Social Democracy Forward

Why I left the SDP

My reasons for leaving the Social Democratic Party originate over concerns I and colleagues in the South West Regional Co-ordinating Committee (RCC) of the party had over the way it was being run dating back almost to the time when we were first appointed in Spring 2023. However, matters came to a head with the party’s attempts to close this website and subsequent facts brought to my attention concerning the behaviour of a senior officer of the party, which exposed its true nature. I am grateful to the anonymous source who helped me discover these important facts.

Initial concerns

The story began with a simple enough announcement; in the run up to a pending General Election the party was to review its policies and members were invited to comment on them. The problem which then emerged was that this was not a minor tidy up, but a root-and-branch overhaul of the SDP’s entire policy set. Whole new policies started to be suggested which had little connection with the apparent purpose of the party and were evidently not well thought out or even researched at all.

They included charging non-UK citizens for museum entrance while retaining free entry for citizens, surely more expensive to implement than any money it would be likely to raise. How would this be done? Would people have to show passports to enter museums? What about citizens who never travel abroad and therefore possess no passport? Would everyone need an Identity Card, something which raises concerns for some over civil liberties? How would this be checked at entrances? Would box offices be built and staffed, or would there be turnstiles installed with some automated verification system? Clearly it would be expensive to implement and would bring the country little benefit beyond giving citizens the impression they received a privilege denied to foreigners. We could not help wondering whether this might be more motivated by malice toward foreign tourists than any benefit to the country. Did the SDP want to discourage tourists? Do they not bring revenue and economic activity?

Then there was the policy to institute a national list of important buildings and statues which could only be removed with official permission. How would that differ from the listed buildings which already exist? Indeed, it is probably the grade II listed status of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol City Centre which delayed the Council taking more rapid steps to defuse the anger some had come to feel about it, and in the end it was removed by the extra-legal action of an angry crowd. The policy seemed flawed on two counts: firstly that no legal procedure can prevent things happening outside the law, and secondly that a comparable list already exists and is maintained with government authority, so it was a policy to implement what already exists.

Other similar ideas soon followed: A new subject called "citizenship" would be added to the National Curriculum to include those aspects of British life which, since 2001, have been taught in schools under the heading... "citizenship"! We would introduce a Minister for Rail, which would no doubt come as news to the current holder of that post. It was becoming obvious the people devising these policies had no knowledge whatsoever of current provision, let alone what was wrong requiring fixing or what the party needed to do to achieve its purpose of making life better for people living in the UK. We could not put candidates on the stump with policies like these. The other candidates and the media would tear their position to pieces and they’d be laughed out of the hustings.

All this policy review achieved was to expose the utter ignorance of those conducting it and the lack of sensible leadership in calling a halt to the whole thing. It also ignored the fact most party members had been attracted by the party’s vision and existing policies and replacing them was effectively changing the nature of the party they had joined.

Then there was a change in the feel of the party’s website. Previously, the home page had centred around policy and need, but in Spring 2023 that was pushed down the page to make room for an enormous photograph of the leader’s face, as if he were the most important thing about the party. It was uncomfortable to look at, and gave the impression the SDP is less about the needs of the people and centres around the personality of a single man.

The Conference

Matters got worse at the party conference in the autumn. Although it had a generally positive atmosphere as might be expected from a gathering of like-minded people, it was not the preparation for the coming election one might expect from a party intending to field its largest number of candidates since being re-formed around 20 years before. Instead, like the two previous years’ conferences, it centred almost entirely around Identity Politics. I am no fan of Identity Politics – I run the Diverse Diversity Campaign – but am concerned how much this one area of life seems to preoccupy a party which should have other concerns. Concentrating on the problem without offering a solution achieves little except keeping controversy going. We need to find a way to bring harmony where there is currently only polarisation, otherwise we’re just prolonging the problem rather than solving it. In the run up to an election, however, that only needs mentioning in passing before addressing more pressing concerns.

As it happened, the real controversies emerging from the 2023 conference were statements by the man compèring the afternoon session. He began by making a statement about the unequivocal support of “We in the SDP” for Israel whatever followed. This might have been fine a week earlier on the day of the appalling atrocities committed by Hamas fighters who invaded Southern Israel and killed and abducted people on a massive scale, but by the time of the Conference Israel had already killed more civilians in Gaza than Hamas had in Israel and it was clear the killing was not about to stop. A more balanced statement was surely required. That evening, when challenged, the party leader explained there was no such policy and the man had spoken only for himself, but refused to make a public retraction and allowed the comments to be posted to the party’s social media accounts headlined with the “We in the SDP” quote. Party members might be told this was not actually the party’s position, but the public would not be told, leaving them with the impression it was.

