Mike Sivier was defended by Jon Lansman at a hearing of Labour’s Disputes Panel on Tuesday after being suspended for blog posts described as anti-Semitic. The Momentum founder helped to broker a compromise agreement that was endorsed by the Panel by the narrowest of margins, which Sivier has now effectively broken.
Party officials had recommended Sivier should be referred to the National Constitutional Committee, which has the final say on disciplinary matters. But several NEC members argued on Tuesday he should be given a second chance if he agreed to take part in training. It is unusual for the Disputes Panel to ignore the advice of Party officials, but it voted by 12 votes to 10 in favour of the compromise agreement.
Sivier has since written that he will not take part in the training because it is run by JLM “of all people”. That is an apparent reference to the fact that it was his controversial online statements about JLM that prompted his suspension from the party in the first place. Sivier now faces being referred to the NCC, as recommended by party officials.
His refusal to undergo training will embarrass Lansman and other Momentum NEC members who argued on his behalf earlier this week. Lansman has publicly conceded that Labour has a problem with anti-semitism which is has so far failed to address.