As the SKWAWKBOX indicated yesterday was likely to happen, the Labour Party has confirmed that Theresa May’s snap General Election means that Labour members will have no opportunity to select a different MP/candidate for their constituency.
In an email circulated to CLP (constituency Labour Party) chairs and secretaries that will frustrate many members, the party announced that incumbent MPs will automatically go forward to stand as candidates in the June ballot and the only selections will be in constituencies where a candidate is retiring or has decided not to stand for re-election.
Here is the full wording of the communiqué:
To CLP Secretaries and Chairs
Emergency candidate selection procedures
The National Executive Committee has agreed an exceptional selections procedure for candidates in the General Election to be held on Thursday 8 June 2017.
The NEC has agreed MPs will be reselected automatically if they wish to stand again. Vacancies will be advertised on Friday 21 April and after close of applications on Sunday 23 April will be selected directly by panels of the NEC and Regional Board members in order to ensure candidates are in place and endorsed by the NEC before the nomination deadline of 11 May 2017.
It is with the greatest regret that local party members will not be able to select parliamentary candidates. This process is necessary and it is only due to the exceptional snap General Election circumstances and will not set any precedent for future elections.
It will be simply impossible to hold trigger ballots, selection hustings and meetings in the 631 Parliamentary constituencies in the given timescale, especially at a time when members are out campaigning in the local and general elections. As with standard election campaign procedures, meetings at all CLP meetings have now been suspended for the duration of the local and general election period except for campaign planning purposes.
All sitting MPs have been asked to confirm their intention to stand for re-election in the next General Election by 6pm on Thursday (tomorrow). If they decide to stand again, they are deemed automatically reselected.
Where MPs retire, vacancies will be advertised via the Labour Party website from Friday 21 April and applications close on Sunday 23 April at noon. The NEC will make decisions in the normal way about All Women Shortlists in all seats, but as a minimum where a women MP retires, that seat will be an All Women Shortlist to at least maintain the number of women MPs in the PLP. To be eligible to be a candidate, individual members must have 12 consecutive months’ membership of the Labour Party on 18 April (ie joined on or before 18 April 2016), and not be in arrears or under any NEC-imposed restrictions such as suspension. The NEC will then longlist applications, interview longlisted candidates and then select a candidate for each retirement seat.
All other seats
In all other seats, adverts will be placed on the Labour Party website from Friday 21 April and applications close on Sunday 23rd April at noon inviting applications from party members seeking selection. This will be in the form of a standard CV and monitoring form. Candidates will also be asked to indicate their preference of seat in which they are seeking selection.
Candidates who stood in the 2015 election, and who remain in compliance and eligible to be a candidate, will be contacted by Regional Offices asking that they seek selection again in those same seats.
A panel of NEC and Regional Board representatives will evaluate applications and appoint candidates in each seat. Successful candidates will need to confirm they intend to accept nomination as the Labour Party candidate.
Scotland and Wales
Following the rule change at annual conference last year, the Scottish and Welsh Labour Party will run their own selection procedures. Details of these procedures will be issued by Scotland and Wales to members in due course.
We hope all party members will now fully focus on campaigning and opposing the Conservative Government and ensure that the Labour message is breaking through in every community. We would like to wish you all the very best for this campaign.
Thursday 20 April – 6pm Deadline for MPs to declare intention to stand
Friday 21 April Applications open for candidates in all seats including retirement seats
Sunday 23 April – Noon Applications close
Week commencing 24 April NEC officers long-list, interview candidates in retirement seats
By close of Friday 28 April Candidates selected in retirement seats
From Sunday 30 April NEC and Regional Board panels meet to appoint candidates in all other seats
By close of Tuesday 2 May All candidates in place
Thursday 4 May Local elections
Thursday 11 May Close of Nominations
Thursday 8 June General Election
This must be a matter of dismay to members in Wallasey, Brighton and other places where most members have lost all faith in their MP, but there is no time to lament it.
The SKWAWKBOX urges all Labour members and supporters to work to exploit the unexpected opportunity to defeat the Tories. If you live in a very safe seat or do not feel you can support your local Labour candidate, please find out what’s happening in your nearest marginal constituency and jump in there.
May is running scared of a debate with Labour’s leader and the party recently announced policies supported by the vast majority of the electorate.
This is a fight we must win. Our country and our children are depending on it.
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