Unite, the UK's leading union and the Labour party's most significant affiliate, has issued the following comment ahead of tomorrow's (Tuesday) meeting of the NEC:

"This is another disheartening move by a Labour leadership whose priorities could not be more different from those of working people and our members. 

"While working class communities are continuing to bear the brunt of the sickness and employment worries made much worse by Conservative mishandling of the pandemic, Labour is abandoning the field of battle against this government to turn its fire on its members instead.

"Acts of political machismo like this latest move to proscribe groups within the party neither advance the party with the voting public nor appease the right-wing media which demand them. They simply  create a sense of despair among voters who see  a party at perpetual war with itself, more interested in running down its membership than running the country.

"Further, the proposed creation of a `Star Chamber' to act as judge and jury for further proscriptions and purges is a shocking and repressive move. It belongs to the dark ages and should have absolutely no place in a modern day democratic party.  

"We say this without holding any particular brief for the organisations targeted today, but history teaches that this will only be the start.

"Unite the union urges Labour's NEC members to oppose both moves when presented to them, as a  continuation of the perverse strategy to establish Labour as a hostile place for those hundreds of thousands of members who have joined since 2015 and without whom election victory will prove simply unattainable."