“It is the Labour Party or nothing” – Open Labour statement

by: Open Labour National Committee on 18.02.19 | In: General
by: Open Labour National Committee on: 18.02.19 in: General

We at Open Labour view the split from the Labour Party as a step backwards for open politics within Labour, and for the communities our party represents. Many of those splitting away have served Labour for years, so we thank them for their work and wish them well, though we disagree with their decision.

As as a principle of democracy, we believe that those MPs splitting from the party no longer represent the people who voted for them as Labour candidates on our 2017 manifesto. They should stand down and face by-elections.

We stand by Labour’s direction of travel on the economy and austerity, which alongside Brexit are the most important issues facing the country. Labour is the only party serious about fighting for a transformation of our broken economy, and all indications are that it will remain the only party offering such a platform.

We have sympathy with some of these MP’s concerns raised around party culture, particularly with regards to the long failure of Labour to tackle anti-Semitic abuse and a culture of bad faith or exclusionary rhetoric which grips some CLPs – these criticisms cannot be dismissed. But the cure offered does not remedy the problem. We firmly believe that leaving the party offers no way to improve Labour, to ease the suffering in our communities, or prevent even greater suffering as a result of Brexit.

Open Labour will continue to fight for a left which encourages pluralism and tolerates a range of traditions and groups in their right to exist and campaign. Without it, there can be no vibrancy in the party, splits become inevitable, and our democracy loses its purpose.

The path to making our ideas a reality is through Labour and its allies in the trade union movement.

We are sorry to see this happen and thank our leaving MPs for their service, but we look forward to campaigning for Labour candidates in the seats affected.

Open Labour National Committee Feb 19


  • By-elections at this stage would reduce the ability of Parliament to prevent a no deal Brexit. Is this what you really want?

  • Just wish to express support for the statement. As I see it Labour has just lost 7 seats at the next Parliamentary election. The situation is too grave for primadinnerism.

  • They stood on a Labour manifesto that some of them are now saying they fundamentally disagree with. A couple have claimed they made this clear to their constituents but how do they KNOW why those people voted Labour. MANY members I know held their noses and voted for MPs who’s behaviour during the election and attitude to the LOTO offended them BECAUSE they wanted a LABOUR government! This group now represent who? Nobody voted them in. They are so keen to pursue democracy on the PV for the EU but not, it seems, when it comes to their own position. Just like with the EU Ref voters know so much more now about them now than when they voted for them in the GE. IF they had ANY honour, they would NOW be give the voters the chance to either reject a manifesto they put forward and vote for a Labour candidate/manefesto! I’m sure a lot of their voters now feel cheated!!

  • Common sense and natural justice demand by-elections! When your MP leaves the Party on whose manifesto they were elected, voters MUST have the chance to express their will! It should be automatic; no more of these ‘false flag’ MPs, rubbishing the LOTO and the Party that got them elected.

  • If they were serious, if they think they have their constituents behind them, like they say they do, then they should be confident enough to call a by-election!
    By-election NOW ! Their constituents need it !

  • These MPs have chosen to walk away not just from their Party but as importantly, from their constituency members who have volunteered on their behalf for the good of the Labour cause. To do this is an act of betrayal and must have left many feeling extremely angry. It is vital now that these constituency members along with Labour voters have the opportunity to re-elect Labour MPs. To leave a political party because of personal differences is not uncommon. However for the seven to choose not to stand down is actually an even bigger act of betrayal and speaks to those who say that politicians can never be trusted.

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