Op-ed: WE the supporters, voters and members of the Labour Party are the PARTY. WE all need each other and right now with local elections weeks away it needs all willing and able hands on board.
But WE also need the best people for the job elected to the party's NEC, national executive committee.
Divisions between the left and the right of the party mean that some who want to be elected to the NEC openly oppose Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Thanks to Kev Minnette, a prospective Labour councillor, for sharing the following:
For what is probably the first time the right wing slate for the NEC put together by Progress and Labour First is getting far more CLP nominations than the Centre-left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate (excepting Ann Black).
Progress is a very well-funded organisation with millionaire benefactors and probably has paid employees phoning round CLP’s to get backing for its slate.
The CLGA of which CLPD is one of the main organisations, relies entirely on unpaid volunteer party members like yourselves.
Therefore, we ask you urgently to do your very best to get CLP’s to nominate for the CLGA slate of Ann Black; Ken Livingstone; Christine Shawcroft; Claudia Webbe; Darren Williams; Peter Willsman.
This is a vital task as control of the NEC will decide the future direction of the Labour Party.
Yours in socialism
Asst Sec CLPD
PS Comrades are also encouraged to press for good Annual Conference delegates from their CLP’s and where possible to stand themselves.
Ahead of NEC elections 2016 interested parties are trying to gather support and shore up defences for different agendas. The following was received early February and relates to the election campaign of Luke Akehurst; a man who is not a huge fan of party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
"This is what Luke Akehurst has been sending out to CLP's in January. When reading it I found it very offensive. Please think carefully before you re-elect him onto the NEC...........
"From Luke Akehurst
I hope you have had a good break over the Christmas period and wish you a Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2016 is a better year for Labour than 2015, which must rival 1931 as one of the worst in our history.
All of us were hoping that the New Year would mean Labour refocused on party unity and preparing for the electoral challenges we face in the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly, London Mayor and Assembly, local government and police commissioner elections.
Instead, the Hard Left clique around Jeremy Corbyn has thrown us into a sectarian, divisive and wholly unnecessary reshuffle. We are disgusted by the sacking of Michael Dugher from the Shadow Cabinet and proud that Michael will be keynote speaker at the Labour First Annual Meeting on 16 January. Michael was an excellent Shadow Culture Secretary and one of the most effective Labour spokespeople in taking the fight to the Tories. He agreed to serve in the Shadow Cabinet in the interests of party unity. His sacking by Mr Corbyn seems to be for the “crime” of speaking out against the pernicious influence of Momentum and defending hard-working colleagues from threats of deselection.
Our primary focus has to be working hard for Labour victories at every level in May, but there are also two key internal processes starting now where we have an opportunity to fight back against the Hard Left and reassert a strong moderate voice within the Labour Party. We need your help with both:
Annual Conference Delegate Elections
We need the maximum number of mainstream delegates to be elected by CLPs to this year’s Labour Party Annual Conference so that we can win key votes on any policy or rule changes that come forward and for the National Constitutional Committee (NCC). The 2015 conference where we won the votes on whether to debate Trident and for the NCC shows the importance of having the best possible delegates.
CLPs send one delegate for the first 749 full members they had on 31 December 2015, and one further delegate for every additional 250 individual members in the constituency or part thereof. At least every second delegate from a CLP has to be a woman; where only one delegate is appointed this must be a woman at least in every other year. Where the individual women’s membership in a constituency is 100 or more, an additional woman delegate may be appointed. Where the individual Young Labour membership in a constituency is 30 or more an additional delegate under the age of 27 may be appointed.
CLPs can elect delegates any time between now and 24 June. Many CLPs do this before the start of the local election campaign in April.
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know when the date is of the All Member Meeting or delegate-based General Meeting when your CLP will elect delegates.
Please work with other mainstream local members in your CLP to ensure the delegates your CLP sends are moderates. Ideally please try to get elected as a delegate yourself!
As soon as your CLP has elected delegates, please let me know who they are, their contact details, and what their likely political stance is.
Nominations to NEC and NCC
Nominations are now open for the six CLP representatives on the National Executive Committee. The 33 member NEC is currently finely balanced between the Hard Left and mainstream members. The NEC is the governing body of the party between Annual Conferences in all matters relating to party organisation and rules.
We are recommending support for the following four candidates, and will announce a further two recommended names in the next few weeks:
Ellie Reeves. Ellie has been on the NEC for almost 10 years and is currently vice chair. She is elected with broad support from across the party. Ellie is a trade union lawyer and is passionate about workers’ rights. She has the experience, commitment and credibility to get the right policy platform and campaign strategy in place and to hold the leadership to account.
Johanna Baxter. Johanna has been an independent voice on the NEC since November 2010. From the West of Scotland, she is currently CLP secretary for Camberwell & Peckham and works as a trade union official.
Peter Wheeler. Peter served on the NEC until 2010 and from 2012-2014. He is from Salford where he is a local councillor. A former full-time official for the Labour Party and Amicus trade union, he is committed to building a strong democratic and campaigning Labour Party.
Luke Akehurst. Luke served on the NEC from 2010-2012. A former parliamentary candidate and Hackney Councillor, he is now a CLP officer in Oxford. His campaign website is here: http://www.luke4nec.org.uk/
Each CLP can nominate up to six NEC candidates.
CLPs can nominate at any time between now and 24 June. Many CLPs do this before the start of the local election campaign in April.
Please email me (email@example.com) to let me know when the date is of the All Member Meeting or delegate-based General Meeting when your CLP will nominate.
Please work with other mainstream local members in your CLP to ensure you nominate as many as possible of our recommended candidates.
As soon as your CLP has nominated, please let me know the result.
Each CLP can also nominate for one seat on the National Constitutional Committee, which handles the most difficult disciplinary cases and disputes. We are recommending support for Maggie Cosin who is a long-standing incumbent NCC member, currently Chief Whip on Dover Council and formerly Deputy Leader of Camden Council.
The NEC CLP reps are elected by OMOV of full members in July/August whilst the NEC CLP rep is elected by CLP delegates at Annual Conference.
Secretary, Labour First"
Check out: http://www.newtekjournalismukworld.com/british-political-scene/bds-the-labour-party-nec-hopefuls-open-letter
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