The Executive Committee of the YCL has issued a statement to address allegations made on social media relating to a disciplinary decision in our London District.
The Executive Committee of the YCL has been made aware of a small number of resignations in the YCL’s London District regarding the outcome of a disciplinary investigation and hearing conducted against a member of the London District.
It is of course very disappointing to us that these comrades have felt it necessary to resign from the YCL, but we feel it is important to clarify the situation and refute the highly inflammatory, unfair and categorically untrue allegations they have decided to level against the YCL.
We understand that these allegations will be highly upsetting and concerning to our members and the wider public, but the EC is clear that there is no substance to these allegations and would ensure all concerned that we have nothing to hide.
The Disciplinary Process
- The London District reported a disciplinary issue to the EC on 4 December 2020.
- The member concerned was suspended on 5 December 2020 pending a disciplinary investigation.
- The member concerned attended an investigation meeting on 9 December 2020.
- A full investigation was conducted.
- The member attended a disciplinary hearing on 23 December 2020.
- A disciplinary outcome was issued to the member concerned and the London District on 8 January 2021.
The disciplinary investigation found that the member had placed his hand on the buttock of an individual, who was not a member of the YCL, without consent and then removed it when told to do so by the individual, at a social gathering which was not associated with the YCL.
The YCL EC agreed that the behaviour was highly serious and merited a disciplinary outcome on the basis that the misconduct:
- Was incompatible with the communist dedication to women’s liberation.
- Jeopardised the safeguarding duty which the YCL owes to its members and our discharge of this duty.
- Brought the YCL into disrepute.
The disciplinary outcome was that:
- The member is suspended for 3 months (the maximum period permitted under our Constitution).
- The member’s readmission to the YCL is conditional on the satisfactory completion of an interview with representatives of the EC and the London District Committee. Unlike expulsion, this process demands self-criticism and that the member correct their behaviour and prove this to the EC and London District Committee prior and in order to be readmitted into the League, and demonstrated that it is safe to do so. If it is considered that the member poses any risk to our members or the wider public, they will not be readmitted.
- The member is required to draft a detailed self-critical account to the EC and the London District Committee outlining the misconduct, its impact and how they intend to rectify the misconduct and avoid any future such misconduct.
- The member was banned from consuming alcohol or being under the influence of alcohol at any YCL events.
The circumstances of the disciplinary were of course distressing and difficult but the EC considers that we conducted an open and fair investigation. We consulted the London District Committee throughout the duration of the process. We consider that the decision reached was fair and proportionate in all the circumstances. There was no attempt to conceal the findings, process followed or the outcome of the hearing.
The individual affected by the misconduct did not report this incident to us and understandably did not wish to participate in the investigation or disciplinary process. We would note that it is concerning and disappointing that the details of the incident have now been circulated by the individuals who have resigned without the knowledge or consent of the young person actually affected by the misconduct.
Other allegations raised
The individuals resigning have also made a wide range of highly inflammatory and upsetting allegations against comrades of the YCL individually and collectively.
It is not possible to respond to each and every one of these claims in detail, but we would like to confirm that these claims are entirely false. It is clear from a plain reading of these allegations that they are based entirely on malicious rumours and have never been raised with the EC previously.
In terms of the allegations of misogyny and condoning of sexual assault, we categorically refute these allegations or that the YCL or the EC have ever promoted or facilitated these damaging trends deliberately or through oversight. It is clear that we dealt with this incident quickly, firmly, transparently and in accordance with our rules.
We would also like to highlight that it is deeply unfair, patronising and insulting to disparage the excellent and selfless work of our current women members.
The EC is eager to clarify any issues and reassure any comrades who are understandably concerned by these highly upsetting and deliberately inflammatory allegations.
The YCL and the EC have nothing to hide in terms of these completely baseless allegations.
The EC shares the upset of all comrades that these extremely serious and untrue claims have been levelled against our organisation for apparent political purposes.
For our part, our focus is continuing the exciting growth of our organisation.
The YCL is an organisation that all young communists can and should be proud to call theirs.
Yours in comradeship
Young Communist League
28 January 2021