Nick Brown resigns from Labour over ‘complete farce’ disciplinary process | Labour #Nick #Brown #resigns #Labour #complete #farce #disciplinary #process #Labour

Nick Brown, a veteran Labour MP and former chief whip, has announced he has resigned from the party over a long-running internal disciplinary process involving him that Brown said had become “a complete farce”.

In a lengthy and furious letter, Brown said he would not stand again at the next election, in part because he is now 73 and has been in parliament for 40 years.

However, he said this decision was made against the “backdrop of a long-running internal Labour party disciplinary process against me – a process which I consider (and am advised) is so fundamentally, and inexcusably, flawed that I can no longer engage with it”.

Brown, the MP for Newcastle upon Tyne East since 1983, who was chief whip for every Labour leader from Tony Blair onwards, had the Labour whip suspended in September last year after a complaint was lodged against him under the party’s independent complaints process.

In his letter, released via the legal firm Carter-Ruck, Brown said the complaint, the details of which have not been made public, came from “a political rival within the party” and concerned an alleged event said to have taken place more than 25 years earlier.

He said: “To be clear; the accusations against me were, and remain, entirely false, without even the faintest germ of any truth to them. Not only had they never previously been made in the ensuing 25 years, they had never been so much as hinted at, whether by that individual or anyone else.”

Saying there was “no proper corroborative evidence”, Brown lambasted the way Labour had handled the claims and the time it had taken, saying that at first he had assumed he could trust the party’s disciplinary system.

He added the claims made against him “were very serious and it was important that they were looked at properly”.

However, Brown wrote, the process “has been structured, and conducted, in such a manner as to lack even the most basic of procedural fairness and evidential safeguards”.

As examples, he said Labour had refused to hold a disciplinary hearing in person, or to allow his lawyers to directly question the complainant, and that he and his legal team considered the evidence to be hugely thin.

“Despite my hopes that good sense, legal propriety and basic natural justice might prevail, it has become increasingly clear to me not only that I cannot possibly expect a fair hearing, but that this process is a complete farce,” he wrote.

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His legal team, he added, “have told me that, in light of the party’s refusal to comply with even the most basic of safeguards, evidential and procedural measures to be expected of any quasi-judicial process, they are unable to advise me that I could expect a fair hearing”.

He ended: “Things have reached a very sorry pass when the likely next party of government conducts cases of this gravity in a manner more akin to those of a mismanaged golf club.”

Labour has been contacted for comment.

#Nick #Brown #resigns #Labour #complete #farce #disciplinary #process #Labour

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