NEC (National Executive Committee) Chair Glenis Willmott MEP is retiring as a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands.
This has led to questions from various quarters about her position as Chair. However, the SKWAWKBOX can confirm that Ms Willmott will retain her position until her term ends at Labour’s annual Conference in Brighton in September and then step down as a member of the NEC.
However, according to a very senior Labour source, machinations have already begun on the right of the party to try to dictate her replacement. The source told the SKWAWKBOX:
Really it should be [CWU union representative] Andy Kerr who takes over but Watson and [Labour peer] Alicia Kennedy have been contacting everyone to lobby for Sion Simon. Watson and Simon are close. Alicia works for the Labour party so really shouldn’t be doing it.
Sion Simon lost the Birmingham mayoral election disastrously for Labour because of his dire campaign. He was busy meddling in the Unite leadership election when he should have been building his own campaign. He doesn’t have a problem-free record with his expenses, either.
The idea that he’d be on NEC is ridiculous and needs needs to be put to bed. With everything else that’s going on, Tom Watson is in no position to promise anyone anything, so what he’s telling people to try to get them on board is anyone’s guess.
There’s simply no way Watson’s going to be allowed to lever yet another right-winger onto the NEC and stack it against the members.
Watson’s days in any position of influence look numbered, but it appears he’s trying to use whatever waning currency he has left to stack the NEC – again – against the clear, democratic will of the vast majority of Labour’s membership and the leadership team it backs. But he’s backing a hobbled horse and the leadership is alive to the move.
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