As we go to press nearly 1,000 Respect members and supporters have signed the statement against the witch-hunt of the SWP and the left in Respect – in just six days since the statement’s launch.
Six councillors and 21 members of Respect’s National Council have so far signed the statement.
Four of the councillors are from Tower Hamlets – Oliur Rahman, Rania Khan, Lutfa Begum and Ahmed Hussain. Alongside them is Bolsover councillor Ray Holmes and Councillor Michael Lavalette from Preston.
Preston has been one of Respect’s great success stories. Valerie Wise, the former leader of Preston council and a previous Labour member of the Greater London Council, has added her name to the statement along with former Labour councillor Elaine Abbot, who came second in Preston Riversway ward in May’s local elections.
Janet Alder – who has been a constant campaigner against injustice since her brother Christopher died in police custody in 1998 – has added her name. Two years ago she stood in Tottenham, north London, in the general election, polling over 2,000 votes.
Other signatories include Maxine Bowler, who came second in this year’s council elections in Sheffield’s Burngreave ward, and Tom Woodcock, who polled 17 percent (beating the Greens and the Tories) in Romsey ward, Cambridge.
Among those selected to stand on Respect’s list for next spring’s London Assembly elections who have added their names are healthworker Pat McManus and retired Ford Dagenham worker Berlyne Hamilton.
Many activists from Tower Hamlets have added their names including former Labour activist Kumar Murshid, Wendy Lavington, PCS union branch chair at the Export Credits Guarantee Department in the Isle of Dogs, and Tower Hamlets Respect women’s officer Dilwara Begum.
Others signing include Maureen Topley, who mounted a terrific election campaign in Harlow last week, Mahmoud Kurdi, treasurer of North East Respect and chair of Newcastle Muslim Association of Britain, Noreen Fatima, national chair of Student Respect and Jane Loftus, president of the CWU postal workers’ union.
All names are in personal capacity. To read the statement and signatories and to add your name, go to » www.swp.org.uk/respect_appeal.php