Labour won’t let me vote for Corbyn

Former councillor Kevin McKeown
Former councillor Kevin McKeown

A former Labour councillor claims he’s been blacklisted and prevented from voting for Jeremy Corbyn in the party leadership election.

Kevin McKeown served Mossend and New Stevenston on North Lanarkshire Council for 17 years, but quit the party in 2011 then stood as an independent against Labour the following year.

Brother-in-law of Labour MSP Michael McMahon, he raised eyebrows last year by campaigning for a Yes vote in the referendum campaign.

As a member of the GMB union, which is affiliated to Labour, he should get a vote in the leadership election even though he’s not in the party.

However, he has received an e-mail from party HQ saying records show he was ‘excluded’ from membership so cannot take part.

It states he can apply to re-join Labour as a full member, but must provide a written statement in support of any request. It warns he could face an interview before a decision is reached.

Mr McKeown, a union official, believes this is part of a drive to block support for left wing candidate Mr Corbyn.

He said: “I resigned from Labour, I wasn’t kicked out.

“I would have voted for Jeremy Corbyn because he is a breath of fresh air, but it looks like they are trying to weed out anyone with a socialist bone in their body.

“They are blacklisting people like me - the very thing they criticise companies for doing to union activists.

“I don’t see the point of applying to re-join Labour. How can they rejuvenate the grassroots when they are excluding Labour-minded people?

“Keir Hardie would be turning in his grave.”