The Labour Party has some very angry members. Those who joined after 12th January are now being denied the right to vote in the coming leadership election.
Some of these members are asking for their money back. The general response seems to be that membership is a long term commitment and members have to earn the right to vote because rules are rule.
But they were not the rules when they joined. Until a few days ago the Party website inviting people to join read:
“As a member you’ll be a key part of the team. You’ll be eligible to vote in leadership elections.”
Only dictatorships pass retrospective legislation; only dodgy tradespeople take money for goods or services they do not deliver.
At the time that these members joined there was no restriction on a member’s voting rights. Therefore an implied contract has been broken and the disenfranchised members have a claim for the return of their subscription and possibly other costs.
How long will we have to wait before a few disgruntled ‘post 12th January’ members take legal action? They will have no difficulty finding backers – possibly covert Tories – to offer help and advice and to encourage others to join them.
If they are refused payment they can use the Small Claims Court. This will mean a modest – but recoverable – financial commitment, while the Labour Party, refusing repayment, will face an unmanageable administrative burden.
The party will almost certainly have to deal with a complaint of publishing a misleading advertisement.
The NEC must hold an emergency meeting not only to rectify this injustice, but to save itself from ridicule and a reputation for being the Dodgy Party.
To sign the petition demanding a reversal of this appalling decision click the link below.