The South West Regional Chair had agreed to meet the SW representatives for lunch at the conference, and had also discovered one of the guest speakers was not being looked after, so invited her to join us. As we left the hall the party leader met us and invited us all to join him at his favourite local pub. This proved to be a 20-minute walk away and when we got there we found there was a 45-minute wait for food. This did not bother the leader, as he preferred to drink a pint of beer on an empty stomach before making his afternoon speech, but the rest of us, including the guest speaker, were forced to go hungry. The compère settled down to a couple of glasses of red wine. During lunch the leader told us there would be good news announced around 4:30 pm but would not be drawn on what it was. About ten minutes before the conference was due to resume for the afternoon session we began to leave as we would have to hurry to get back. The compère complained as he had only just bought his second glass. Did the leader expect him to “slug this down” he wanted to know. I tapped my watch in his direction and he looked at his own, took a gulp from his glass and reluctantly left it and started back. I would soon regret that action, as it enabled him to make the misleading announcement already mentioned above.

Around 4pm I left the hall for a few minutes, returned to a jubilant mood and was told while I had been out the compère had just announced the party had secured an anonymous donation of a million pounds. Unfortunately, the money has not been forthcoming so it’s unclear exactly what was actually secured.

The complaint

A day or two after the 2023 conference the SW leadership were exchanging ideas around it when concerns arose over the impression the remarks about Israel left that the party was firmly allied to one side of an already-controversial issue of serious concern to many citizens. Doing so would seriously alienate us from a large proportion of potential supporters. It was discovered with horror the party had already published the speech with only minor cuts and seemed oblivious to the harm they could do in that form. The leadership’s subsequent refusal either to withdraw the video or to explain it to the wider public seemed completely baffling. Why would a party not want to explain its true position when the public were being misled by published material? I was tasked with checking the party’s rules as we felt it could not be within them to make a public statement in the party’s name which was not reflective of party policy. I duly suggested the rules which I thought had been broken and also raised the possibility the speech would have brought the party into disrepute with citizens whose view on the conflict was less polarised.

The Southwest Chair asked whether I would be happy to submit my findings as a complaint and then did so on my behalf. We expected some sort of investigation asking for evidence from both sides to follow. Instead, within a week we were told a discipline committee to which there was no reference in the rules had concluded the allegations were made without evidence and there was therefore no basis for taking the matter further. As a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate it was suggested by my SW colleagues I should raise the issue on a channel for prospective candidates as it would affect their ability to campaign for the party. This was almost instantly denied by the Party Secretary and no one seemed willing to address the issue I had raised. Eventually the Party Chair responded that I had misused a channel intended to promote methods of campaigning by instead trying to use it to discuss wider issues.

The SW Chair was extremely unhappy with this result and suggested I needed to point out the inadequacies of the process. He himself promised to raise the issue at the next National Co-ordinating Committee (NCC) meeting and attempted to do so. However, at that meeting other business took too long and his item was simply considered by the Leader not to be urgent enough to justify keeping the members any longer. It therefore was simply dropped. I was astonished to learn meetings could simply be ended with unresolved business as if there were no need to complete the agenda. This seemed irresponsible. If people need to abandon a meeting unfinished shouldn’t an adjournment of unfinished business to a later date have been agreed to enable it to be completed?

My follow-up e-mail concerning procedure was never answered. It seemed the initial decision was considered final and the undocumented procedure employed needed no explanation.

The Leadership Question

It was at this time (early December 2023) the SW leadership began to form the view the party was not being adequately led nationally, and the only way to achieve more orderly and disciplined functioning would be to change the leader. According to the published rules a leadership election was due in March, with invitations for candidates to declare themselves in January. The SW Chair responded that he was sure that had been changed, and looked back through NCC minutes. He found the relevant entries in minutes of two previous meetings he had been given on becoming SW Chair. In January 2023 the NCC had agreed to extend the Leader’s term of office by 33% and in February they had approved the replacement rule. This also removed the provision for the Leader to serve an interim term of an extra year if no poll took place because he was unopposed, granting him a full four-year term in the event of unopposed re-election. Finally, it gave the NCC the ability to extend the Leader’s term for an extra three months if it desired. This new rule, which seriously weakened the Leader’s accountability to the membership, had not been published. Such a rule change did not need members to approve it and they were therefore unaware their rights had been reduced.

