My Letter to Iain McNicol Today

By | November 4, 2016

4 November 2016


Dear Mr McNicol,

I received today your letter stating that my ‘administrative suspension’ from the Labour Party has been lifted and that I am ‘free to resume active membership’.

You say that I was suspended following posts I ‘allegedly wrote’ on twitter, which ‘may cause offence to some Party members’. You warn me about ‘abuse’ and have issued me with a ‘formal NEC warning under rule 6.1.C’.

I have a couple of comments. The first has to do with my appeal letter written and posted to you on 21 September, 2016, including a requisite cheque for £10, a copy of which I enclose. Receipt of this letter was subsequently acknowledged. In that letter you will note that I demand, as is my legal right under the Freedom of Information Act, that you not only specify the precise allegation against me (which you have again signally failed to do), but give me details about how the allegation came about and make available to me ‘all letters, reports, emails, internal memorandums, notes of meetings, and telephone attendance notes that relate to me’, Graham Scambler. All information is to be backdated from 1 July 2016. The letter also obliged you to ‘provide a description of the data’, ‘explain the purposes for which the data is processed’, ‘identify the source or sources of the data’ and ‘set out to whom the data has been disclosed or may be disclosed’. Since I have attached this letter, I need not repeat its entire contents here. Suffice to say that you have some work to do, and within 40 calender days from the date of receipt of my letter.

The second point is that your patronising missive contains neither justification nor apology for cancelling my leadership vote. I can imagine I am not alone in finding it absurd and unacceptable that you, whose office masterminded what many long-serving as well as new Labour members openly describe as a gerrymandering exercise, who has had next to nothing to say about MPs plotting against and abusing the twice-elected leader as well as each other, have the nerve to put me ‘on probation’ for unspecified ‘alleged’ naughty tweets. I am not given to being abusive on social media but am certainly not going to stop tweeting data, discussion pieces or my views robustly. You are not going to censor me – and I’m sure others like me – on manufactured grounds that are so trivial you should be embarrassed. I have even heard it said that your ends might have been resolutely political, but obviously I cannot conjecture on this.

I end by reminding you that you are going to exceed the deadline of 40 calender days in responding to the demands allied to my appeal. I do, however, expect and advise you to hasten to meet your legal obligation. Finally, you might make a note of the fact that your office has in the past made occasional contact with someone called Graham Scrambler. You should check him out too.


Professor Graham Scambler.



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