The Labour Party has lifted its suspension of Andrew Fisher, a political aide to Jeremy Corbyn, following an investigation into some controversial comments. Prior to his employment with Corbyn, Fisher encouraged voters not to back Labour in Croydon South during May’s general election — which would normally result in an expulsion from the party — as well as describing Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell as ‘scumbags’ and Jack Straw a ‘vile git’.
After an investigation into these remarks, Labour’s National Executive Committee has let Fisher off with a warning. This isn’t a surprise, given that NEC member Peter Willsman blogged earlier this week that the Fisher matter would be ‘satisfactorily resolved very shortly’.
This decision has unsurprisingly gone down badly with some Labour MPs who believe Corbyn has protected his aide. Caroline Flint and Siobhain McDonagh have released this statement on the NEC’s decision:
‘We are disappointed that the Labour Party has decided not to proceed with a full disciplinary inquiry by the NCC into Andrew Fisher, and instead issue a slap on the wrist.
‘The Chair of this investigation has been subjected to huge pressure, and this has compromised the independence and integrity of Labour’s disciplinary process.
‘It is unacceptable for members to support other parties, delight in Labour MPs losing their seats or to engage in cyber-bullying.
‘Others have been excluded from our party for less than the activities of Mr Fisher. It would appear that there is one rule for members and one rule for those who work for the Party Leader.’
For the Corbynites, the Fisher decision will be seen as a victory against their opponents who dislike the Corbyn project and want to stop it advancing at all costs. Keeping Fisher out of the party would have been a significant blow for Corbyn’s authority. But in a week in which his control of the party has been looking weak, the Labour leader will be glad that one of his key aides is now back in the party.