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  • Writer's pictureThe Gaudie

Labour Student “Aghast” After Party Membership Revoked

George Taylor was struck from the ballot days before an election to choose the next leader of Scottish Young Labour

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Image: Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

UoA postgraduate student George Taylor has launched an appeal after his party membership was terminated just days before the Scottish Young Labour (SYL) elections.

Mr Taylor, the Chair of Aberdeen Labour Students, was standing for Chair of SYL when his nomination was “voided" on the 6th of March.

Speaking to The Gaudie, Mr Taylor accused Labour leadership of failing young members within the party.

He told us: "Last week I was informed the party had "terminated" my membership and removed me from the SYL election.

“It's disappointing that young members won't have a chance to vote on who serves as SYL Chair, and is further proof of the low regard I feel the party holds us in.

"I'm aghast that some people think the party's disciplinary process is a tool to be abused for an internal youth election."

The ban also means Mr Taylor, who currently serves as the secretary of Aberdeen Central CLP, will be unable to attend joint meetings until further notice.

Mr Taylor noted: “A decision taken by the [national executive] in London means the Scottish youth wing have no say in who leads us, and leaves SYL with no mandate.”

Mr Taylor's primary opponent in the race, Solomon Cuthbertson, told The Gaudie that he was 'hugely excited' to begin the role after several years of SYL not having an active Chair.

Mr Cuthbertson, who was elected unopposed, noted his confidence in Labour's 'strong and fair' complaint system, adding:

"It's important to note that the Party has changed dramatically for the better since being found guilty of breaking equalities law by the EHRC in 2020. This has included the reformation and strengthening of our complaints procedure to be independent of the Party.

"The accusation that I and my campaign have used the complaints procedure maliciously is not only wholly untrue, but not possible with the new independent model of complaints."

A letter informing Mr Taylor of the termination stated his membership had been revoked due to support for a “political organisation” that the national executive had deemed "to be inimical with the aims and values of the Party.”

Speaking to The Gaudie, Mr Taylor dismissed this accusation as “categorically untrue.” 

“I have never been a member of / voter for / active in / or in any way supportive of any party other than the Labour Party,” he said.

A leftist critic of party leadership, Mr Taylor led young members in a walk out of the Scottish Labour National Conference in February, urging the party to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Now, less than two months later, his membership has been revoked.

However, Mr Taylor isn't planning to go down without a fight, he told us.

He has written to the General Secretary of the party, and plans to appeal the "shortsighted" decision.

We have reached out to Scottish Labour for comment.


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