There are two other procedures by which an early leadership election can be forced:

  1. If the NCC passes a motion of no confidence in the Leader an EGM would be triggered in which a two-thirds majority would be required to remove the current Leader and trigger an election
  2. Any hundred members could sign a letter of request for an election

The SW RCC agreed we could not wait until July. That would be likely to coincide with both the tail end of local authority elections and a possible General Election campaign or the immediate preparations for one. Moreover, we were aware more thoughtful people were haemorrhaging from the party leaving the less thoughtful ones behind, so the party was losing its skill base as time went on. It was also evident the NCC would not be likely to pass a motion of no confidence and even if they did, the chance of two-thirds of the membership understanding there was a problem enough to vote for a new election was pretty remote. Two thirds is a very high bar for agreeing to change the status quo.

We therefore decided our Chair would liaise with other regional chairs to assess the chance of securing their support in asking their members to consider signing such a letter. However, before that could be acted upon the SW Chair fell ill and was unable to do anything for about two months.

In late January the SW Secretary and I realised time was running out and he was anxious to leave the party as soon as possible, staying on only to support any pending leadership challenge. He said he felt he was being deceptive by continuing to act for a party in which he no longer believed. I could see his point, but also argued that the more good people leave the weaker the party becomes. We concluded we had to start acting without waiting for our Chair to return if we were not to find it too late. Accordingly, we set up a meeting with two other Chairs to discuss the state of the party. Their view was that while there was room for improvement they thought the answer would not be to change the Leader. They argued people were exhausted, often at the end of a hard day’s work and the party’s lack of money limited what could be done. They were sure that any good ideas for improving party administration or organisation would be welcome and encouraged us to submit such ideas to one of them. He would then use those ideas as a basis for his own proposals for party improvements.

Both of us then did so. The Regional Secretary’s suggestions would later form the basis of his article on this site.

A few days later the SW Chair finally recovered and began to catch up on events. He had been away from the party for an extended period and this distance had given him much time to reflect. He was resolved there was little to be done and had determined he would like to resign as soon as he could. I had come to the conclusion there was no more to be done within party procedures and any pressure for change would have to come from outside. We decided I would set up a process enabling members of the party and the general public to express their views on what sort of party they would like to see, in the hope of generating ideas to make the party more effective and challenge the leadership to raise their game. The others had ideas they felt were incompatible with continuing membership. It was felt that in a democratic party there must be room for debate and the party needed more exposure to the public if it were ever to become known, so no harm could be done so long as it was absolutely clear Social Democracy Forward is not an official organ of the party and the discussions taking place on it are simply the views of the participants. By dissociating the site in that way I should be able to keep it within what was permitted and continue in membership even if my activities did annoy some of those in leadership. In a democracy where Freedom of Speech is a core value there is an inherent right to annoy those in power. If the party is to be trusted to rule such a democracy it must be willing to tolerate scrutiny on its fringes and respond with its own case in an appropriate way.

The SDP rules are silent on what happens when regional officers resign, so the other two tasked me with carrying on the running of the region until a new election could be arranged and I agreed to do so. My first job would be to communicate these decisions to the members so they knew about them and about the new venture.

My Mistake

As the Chair delegated jobs to me I needed the ability to contact those under my care. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that access had not been provided by the central party and the SW Secretary gave up trying to sort things out. It had soon become apparent there was very little support available from HQ and we really had to organise things ourselves. In those circumstances the Regional Secretary decided to send me periodic exports of the information to which he had access so I could do my job. I extracted the data I needed from these spreadsheets and created lists in my e-mail client program to use for communication. However, such a method of working needs extreme care in order to keep information confidential. This was exacerbated by the fact the list titles hid their contents from me when sending out e-mail. All I saw in the form was the name of the list. The program would then expand that into the actual details to be used when the mail was sent. I therefore had to take care to ensure the list were entered in the Bcc field of the form and never in the To or CC fields where the entire list would become visible to recipients.

The day after the last RCC meeting the outgoing Secretary sent me the latest export of current members. I spent most of the day extracting the data into a list I could use. I had a Bristol Committee meeting in the evening and I was already receiving messages from people asking how the RCC had gone. I was under pressure to complete the list and send out the news and still be on time for the evening meeting.

