A defiant trade union chief plans to "robustly" fight his suspension from the Labour Party over an "unidentified" tweet. Ronnie Draper, the Jeremy Corbyn supporting general secretary of the Bakers' Union, also said he was taking legal advice in a statement released today (26 August).
"I believe this flies in the face of natural justice. I intend to challenge my suspension robustly and am currently taking legal advice," Draper said.
"I do not seek any personal privilege based on my trade union position.
"I passionately believe that all members should be allowed to be heard, and be given the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice.
"I am extremely concerned that suspensions and bans are being imposed in an arbitrary or politically motivated way in this election, and I will be raising the issue with the general secretary."
Draper, whose union – the Bakers Food & Allied Workers Union – backed Brexit at the EU referendum, spoke to IBTimes UK yesterday.
The left-winger said he was "shocked" by the party's decision, which means he is barred from voting in Labour's leadership election and attending the party's annual conference in Liverpool next month.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is also chair of the Jeremy for Labour campaign, suggested Draper was the victim of a "rigged purge".
"While Ronnie, a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, has been denied his say in Labour's election, no action is being taken over the Labour peer, Lord Sainsbury, who has given more than £2m to support the Liberal Democrats," McDonnell said.
"And no action has been taken against Michael Foster, the Labour party member who abused Jeremy Corbyn's supporters and staff as Nazi storm troopers in the Daily Mail.
"Both will, as things stand, be able to vote in this election. Meanwhile, thousands of other members and registered supporters are reported to have been denied a vote without being given an explanation or opportunity to challenge the decision or process.
"Labour party members will not accept what appears to be a rigged purge of Jeremy Corbyn supporters. The conduct of this election must be fair and even-handed."
A Labour Party spokesperson told IBTimes UK: "We cannot comment on an individual's membership."