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A Statement on the MU’s Vote in Labour NEC Meeting

On Tuesday at the Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting the MU voted in favour of the motion removing NEC backing for Jeremy Corbyn standing as an MP. The MU’s Executive Committee was consulted in advance and a decision was taken by email vote.

Published: 30 March 2023 | 12:18 PM Updated: 31 March 2023 | 12:21 PM
Close up of clasped hands resting on table at a committee meeting.
MU EC members are elected to take decisions on behalf of the wider membership and collective responsibility applies. Image credit: Shutterstock.

MU EC members are elected to take decisions on behalf of the wider membership and collective responsibility applies, which means that once a vote is taken then the EC must support and honour whatever decision is taken by majority vote.

We appreciate that members hold very differing and strong views on this subject. It is impossible, however, for the MU to accurately represent and reflect all individual views of MU members on political issues. Our members sit across a wide political spectrum and it would be impossible to vote in a way which would please everyone on matters such as this.

We represent 33,000 members and our primary goal is to advance their interests in relation to the profession of music. Needless to say, as a Labour-affiliated Union, we believe strongly that a Labour Government would be a great benefit to musicians at this challenging moment in history and we will work to help them win the next General Election.

A summary of the reasoning for this vote

A summary of the reasoning for this vote can be found below.

  • In Oct 2020 a report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) put the Labour Party in special measures due to ‘unlawful’ acts of harassment and discrimination during Jeremy Corbyn’s years as party leader. It specifically identified serious failings in leadership and an inadequate process of handling antisemitism complaints
  • Keir Starmer made a statement apologising and promising that the Labour Party would make any changes required by the EHRC to take the Labour Party out of special measures. It was at this point that Jeremy Corbyn made a public statement saying that the scale of antisemitism within Labour had been ‘dramatically overstated’.
  • He was suspended from the Labour Party and although he was later readmitted, he did not receive the Whip back so from this point on he was sitting as an independent MP. The Facebook post in question was not removed and an apology was not published, despite him being asked to do so.
  • It is not appropriate or acceptable to cast doubt on an accusation of discrimination and antisemitism made by a respected, independent and knowledgeable body such as the EHRC. This would not be tolerated in a trade union, even more so when the statement is not withdrawn upon request.
  • Without the Labour party whip Jeremy Corbyn cannot stand as a Labour MP, and yesterday’s motion merely confirms that fact. Jeremy was given more than two years to comply with the requests of the Whip’s office and has not, and the damage caused to the party by this situation directly impacts on the electability of the Labour Party, which is the primary concern of the NEC.

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