Eventually I got it done and was relieved to have time just enough to grab a bite to eat and to set out for the meeting. The meeting went well and I returned home feeling satisfied, but thought I’d better just check developments before retiring to bed.

What I saw when I opened my e-mail client horrified me. There were a few e-mails replying to my newsletter and when I opened the first one I discovered what I'd done. It was a reply to all, listing the entire South West membership’s addresses in full view before I could scroll down to the message itself. I had forgotten to use Bcc.

My first reaction was to go to the Information Commissioner’s website to see what I must now do. I found the form for reporting the leak and took my time to fill it in as correctly as I could, explaining what I had done. It was my fault and I had to take responsibility.

I then sent an apology, taking care to use BCC this time, to everyone on the list asking them to extract the text from the message and then delete it, and specific apologies to two people who were on the list in error, one because he lived outside the Region and another because he was no longer a member but was still on the list I had received.

That non-member had understandably copied in the national Party Secretary asking for his details to be removed from the list. This, of course, brought my mistake to the Party Secretary’s attention, and there was a message from him which read:

Dear Ken

With this email chain below - You have broken the Party Data Protection Rules and the Data Protection Act. You have illegally used party membership data without authorisation for personal gain. This will certainly be an internal disciplinary matter and I am also required by law as we are registered with the ICO to report this incident to Information Commissioners Office who may decide to launch a separate criminal investigation into this incident, and they have the power to fine you if required.

You need to immediately end and then delete this email chain and destroy all copies of this data from your computer and address book. Failure to comply may result in suspension from the party including suspension of your PPC status and the right to use the party name and logo on social media.

Tomorrow, I will be emailing the South-West members to apologise for this data breach and will be asking them to report any further breaches to me which I will as duty-bound report on to the ICO.

Yours Sincerely

Robert Malyn

Party Secretary

I replied:

Dear Rob,

Thank you for your e-mail. I have only just got round to it as I came home from a Bristol SDP meeting to find a reply to my e-mail showing I had accidentally sent it with To instead of BCC and have been doing what I can to apologise to those affected, limit the damage, and report the incident to the ICO as I have made a ghastly mistake.

Daniel and Kareem entrusted me with the list before they resigned so, as the only surviving member of the RCC, I could keep the region running until such time as their replacements could be found. I have let them and the members down badly with my first attempt to pass on the sad news of their departure and report what we had discussed at the regional meeting the night before. People were asking me what had happened and I wanted to get the news out before going out tonight, and I just forgot. So easily done, such potential consequences! I have asked the ICO for advice and also checked the Electoral Commission website to see whether I needed to report anything to them, but they seem to redirect to the ICO on this sort of thing.

What can I say? I failed. It was not done with malice, I support the party and want only to make it even better where it falls short. It is ironic that I have myself caused it to fall short on this occasion.

I do not understand why you think I have made any personal gain out of this. I was seeking to act purely in the party's interest and for its benefit. I have received nothing and expect to receive nothing. I am very sorry for messing this up, but I gain nothing from it.

The NCC is quite within its rights to suspend me if it sees fit, but they must ask what would be gained by doing so, other than an empty gesture. It's not as if I intended any harm and I am as horrified as anyone else by what has happened. How would it help the South West region or the party at large?

I have deleted the message from my sent folder as requested, but that will not achieve much. It is not that copy, safe on the onemail server, which constituted the breach. It is the copies in members' inboxes which are the main problem. I have already asked them to delete those, but can only rely on them to do so as I have no control over that.

What a horrible mess! I do hope I can remain active in the party as it needs to succeed and I want to help it. Without it I'd be politically homeless as there is no one else for people with my beliefs to vote for. I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Best wishes,


I then fell into bed about 1:35 am where I spent a troubled night.

The next day there was a further e-mail from the Party Secretary, but I was reluctant to open it as I was filled with trepidation. I needn’t have worried. It indicated the party now regarded the incident as “an honest mistake” and I considered the matter closed. How wrong I was!

The attempted Silencing

A month later I received an envelope bearing the SDP logo. Assuming they had finally sent my paper original of my Deputy Nominations Officer certificate I opened it with little interest, until I saw it was something else entirely:

Letter from Rob Malyn demanding deletion of SD Forward website

I took time before replying as I wanted to concentrate on assisting local candidates with their nominations and ensuring I could authorise them as SDP candidates. When I did reply, it was to explain why I did not agree with the conclusion which had apparently been reached without any consultation. The party’s behaviour was beginning to worry me more as it seemed to have no regard for the principles of Natural Justice that no one should be judge in their own cause and that no one should be condemned unheard.

