As of this evening, Garston & Halewood Constituency Labour Party in Liverpool – Maria Eagle’s constituency – officially has no confidence in the party’s General Secretary, Iain McNicol.
A motion of no-confidence in Mr McNicol over the wave of suspensions and expulsions that prevented tens of thousands of members voting in the recent leadership election on top of those excluded on the basis of an arbitrary date, was debated at the CLP’s monthly meeting, with passion on both sides of the debate but in a completely comradely fashion.
An attempt was made to neuter the motion by proposing a drastic amendment to it, effectively removing all but a couple of lines, including the no-confidence motion, turning it into a mere expression of concern and request for clarification – but this was rejected by almost all those present.
Those against the motion argued that members should ‘move on’ and let bygones be bygones in order to concentrate on attacking the Tories.
Those for argued that this was missing the point – that taking the fight to the Tories properly is hampered as long as people prepared to exploit and subvert proper process to deprive members of their right to vote are left in a position to do so in future and that this would discourage new members from joining, or from full, enthusiastic participation if they do join.
The full motion is available at the end of this article, but the crucial part reads as follows:
As general secretary, Mr McNicol has legal responsibility for the Labour Party and must ensure that everything done by the party is legal. He has not ensured that the processing of complaints against members has achieved an acceptable standard and – because this directly relates to the leadership ballot – this means he has not ensured that the processing of ballots to members has been carried out properly.
We therefore call for a vote of no confidence in Mr McNicol as general secretary of the Labour Party. The CLP resolves for the process of suspensions/expulsions to be transparent, fair, clear and completed in reasonable timescales due to members not being able to particpate in meetings and the distress and damage to members mental health.
The result of the vote was ‘against’ 14, ‘for’ overwhelming (i.e. no full count of the ‘for’ votes was taken because the vote was so clearly carried. Ms Eagle voted against, as is to be expected.
A motion against the NHS ‘STP’ (Sustainability and Transformation Plan) for Merseyside and Cheshire, the plan for radical NHS cuts of over £1bn, which is supposed to be in consultation but has in fact already begun to be implemented) was carried unanimously.
G&H CLP joins a number of other CLPs in having no confidence in the party’s General Secretary. This blog urges every CLP to debate similar motions, and on supporters of the party’s return to its authentic direction to work hard to make sure they are carried.
Labour under Corbyn is gaining rapidly on the Tories and the party’s leader is trouncing Theresa May weekly. The new Shadow Cabinet is forcing the Tories into ever more division and u-turns. But if the ‘party machine’ is allowed to continue supporting the right-wing faction in arresting and undermining the party’s progress, Labour cannot become the force its numbers and vision merit.
Mr McNicol must go – along with anyone else determined to take the party back to ‘more of the same’ by underhand means.
Full motion wording: mcnicol-noconf
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