Monday, October 29, 2007

Respect Splits

Posted without comment (for now) ...

Dear Respect Member,

SWP leadership splitting from Respect

We are astonished that the Respect National Secretary John Rees has spoken publicly in support of four councillors who have split from Respect in Tower Hamlets.

Today, Monday 29 October, there was a press conference called by four former Respect councillors in Tower Hamlets. They announced that they had resigned the Respect whip on the council and were forming a Respect (Independent) party. This is a clear split from Respect.

John Rees answered questions at the press conference. He expressed his support for the four breakaway councillors. In answer to questions from journalists he said that Respect (Independent) candidates could be standing against Respect candidates in elections. Cllr Oliur Rahman, who was a member of the National Council and a national officer, did not rule out standing against George Galloway, who is Respects only nominee to be the Respect parliamentary candidate in Poplar and Limehouse.

No party could be expected to tolerate its purported National Secretary colluding with those who have split from the organisation and discussing standing candidates against it.

By this action he has betrayed the members of Respect and the party he is supposed to advocate, defend and build. He has forfeited his position as National Secretary and as a member of the National Council. He has clearly indicated that he and the leadership of the Socialist Workers Party are splitting from Respect.

Nothing could more clearly demonstrate the duplicitous behaviour of the SWP leadership, which has been asking for support for its petition against witch-hunts whilst preparing its forces for a split from Respect.

Yours in solidarity,

Linda Smith, National Chair
Salma Yaqoob, National Vice Chair
Ayesha Bajwa, National Council
Victoria Brittain, National Council
Rita Carter, National Council
Ger Francis, National Council
George Galloway MP, National Council
Jerry Hicks, National Council
Abdul Khaliq Mian, National Council
John Lister, National Council
Ken Loach, National Council
Abjol Miah, National Council, Leader of Tower Hamlets Respect Councillors Group
Bernie Parkes, National Council
Yvonne Ridley, National Council
Clive Searle, National Council
Alan Thornett, National Council
Nick Wrack, National Council