Dear Rob,

Thank you for your letter of 19th March 2024 informing me of "the outcome of an internal review". I have delayed answering until now because I wanted to get our nominations for SW local election candidates sorted out before dealing with anything more controversial inside the party. I think it somewhat unfortunate this review took place without my knowledge and I was not invited to contribute to it as I could have clarified my intentions and a number of facts which seem to have been misunderstood.

I am also disappointed to see the embarrassing data breach raised again. I had been given to understand that was dealt with by earlier correspondence and recognised as "an honest mistake".

1. As explained in previous correspondence, the e-mail I sent was not "unauthorised" but sent to the membership in the rôle allocated to me by the outgoing Chair and Secretary who asked me to keep the SW Region functioning until other arrangements could be made. This included reporting to the membership the content of what turned out to be the last meeting of that particular RCC. The Social Democracy Forward website was one of the items discussed and it was agreed to inform members of it. It therefore was part of the proceedings to be reported to the members. I am sure if you check Daniel and Kareem will be happy to confirm that is the case. I therefore must correct the claim that I was "promoting a personal website". I was simply informing members of the proceedings in accordance with the instructions I had been given.

2. You seem to be under the impression the document on the website was "an official document" of a confidential nature within the party. Daniel Gardner was not officially tasked by the party to produce an internal or official report. Rather, he and I were both responding to a personal suggestion by Daniel Whetstone to let him have in writing our personal views on what might be required to make the party more compliant and effective. Daniel G sent his contribution to Dan W and copied me in. After Daniel G resigned I then suggested a similar document would be a useful discussion-starter on the website, and we liaised on producing such a document. If you take the trouble to compare the two you will see that although they contain many similarities, indicating their common heritage, they also have substantial differences, where passages we considered could reflect badly on the party were replaced with more positive suggestions. Daniel G approved the resulting text to go out in his name. It is therefore incorrect:

a. to suggest Daniel G's original was an official party document - it was merely his viewpoint communicated to a member of the NCC, and

b. to identify that as the published document which can easily be seen to be different. Daniel was not a member of the party at the time the wording was agreed.

I can see the description I gave on the page was too vague to be clear and have remedied that.

As to whether this constitutes me making a complaint outside the private structures of the party, that is also easy to answer. I am not the author of the document and it does not necessarily reflect my views. However, I do not believe in censoring views with which I merely disagree. The opinions raised are Daniel's alone.

It is not a policy document handling sensitive issues which could alarm the public if released prematurely, nor do I believe Daniel intended it as a complaint. Rather, it was advice on what he believes we need to do to meet the demands of organisations in the early to mid 21st century. My understanding is he resigned from the party because he lost faith that his concerns were heard. I think he still passionately believes in the Principles of the party as stated in the appendix to the Constitution, as I do.

The most critical comments he made are at the beginning where he refers to the premature announcement of funding which did not materialise, but that is already a matter of public record since the announcement was made at the party Conference and the questions he raised are obvious.

I therefore do not believe I contravened either Rule E16 or E20. What is apparent is that some at party HQ dislike an article containing critical comments being published and seem to believe a member should not include such articles to stimulate public discussion.

Which brings us to the heart of the matter: what kind of party is the SDP? Are we a democratic party which champions Free Speech, is open to criticism, believes in openness and transparency, or are we an autocracy which seeks to censor open debate and present a monolithic view of the world? I joined the former and would not want to support the latter. I would not want the latter to get anywhere near running the country.

We have just held three successive conferences around the issue of Free Speech and its vital importance to democracy and it was the main theme of most of our visiting speakers and exhibitors. We cannot decide which Free Speech we approve!

At lunch at the last conference William said Matt Goodwin thinks around 60% of the electorate share the political philosophy of the SDP but "he doesn't think we can do it." That raises a very interesting question; why not?

If 60% share our views, but we can't get their votes, we must be doing something wrong, and we owe it to them to put that right. I think it is clear we struggle for resources, but we have to make the best of those we have, and we have to ensure new members joining are not matched by others leaving. Daniel and Kareem did not leave because their interests have moved on. They left because they were disillusioned by inefficiencies and basic failings, and a feeling of frustration when they tried to overcome those. They gave the impression the party centrally worked against the interests and needs of local members, and Bristol got a taste of that when we were overruled when we tried to stand a candidate in an ideal target constituency for a by-election. We really could have made a splash there. We could have got the party noticed. We would have matched the constituents' aspirations, but we were not allowed to stand.

