 2021 party conference. Why has this moment been chosen to suspend her from membership?

Naomi’s NEC candidature was backed by 13 different groups and many individuals who came together to campaign for the #Grassroots5 slate. Other members who have been charged with the same offence have not been suspended pending investigation. Why has Naomi been singled out for suspension? This action and its timing seem calculated to prevent her taking up her role as an NEC member representing constituency party members at the NEC AGM scheduled for Tuesday Sept 27.

We note that extraordinary numbers of other members, included elected CLP delegates, have been suspended or expelled just in time to prevent their participation in conference.

Naomi and JVL have campaigned powerfully and consistently against the misuse of allegations of antisemitism against the pro-Palestinian left. Naomi is the only directly elected Jewish member on the NEC. Approaching 60 Jewish party members have been investigated for “antisemitism”. Many Jewish members have resigned feeling that Labour is an unsafe place for non-Zionists.

How does this disproportionate targeting of Jews fit in with Keir Starmer’s talk of ‘”tearing out antisemitism”?

Could there be another factor in this carefully planned timing? Naomi’s suspension came hours before the airing of the first in a series of #LabourFiles documentary programmes revealing the extent to which staff and politicians on the right of the party worked behind the scenes to undermine and defeat those on the left. Programme Two on Saturday 24 September will include evidence of the abuse experienced by “the wrong sort of Jews”.

We deplore the misuse of disciplinary procedures to purge the party of left-wing activists who have always represented a strong strand in Labour.

We call for

  • the immediate lifting of Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi’s suspension
  • an end to the arbitrary and factional interventions by the party apparatus
  • implementation of the recommendations in the Forde Report including effective action against the racism and Islamophobia exposed so graphically
  • the restoration of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Conference to review all decisions to ban proscribed groups.

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