Akehurst says 19 left Conference delegates a waste – so more are needed

Labour First‘s Luke Akehurst definitely wasn’t happy on Friday. But not for the reason he pretended.

Akehurst tweeted a whiny criticism of Bristol West CLP for their selection of delegates for Labour’s annual Conference in Brighton later this year:

akehurst bristol

Mr Akehurst was soon disabused of the notion that it was costing the CLP anything like £4,000 by one of the delegates themselves:


But self-awareness has never been an Akehurst strong point and he seemed oblivious not only to how it would look to be arguing against increased member engagement and participation but also making his real agenda absolutely transparent – and making his hypocrisy so clear he might as well have it tattooed on his forehead.

Of course, Akehurst is absolutely terrified of mass member-participation in the Labour Party, because any hope for his faction depends on preventing the vast pro-Corbyn majority of members from participating actively in the workings of the party. Which is why he became the latest in a series of right-wingers to name-check this blog – even if his spelling leaves a bit to be desired:

akehurst skwawkbox

But he’s also been frantically working behind the scenes – as have anti-democratic Labour MPs – to rig CLP (constituency Labour Party) Conference delegate selections to try to defeat the McDonnell Amendment that will ensure the pro-Corbyn majority always have a candidate worth voting for in any future leadership elections – and to push through a ‘return to the bad old days’ motion to take Labour back to the days when a few MPs commanded a third of the votes in leadership contests.

His faction’s hope of achieving his aims will be seriously inconvenienced by CLPs sending their full complement of delegates to the Conference. He’s correct that a CLP’s vote is weighted according to its size regardless of the number of delegates it sends to the Conference.

But that only comes into play in a ‘card vote‘, where cards allocated to delegates with their vote weighting printed on them are used to calculate the result of the ballot.

Akehurst is almost certainly banking on the Conference Chair repeating the trick used last year to win a vote to put two unelected extra members onto the party’s NEC (National Executive Committee) to hamper the members’ wishes: unlawfully ignoring calls for card vote and insisting on a ‘show of hands’ vote that those on the platform could call any way they saw fit.

And, of course, in a show of hands, the size of a CLP that a hand comes from doesn’t matter – only the number of hands that CLP has at the Conference to put up.

This is exactly why Momentum’s Jon Lansman was arguing for the need to get delegates to the Conference – for which he was ludicrously attacked by Akehurst’s chum, deputy Labour leader Tom Watson.

And it’s exactly why Akehurst only wants left-CLPs to send one.

So Akehurst is being disingenuous – but you’d hardly expect him to come out and admit why Bristol West’s excellent organisation and commitment upsets him so much. No, instead he dresses it up as being about ‘fighting the Tories’, one of the right-wingers’ favourite ‘go-to’ diversions.

And he won’t worry that it makes him totally hypocritical.

At the beginning of the year, Akehurst showed how he ‘takes the fight to the Tories‘ – by trying to raise not £4,000 but £40,000 – for a new employee whose job description has absolutely nothing to do with Tories:

akehurst pound.png

The image is from a poor-quality scan, so if you’re having trouble reading it, it says that the new worker’s,

primary duties will include initiating and supporting local Labour First groups, organising for the elections for Labour Party Annual Conference delegates and improving our profile online.

So, Bristol West are ‘wasting’ four thousand pounds (even though they’re not as the delegates are largely paying for themselves) electing 19 engaged delegates to the Conference – but Akehurst and Labour First are delighted to spend forty thousand pounds on someone to get Conference delegates elected?

You’ll have to do better than that, Luke – you just can’t help giving the game away.

The upshot of all that is, if Akehurst says sending full delegate entitlements to the Conference is a waste – you know that’s exactly what’s needed.

Let’s get it done.

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  1. Just thinking. If Jeremy did stand down the right would be shocked to discover that Tom Watson would see the job as his. Maybe they do not realise along with all the stuff that would come with it. His past, resigning from the Government over expenses allegations concerning his flat, his involvement in seeing off Tony Blair. That to the press now supporting him for his attacks on Corbyn would be manner from heaven. The right surely must now be planning on how to keep him out of the race. I cannot however see him and his massive ego standing aside when he has been doing all the dirty fighting for the anti Corbyn gang while they keep their heads mostly down. Might be a very good idea for someone to ask him to rule himself out of any future leadership battle using the words “I will not seek the leadership of the Labour Party in any future leadership election” as the only answer. Yes the chance is he might say it but if he does not the right have a problem, and they will know it, deep down anyway.

    1. tom Watson isn’t liked by the press he took on Murdoch over phone hacking, and he didn’t resign due to expenses he used Len Mcklusky via unite to get their preferred choice as candidate

  2. Government is a matter of trust. Trust between the governing and the governed.

    New Labour lost the trust of the public, largely due to taking the country to war on a pack of lies, but also due to its habitual spinning and inability to act honestly.

    The price paid by the Labour Party for losing the trust of the public was 5 million votes, the last two General Elections and the loss of Scotland.

    The dishonest actions of people like Luke Akehurst and Anna Turley and Tom Watson and Peter Mandelson and their fellow plotters on the right wing of the Labour demonstrate that they refuse to learn that lesson.

    Only by regaining the trust of the public will Labour win the next election.

    Jeremy Corbyn understands this. That is why he apologised on behalf of the Labour Party for the Iraq war, that is why he promised the country that Labour would honour the EU referendum result, and that is why he stated that the same mistakes made by New Labour in Iraq should not be repeated in Syria.

    There is no place in the Labour Party for untrustworthy liars like Watson, McNicol, Mandelson, Akehurst, Blair, Campbell et al. As long as these liars and deceivers remain in the party the party will be unable to win a General Election because the public will not vote to return these hypocrites and liars to power.

    The plotters and the Progress Organisation and Labour First are therefore an electoral liability to the party.

    They have to be removed from positions of power and influence within the party if we are to win.

    Regaining the trust of the public is the first step to power. The leadership of the party is successfully rebuilding that trust, whilst the plotters continue to do everything within their power to sabotage those efforts.

  3. In Hastings and Rye CLP we are sending 5 delegates this year, up from two. All five are Momentum supporters or CLPD.

  4. Having the update from our CLP secretary after the result and with it given while at the benefit gig for our metro mayor campaign I can only say that Thursday ended on a fabulous note. The whole party at the moment feels ablaze with passion for the work now to begin.

  5. I haven’t received a single communication from my CLP, since they sent me an invitation to their Christmas party, which I politely refused because whilst it’s a good form of bonding to have events where members can meet new Labour supporters, that’s not the reason I joined.
    I wanted a vibrant, active and informative CLP, to be campaigning hard to make sure that Labour has a good chance of regaining power at the next General Election. It needs to go out to the people in its constituency, to refute the lies and ridicule that the Party leader has to contend with every day from the mainstream media.
    But I didn’t get that, in fact, all I got was a card thanking me for paying
    my dues and confirming my membership.
    I have emailed the CLP, and asked them why they have gone silent and how many representatives are going to Conference.

  6. Not only have we got to get the numbers of delegate to conference, this year we must be prepared for dirty tricks from the Bitterites.
    Know the rule book and be prepared to counter any undemocratic action with whatever it takes.
    Democracy has to be restored to the party.

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