After Labour expulsion, who wanted Moshé back in party?
Member of the Hampstead and Kilburn party was 'expelled' due to association with a banned fringe organisation
02 November, 2017 — By John Gulliver
PROFESSOR Moshe Machover is the man the Labour Party cannot rid itself of.
A fortnight ago the professor, a member of the Hampstead and Kilburn party, received a curt letter from his head office informing him that he had been “expelled” because of his association with a banned fringe organisation.
I reported his abrupt departure and thousands of fellow party members passed motions at their branches – including those in West Hampstead and St George’s ward in Islington – condemning the expulsion.
Suddenly, a jubilant wave ran through his supporters on Monday when his nemesis, Sam Matthews, a party office official known as “head of disputes”, emailed him to say that a “decision has been taken to rescind your automatic exclusion from the Labour Party”.
“Naturally, I am delighted by the decision but it does not go far enough,” Mr Machover told me.
“They should apologise for allegations of anti-Semitism made against me earlier.”
In an email to Mr Matthews he suggests his view “carries a whiff of ‘McCarthyism’”.
But the way he was expelled begs many questions. Was Mr Matthews, who is based at the head office in Newcastle, acting arbitrarily at the time he sent an email expelling the professor? Or was he instructed from above? And, if so, from whom?
Moreover, did he take the decision to bring the professor back into the fold entirely on his own or was it decided over his head? And what part, if any, did the party’s ruling body, the National Executive Council, play in this drama?
These questions are humming around many of the new influx of members into the party who appear confused by rules determining the conduct of their branch meetings. At a meeting of the Fortune Green branch this led to bad tempers during a discussion to select candidates for next year’s local elections and a sudden decision by the chairwoman, Marie Lynam, to step down from her position, to be replaced by Mike Katz.
Common sense suggests the decision to expel Professor Machover came from Sam Matthews himself. It seems pretty inconceivable that it could have been taken by a higher body considering the eminence of the professor, a man in his 80s who is attached to London University and well known in the field of mathematics and logic. The outcry against his expulsion would have been anticipated at any meeting of experienced politicians.
Some party members, I heard, learned of Mr Matthews’s U-turn from an email sent from the office of Jeremy Corbyn. This could signify that the leader himself may have intervened.