Our local Labour Party achieved its modest target of increasing membership to 200 by the General Election.
None of us expected the deluge of over 350 new members and supporters since then.
Some of our longstanding members have been worried that mischief makers, from Tories to the far-left, might be joining to sabotage the leadership election process.
We were already aware of such dirty tricks when we tracked down a Tory supporter who posted a selfie on Facebook with the boast that “Our Conservative MP asked me to gatecrash on the Malvern Labour Party campaign launch and see what it’s up to”.
Despite these concerns, we are delighted to see such a surge in local membership and wholeheartedly welcome the call by the party to confirm that they are genuine Labour supporters.
A number are known to us as previous members or affiliated Trade Unionists who pay the political levy.
We also recognised that many of the joiners are previously disaffected Labour voters who, shocked by the appalling outcome in May, have returned to their roots.
However, the right to vote is only for those who support the Labour Party so we wanted to weed out any professed members or declared supporters of other parties.
This includes people who had been, or had nominated, candidates who stood against Labour in May.
How are we doing this? We are using our established network of local member contacts with their sound knowledge of activists in their wards.
We are checking our election canvassing records including Facebook, email and twitter accounts. We are examining lists of candidates and their nominators.
Where significant doubts remain, we are validating individual addresses and contact details.
Whilst the great majority are genuine, we have reported to the Labour Party people who stood against us in May, their nominators, people with unconfirmed contact details and double entries
Of more than 350 new members and supporters, we have only queried a handful as possibly suspicious. These we report to the Labour membership team who decide whether they should be rejected or not - it is their decision and not ours at local level.
A significant gain is that the leadership election process has given us a much broader membership. We are building on this by organising a series of social and political events to shape and promote Labour values and policies both locally and nationally.
We are building on this by organising a series of social and political events to shape and promote Labour values and policies both locally and nationally.Reuse content