John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
  Labour "Suspends" Birmingham Labour Councillors found guilty of Vote Fraud
You can find the same element to this story in various locations including:

"The Labour party last night suspended the six councillors and sent officials to monitor elections in Birmingham."

Now ... what we have is Six Councillors found to have been involved in electoral fraud to the criminal burden of proof.

The criminal burden of proof is "Beyond reasonable doubt".

The Labour Party's immediate response is to "Suspend them".

Now I would accept that if merely allegations were raised that may be appropriate. However, we have had a High Court sitting for over a month going through the cases.

The question is "Where is the doubt?" On what basis do Labour expect to reinstate the councillors (now ex-councillors).

What is holding the Labour Party back from expelling the councillors?

Clearly they know which other Labour Councillors got elected through election fraud. As do I presume other members of the Labour Party.

It does seem that Labour are "standing by" their disgraced councillors.

Why?


Labour Deputy Leader "standing by" disgraced ex-councillors as they are interviewed on the steps of the BMI.
 
Comments:
You should know your employment law better in your position, particularly through your friend Raghib. A councillors position is now, because of the allowance system, counted as employment, and the Party, as the selecting body, is the employer. Therefore it would be deemed unfair dismissal to dismiss these people summararily without recourse to a proper hearing, where a third party court action could be used in evidence.... but would not substitute for a hearing by the employer where employees can advance arguments of mitigation.
 
Spot on Bob. This isn't about defending these fools, but it takes a peculiar reading of that statement to view it as Labour standing by the councillors. Nor can you justify your statement abour other councillors being elected through election fraud.

Unusually, I agree with Sion Simon on Newsnight last night, when he took issue with the statement that the election fraud was city-wide. I believe that the judge erred on this point.
 
Nice try:

They have been sacked by the judge.
 
I'm not certain that you are correct, in view of the case that has been through the legal system. In any case, I'm sure you would expect any employer to follow a due process before deciding to sack someone. Summary dismissal is rarely used in industry in order to protect the organisation concerned from ending up in front of a tribunal.

Labour hasn't stood by them so far - remember that the lawyers were withdrawn early on? That's not a sign of a party ready to harbour fraudsters.
 
The Lawyers were withdrawn at the last minute. Remember the costs in this case are substantial and the people who maintain the case have to pay the costs. If Labour had not withdrawn in 2005 (which was the last minute) the Labour Party would have been responsible for the costs.

I do employ scores of people personally. I know employment law. The Councillors have already been sacked. Being expelled by the Labour Party would only mean that they would not be campaigning for Labour in the General Election.
 
My understanding is that they have only been barred from standing again next time - my contention is that they are not fit for public office - ever. If they were to stand again, I'm sure that the other parties would point out their past record. For this reason, I should think Labour view them as a liability now. Then again, Blair is a liability - but they seem to be sticking with him!
 
I think it is actually 5 years that they are banned from standing, voting or being agents.
 
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