#LabourPurge2 letters spark Twitter furore for Labour

Maxine Blane

Spurned Labour members take to Twitter after recieving letters rejecting applications to become ‘registered supporters’ able to vote in leadership race

LETTERS informing applicants that they have been unsuccessful in attempting to become ‘registered supporters’ of the Labour Party eligible to vote in the leadership race have been shared widely on social media after frustrated applicants took to Twitter using the hashtag #LabourPurge2.

Individuals including polticial commentators, disability activists, and Young People’s Laureate of Wales Sophie McKeand have recieved letters informing them that their applications to become registered supporters and vote in the ongoing Labour leadership contest were unsuccessful. Some people who were already members of the Labour party have recieved letters informing them that their membership has been suspended.

Citing various reasons often involving use of social media, letters were received by several applicants who have taken to Twitter to make their disappointment widely known.


Some who had been unsuccessful in becoming registered supporters felt that the reasons cited lacked sufficient evidence.



Others were incredulous that seemingly trival actions such as retweeting something were considered enough to have their application declined.



Frustration was evident from a lot of those on social media who felt that their applications had been unfairly declined.



Some raised concerns that longstanding Labour members could be affected by social media activity from some time ago.



Richard Burgon MP spoke out, saying that the denial of so many applications was “unfair”.



One user queried a lack of widespread mainstream reporting of what has become for some an important issue about enfranchisement.



Others highlighted that some letters cited comments made or retweeted several years ago, and felt that it was unreasonable to take action after so much time had elapsed.



It wasn’t long before users turned to humour to vent their frustrations, creating the hashtag #LabourPurgeSongs, altering hits from bands such as the Manic Street Preachers to describe the situation.



Altered lyrics from popular songs by The Police and The Proclaimers were widely shared on Twitter.




Pro-Jeremy Corbyn organisation Momentum created a run-down of some of their favourite #LabourPurgeSongs, and encouraged users to keep sharing them.



Users are continuing to share letters as they recieve them, and many have decided to appeal the decision although only fully fledged members of the party may appeal, those who have applied for registered supporter status cannot.

Pictures courtesy of Louisa Thomson, Twitter

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