A Labour councillor said she has been threatened with expulsion from the party for an old interview with a newly blacklisted newspaper. 

Harrow councillor Pamela Fitzpatrick said she received a letter from the Labour Party suggesting she could be at risk of being automatically kicked out due to an article that appeared in Socialist Appeal

Cllr Fitzpatrick’s interview was published in May 2020 – in June 2021, Labour banned its members from interacting with the far-left publication. 

She tweeted: “I have just received a letter from the Labour Party threatening me with auto exclusion because I was interviewed by Socialist Appeal in May 2020 on why I was applying for the position of General Secretary. I explained to SA I wanted fair procedures followed in the party.”

An online petition has since been launched urging people to lend their support to the 2019 parliamentary candidate for Harrow East. 

Aghileh Djafari-Marbini, who started the petition, said auto-exclusion has “no place” in the Labour Party and questions its commitment to natural justice. 

She said: “We would never do this in a court of law, so why are we doing it in the Labour Party? It really worries me that we are taking that approach.”

Aghileh explained this case is particularly unfair given the fact the decision to ban Socialist Appeal was taken more than a year after Cllr Fitzpatrick spoke to the newspaper. 

She added: “I find it really odd that the organisation has been proscribed, but it has. Pam did this interview long before that decision.”

Aghileh said Cllr Fitzpatrick would be greatly missed if she was excluded, as she is a “really popular member” of the party. 

She said she would “feel it personally” as she sees Cllr Fitzpatrick as one of the few people she can always rely on to help her out, both in and out of politics. 

The petition received almost 1,500 signatures a day after it was launched. 

Others, including Poplar and Limehouse MP Apsana Begum and former shadow chancellor John McDonnell, have offered their support on social media. 

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.