How do I leave the Labour party? Here's how to cancel your membership

It's harder to leave the Labour Party than to join, but if you're determined here’s how to quit.

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Surprisingly, leaving the Labour Party can be a tricky process. The Labour website offers no guidance in its membership section and the rulebook contains no specific guidance on how a member can voluntarily leave the Labour party – although there are numerous acts that could trigger your suspension, as Labour members discovered during the 2016 “purges”.

If you’ve decided to resign your membership, either in protest at the leadership or for some other reason, the first step is to cancel your direct debit or standing order, which you can do either by contacting your bank or through your online banking service.

However, this will not immediately cancel your membership. The rulebook says: “a member shall be deemed to have lapsed from membership if s/he has been in arrears for six months and has not responded to a request to pay the arrears.” This means it’s possible to remain a member (although not to participate in party elections) for half a year without paying subs. Some people report being left on the rolls for several years.

The next step is to notify the secretary of your constituency Labour party in writing that you have resigned your membership. While it would be satisfying to do this by post (enclosing your membership card, or what's left of it) an email is sufficient.

Of course, you might decide to expedite this process by getting yourself ejected from the party. If you plan to join a rival party to Labour, doing so would immediately void your Labour membership: the Tories, Greens, Lib Dems or WEP would fit the bill here. Or you could just campaign for one of these parties and announce your new affiliation on social media. Engaging in abusive behaviour could also work, although it would lack class.