Following the debacles at Wallasey CLP (Constituency Labour Party) and Brighton & Hove, the SKWAWKBOX has learned that Clacton CLP in Essex has – in effect – been suspended because its executive (exec) – which consists more or less entirely of right-wingers – feel their positions are threatened by the steadfast support of the majority of its members for Jeremy Corbyn.
Members of Clacton have told this blog that a vote of no-confidence in the exec was likely to be carried at an ‘all-member meeting’ (AMM) scheduled for tomorrow – and apparently with considerable justification.
The CLP exec includes:
- one member who claimed, just last month, to have deliberately fielded a weak council-election candidate just so a UKIP candidate would win because the exec member ‘knew’ that the winning UKIP councillor would ‘jump’ to Labour. Hard to believe, but it’s right from the horse’s (or ass’) mouth:
- a Chair who rubbished the decision of two-thirds of CLP members to support Corbyn for last summer’s leadership election – and said she wished for a snap election to be called and Labour to lose, to get rid of the party’s leader:
- the chair’s 17yo daughter
- the ‘weak’ council candidate who, if the above claim is to be believed, stood in order to lose
- another exec member who is in a relationship with the former UKIP councillor in whose favour the party apparently ‘threw’ the recent council ward election
In order to prevent the much-needed clear-out of the unfit exec, which has been extensively discussed among the members, including on the CLP’s Facebook page, Labour East’s regional director, only today – the day before the meeting – sent this:
I wish to make you aware that I am instructing Clacton CLP officers to cancel the CLP all member meeting planned for Thursday 5 January.
Should any meeting go ahead any decisions taken will be considered void.
I would request that the CLP Secretary or other officer emails members to inform them of this asap, and to explain that the instruction has been given by the Labour East Regional Director on the grounds that concerns have been raised with him about the proceedings of the meeting and that no Regional Officer is available to attend.
I have discussed the issue with the Chair of the Labour East Regional Board, Eileen Davidson who is in agreement with this action.
If any member has any queries about this please direct them to email email@example.com whereby a Regional Officer will respond to their query.
I will contact you next week to discuss next steps.
While this is not – yet – a formal suspension of the CLP, a key meeting has been summarily cancelled from on high. Not because of anything that has happened, but because of ‘concerns’ about what might be done at the meeting.
There are no grounds whatever to assume that there will be any unacceptable behaviour. The only ‘concerns’ will be those of the exec, who are aware that they were likely to be out on their ear via the vote of no-confidence.
Members tell me that they fully expect a formal suspension of the CLP to be imposed soon – as has already happened in Wallasey and Brighton/Hove under similar circumstances.
Once if unfortunate. Twice is worrying. Three times is a pattern. It’s clear that we’re seeing a pattern emerge of entrenched, right-wing MPs, councillors and CLP executives who will resort to causing the suspension of their local party rather than allow its Corbyn-supporting majority to run it democratically – with the collusion of regional and even national authorities to enable them.
This is, beyond question, bringing the Labour party into disrepute and the MPs, councillors or members responsible should be on administrative suspension pending an investigation to decide whether they should be expelled.
The SKWAWKBOX calls on Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) to intervene in all these cases and to do so with an independent investigator so that the similar debacles in Wallasey and Brighton are corrected and not repeated in Clacton.
The country needs a Labour party focused on moving forward and winning – and that requires decisive action against those clinging to positions of power who are prepared to lose elections to protect those positions.
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