So Simon Danczuk is to be barred from standing in the general election and deprived of defending his Rochdale seat that he first won form the Lib Dems in 2010.
A high price to pay for being an honest critic of Jeremy Corbyn’s various shortcomings and for his ubiquity in the pages of our tabloid newspapers.
Yesterday, he faced a three-member star chamber of the National Executive Committee to answer allegations that he was involved in sexting a 17 year-old girl back in 2015.
Danczuk made no excuse for his actions. He explained to the NEC that he was going through a hard time in his personal life (for which he subsequently received counselling) and had simply made a foolish mistake.
Without rehashing details, there was no allegation of illegality and most fair-minded observers would regard it as a closed, private matter.
Labour’s NEC operates to higher moral standards, it seems.
They deemed his actions to be so deplorable that he must forfeit his political career.
But in their bid to punish a critic and (they imagine) free up a Labour seat for a Corbyn acolyte, the leadership has just made a catastrophic error.
What will the NEC now do if it is revealed a Labour MP or candidate is, say, having an extra-marital affair? Or has a cocaine habit? Or uses rent boys?
By punishing Danczuk they have just set a precedent that the sexual peccadillos of other candidates are enough to have them dumped, inadvertently announcing open season on Labour MPs’ private lives.
Gleeful researchers in Conservative Central Office will be able to weaponise tittle tattle about Labour MPs to detract attention from the ongoing police investigation into their 2015 election expenses.
Right-wing tabloids, perhaps wary of exposing MPs following the Leveson inquiry, will feel justified in bringing tales of Labour MPs’ human frailties to light.
Corbyn has just done exactly what John Major did during his ill-fated “back to basics” campaign in the early 1990s. He has invited the media to hold other Labour candidates to the same standard as Danczuk.
Many will be found wanting.
Westminster is a gossipy place and there are plenty of Labour MPs who should be panicking right about now.