Has Tony Blair broken Labour party rules? | Letters

25 Apr

In 2005, after having been an active member of the Labour party for 25 years – 12 years as a Labour councillor in Haringey – I was expelled from the party. My crime? I had a letter published in the Guardian just before the 2005 general election urging Labour members to vote tactically. Specifically, I urged supporters to visit a Labour-supporting website which suggested for each constituency how voters could cast their vote in a way that would result in a Labour victory but one with a smaller majority. I hoped this would result in a government less arrogant and more accountable to its party members, backbenchers and indeed, the electorate generally. I did not – as Tony Blair has done (Corbyn hits back after Blair call to put party ties aside, 24 April) – urge voters to vote Lib Dem or Tory, but merely to consider their Labour candidate or MP’s record and use their own judgment as to whom to vote for or, indeed, whether to vote. Even though I am no longer in the Labour party, I would never urge anyone to vote Tory. I await with interest the party’s verdict on their former leader’s willingness to do so.
Lucy Craig
London

Some 20 years ago, when I was chair of a constituency Labour party, one of our members, who had previously stood as a Labour party prospective parliamentary candidate, publicly called for members to vote Liberal Democrat. He was charged under Labour party rules with “bringing the party into disrepute”, and with the aid of the NEC (national executive committee) was expelled from the party. By calling for members to vote for “remainer” Lib Dem or Tory candidates, Tony Blair is in breach of exactly the same rule. He is undermining the elected Labour leader and bringing the party into disrepute, and should be expelled as soon as possible. Incidentally, that same expelled member later joined the Lib Dems and stood as a Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate. I suspect it won’t be long before Blair does the same!
Andy Pegg
Reading, Berkshire

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