Socialist Worker

The SWP leadership is not splitting from Respect

The SWP has issued a statement following an email sent out by the Respect National Office claiming that the SWP is planning to split from Respect. It follows in full.

Issue No. 2074

This evening a shocking email has been sent from Respect’s National Office without consultation under the headline “SWP leadership splitting from Respect”.

I want to make it absolutely clear, as I have on a number of other previous occasions the SWP is not and has no intention of splitting from Respect.

I have just spoken to John Rees and he categorically denies making any of the statements attributed to him in the latest email.

Four Respect Councillors have withdrawn from the whip. But they have made it clear that they still belong to the organisation and stand by its original aims. They have withdrawn from the whip because they are opposed to the direction Respect seems to be heading in and they are disgusted with the bullying and intimidation they have been facing inside the Respect Tower Hamlets councillors’ group.

George Galloway and his supporters have made it clear that they do not want to have a Respect conference in less than three weeks time. Instead of allowing the Respect membership to decide the way forward, they are trying to ratchet up the pressure and make it appear that it is the SWP that wants to split from Respect.

I repeat the SWP has not split from Respect. I want to make it 100 percent clear that the SWP will not be bullied or blackmailed out of the coalition and nor will we just walk away from Respect. We were part of its foundation and have put as much work into the project as anyone or any other group.

The recent statements being sent out by Linda Smith and George Galloway are increasingly hysterical and are designed to confuse and disorientate Respect members and supporters who are opposed to the witch-hunt.

There should be a big health warning from any statement coming out from Linda Smith and George Galloway.

Comrades should feel free to forward this email on to their local groups — so our position is clear.

In solidarity,

Martin Smith, SWP National Secretary


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