I don't think you realise what we have lost in [redacted — Ed.]. The day after my e-mail débâcle I phoned him for comfort and while we were talking his other phone rang and I prompted him to answer it. He replied that it was only the BBC wanting to know [redacted — Ed.] and they could wait. We had a man in regular contact with BBC News [redacted — Ed.], but we didn't use him and he gave up and left. How different that could have been.

Open democratic parties have divergences of views within them, and that is one thing which generates media interest. Monolithic parties are boring unless they are ridiculously extreme and outrageous. We do not have to take the gigs we can get. If we do things right they will come to us.

The party needs to be more open to its members, not just top down, but also bottom up. It needs more elected positions and more regular elections to all elected positions. Hamas was elected once in Gaza, and has just stayed on with disastrous results for the Middle East. The SDP rules are fit for setting up a party and getting people into posts initially, but for ongoing running we need periodic re-elections. Appointees need to be elected once they've got things going. I served as the Bristol Co-ordinator because Kareem appointed me, not because the members in Bristol chose me. That has to change. We also need mechanisms for members to raise and discuss issues, not just through formal meetings or vague consultations, but through open channels of communication. We need a similar level of interaction with the public. We need ideas, not just for policies, but also for organisation to make the most of our main resource which is our people. We need a structure not just to support a membership of a couple of thousand, but for tens or even hundreds of thousands. In short we need to function not as a party which can't do it, but as a party which can.

While some early stages of policy discussion need to remain confidential because there are fools in every party who will suggest unworkable or scandalous ideas which could alarm the public, there is no reason why matters under serious discussion and divergence in views should not be visible. The more transparent we are, the more people will trust us, and the more there will be to interest them. We will not do our cause any service by excessive secrecy. If the party does not provide such mechanisms to enable a measure of openness, we should not be surprised if members try to implement something independent to serve that need. Threatening members who do so will not make the membership feel secure and will impact public confidence. We need to get the party into the shape it needs to be to achieve its purpose.

If it is really incompatible with membership to serve the party in this way you will leave me with no alternative but to resign, but I really hope that is not the case.

This has created something of a quandary with respect to the pending SW election. Do I offer to chair the SW, or do I resign from the party? It would be a nonsense to do the former if I will soon have to do the latter, but as things stand at present, whoever gets that job will have it indefinitely, whether they do it well or not, so it's a very big decision indeed.



The response was swift and not unexpected. Within hours I was informed I was provisionally suspended, no longer entitled to use party facilities, or even to refer to the SDP in published documents. My suspension would be discussed at the NCC two days later and they would be asked whether to confirm it.

The Revelation

At this point I was contacted by an anonymous source who had been investigating Robert Malyn’s online activity. He had useful information he believed was conclusive, though I could not be sure for myself. However, this information, together with my own research, is certainly very interesting, and possibly revealing about the likely nature of the party. I will simply present the information with minimal comment.

First, Mr Malyn’s SDP biographical notes:

Member of UKIP until 2016

And a post on on 13th October 2023:

MSN post claiming left UKIP in 2016

How many people called Robert Malyn would have left UKIP in Scotland in 2016? Then three further posts on MSN:

The source provided more shocking material in the name of Rob or Robert Malyn, but I have not used that because although consistent in tone with the above I have no evidence other than the name to suggest it might be the same person.

For comparison, SDP rule E18 reads:

“Those providing commentary as party members, officials, candidates, or representatives are to endeavour to speak in a professional and considered manner.”

I shall leave the reader to judge.

The End

I wrote to William Clouston, SDP leader, and Valerie Gray, party Chair, attaching the foregoing content and more and asking them to consider which of us might really be betraying the stated principles of the party. I suggested the party stood at a crossroads and needed to decide what kind of party it is. I have received no replies so far.

The next day I received a last communication from Mr Malyn informing me my suspension had been upheld unanimously. Even with serious questions of integrity raised the NCC had evidently chosen to side with its Secretary rather than a member who appeared to have uncovered a betrayal of the party’s declared nature. I was left with the conclusion the whole leadership approved of the behaviour of its Secretary and could not see how damaging it might be to a party seeking to be taken seriously.

I submitted my resignation with immediate effect. I have no wish to be associated with a party whose leaders appear to condone this kind of playground name-calling. People, even those with whom we disagree, are entitled to respect.