Newham Labour slammed after party suspends East Ham and West Ham CLPs

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer delivers a virtual speech on Scotland, devolution and the United King

The Labour Party has suspended East Ham and West Ham constituency Labour parties. - Credit: PA

Newham Labour has been slammed by political opponents following the suspension of its constituency parties. 

London Labour wrote to members on Friday, March 12, telling them East Ham and West Ham constituency Labour parties (CLPs) had been suspended after complaints of irregularities in membership recruitment.

The decision means Labour is likely to impose a candidate of its own choosing for the East Ham Central ward by-election.

James Rumsby, who chairs the Liberal Democrats in Newham, said: "This is the direct result of Newham being a one-party state in which there is not a single opposition councillor to hold this Labour council to account. 

"This has inevitably led to the infighting, arrogance, complacency and the taking of Newham's citizens for granted within the CLPs."

He pointed to news reports and social media posts made by Labour members as evidence of institutional racism, antisemitism and homophobia in the local party. 

Mr Rumsby said: "Meanwhile the council is run as Labour's personal fiefdom in which councillors do not listen to their electorate and complaints about housing, fly-tipping, litter and parking are ignored."

Newham's Green Party described its shock in a statement which reads: "Newham is a one party state run by Labour and they can’t even keep their own house in order. 

"Labour were already facing serious accusations of antisemitism within its local membership and they have now been forced to suspend both constituency parties amid reports of fraud.

Most Read

"We hope those responsible are held fully accountable, but we won't hold our breaths. Until we have an opposition elected in Newham, residents will continue to be forgotten while Labour remains preoccupied with infighting.

"We believe Newham has had enough. It is time Labour get serious about governing on behalf of all residents instead of taking chunks out of each other while the real issues residents face are ignored."

John Oxley, who chairs West Ham Conservatives, said it was a matter for the Labour Party, but was "deeply concerning" for residents.

"We hope this is investigated thoroughly and proper action taken," he added.

Newham Momentum questioned the timing of the National Executive Committee (NEC) decision to suspend.

Its statement posted online says West Ham CLP members passed a motion which was critical of Sir Keir Starmer's leadership earlier this year. 

The group urged the NEC to publish the report used to justify the suspensions.

East Ham MP Stephen Timms said Labour is right to take the complaints seriously and investigate them thoroughly - to avoid compromising the integrity of party decision-making - and to undertake a full audit of party membership. 

"Constituency party and ward branch meetings will be suspended, but campaigning for the vital elections ahead will continue," he added.

Newham Labour declined to comment.