Labour right’s anti-democratic moves in N Wales – urgent for tonight

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On 19 Aug, Jeremy Corbyn visited North Wales. Aberconwy CLP (constituency Labour party), which is sending a full set of Corbyn-supporting delegates to this month’s annual party conference, was not informed of his plans to visit Llandudno in the heart of the constituency and therefore believed he was going straight to the public rally in Bangor.

A week before the visit, it was discovered that a member of the CLP (not on the EC) had booked a hall at the Labour Club for the CLP. None of the Executive Committee (EC) were told of this. According to CLP members, the booking turned out to be at the request of a senior regional official for North Wales, who eventually admitted Corbyn was also scheduled to visit the CLP.

The member had been told to keep this secret. The meeting was planned for 11am on the 19th and would last an hour – had the news not leaked, none of the members would have known to turn up to hear the leader of the party when he arrived specifically to meet the CLP.
When the news became public, a member who runs a local community centre some fifteen minutes’ drive away in a different part of the constituency admitted that she too had known for six weeks that Corbyn was also visiting her centre, but had been told to keep this a secret from the CLP – by the same regional official.

That visit was planned to begin at 10.40 and was to run for 50 minutes. Both meetings were confirmed by the regional official shortly before he went on holiday a couple of days before the visit, at which point he became uncontactable.

It was not possible for Corbyn to be at both meetings simultaneously. It is hard to imagine that the regional official did not realise the appointments overlapped.
On the day before the visit, the community centre visit was put back by half an hour, prompting fears that the CLP visit would be squeezed out altogether. Aberconwy CLP contacted Corbyn’s team to be told that a CLP visit had not originally featured in the itinerary, but had been insisted upon by the team. This would explain why the CLP had not been informed until a week before.
On the day, the community Centre stop ran over by over half an hour and the CLP had to be content with a very rushed half hour with Corbyn, who made a well-received speech and spent as much time as he could greeting members of the CLP.

However, members insist it is hard to avoid the conclusion that Welsh Labour, through the actions of the regional official, did not want Corbyn to visit Aberconwy CLP – which has been staunchly and vocally pro-Corbyn from the beginning – and did its best to squeeze the meeting down to the bare minimum.
So much for the background. Now to current events.
Several CLPs in the area have recently elected a majority of left-wing officers to their ECs. In many it’s an overwhelming majority, in others it’s narrow.

At the last EC meeting of one of the CLPs with a narrow majority, Vale of Clwyd (VoC), some of the now-outnumbered ‘centrist’ members invited both the AM (Welsh Assembly Member) and the official to the meeting. Although the official does not live in VoC and should not have voting rights in the constituency, members allege that he voted with the right at the meeting. At least one member, however, disagrees.
The allegation has serious ramifications for the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of neighbouring Clwyd South (CS), which is due to be held this evening.

CS’ AGM has previously been repeatedly postponed by its EC – according to members, this is because of fears that the left would organise and take-over. Left-leaning members have been organising and have drawn up a list of candidates to challenge the incumbents.

As part of their strategy, each of them has sent a brief outline of why they think they would be suitable to a particular post to their Branch Secretaries, who have forwarded these to members.
The right-wing members in the constituency appear to fear they will lose and have called in a regional official – the same official responsible for the double-bookings during Corbyn’s visit – to try to help.

The official intervened, informing candidates that, while sending out candidate statements to members is not against party rules, is not ‘in the spirit’ of the rules:

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He has demanded that other potential candidates should also have the same opportunity – which of course they always had if they had chose to – and has requested that candidates send him (not the CLP Secretary) their information for circulation to members.
This official will be attending the CS AGM this evening. Pro-Corbyn members have contacted the SKWAWKBOX to express their concerns about possible attempts to interfere with the CLP’s proper democratic process if results do not go as right-wing members wish. Given the vote he is said to have cast in nearby Vale of Clwyd, members fear that he may try to vote tonight as well.

In addition, members have told the SKWAWKBOX that they fear an attempt to ‘void’ the results of the election. There is nothing in the Labour Party rules to prevent candidates sending statements to voting members – and, of course, it only serves democracy if members know who they are voting for.

Candidates have also been asked to send copies of the speeches they are making tonight to the regional official. Why he wants these is not yet known – but there is nothing in the rules requiring candidates to disclose their speeches in advance, nor for that matter to prepare a speech instead of speaking spontaneously on the night. This has raised grave concerns among members about potential interference in the democracy of the CLP if the official dislikes anything a candidate intends to say or if results do not go the right way.

Local members have asked the SKWAWKBOX to publicise this information in the hope that wider awareness of events will discourage any planned interference in their proper democratic processes. Please share to raise awareness accordingly – we will report the results of tonight’s meeting when they are available.

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  1. This action is completely out of order. The regional party officials should be called in and enforce the rules without fear or favour. Officials from other regions could be called on to oversee this meeting, The CLP secretary should be suspended for the duration of the meeting along with other CLP officers if there is any hint of coercion. Labour democracy should be preserved at all costs. The McNichol and co purge on illegal grounds has shown what will happen if there is a sniff of power grab being allowed. Good luck to all tonight. The people causing this problem must be removed from office immediately. Labour members elected Jeremy Corbyn whether they like it or not. He is the leader and should be respected as such. He won fair and square.

    1. As former CLP Sec of Clwyd South CLP I can confirm that the self-appointed grandees of the the CLP are as corrupt as hell itself ! The MP knows it and failed to change it, – The AM is too concerned progressing his own career. The power base at WL HQ in Cardiff calls all the shots !

  2. Come on name the Regional official.
    Either he is incompetent or he is acting disingenuously.
    In both cases he should be sacked.

  3. 19 delegates to national conference – don’t be ridiculous SB – 2 or 3 + the rest as visitors surely

    1. Delegate numbers are determined by the size of the CLP. Several around the UK do have such numbers.

  4. For goodness sake get your facts right. The VoC EC on Tuesday night was attended by our AM, who has a RIGHT to attend ex-officio. There were a few votes on admin issues such as setting up a task & finish group to review standing orders & whether to contribute to having a full time official for N Wales CLPs. The EC does not decide on who our delegate(s) are nor mandate them for any particular vote. They do not decide who our officers are – the AGM does that. The regional officer attended to speak on the funding request for the full time CLP officer and advise on the standing orders process but did not vote. I am disappointed in the usual good standards of SB being ignored in the mention of VoC matters; don’t let the facts get in the way of a ‘good’ story, eh? Did you attempt at all to verify the (mis)information provided to you?

      1. I am not & never have been a Unison official; another lie! Wow, they just keep coming! I am a retired local government officer, having been a welfare rights worker for 20 years & trainer for about 10 years. I was a lay steward & for one year assistant branch secretary. That picture is from a conference where I was a delegate, not an official. I am a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, having voted for him twice, a Labour member since 1984 (apart from about 3 years while Blair was leader) and trade unionist since the mid 80s too. Oh, btw, am a member of Momentum too. I just like the truth, nothing strange with that

      2. Oh, & my husband is one of the Liverpool 47 too. ‘We was only building houses …’

    1. Humm not sure what to make of this , on the one hand I’d like to give the benefit of the doubt ( no reflection on JO ) , but seeing how the right have acted in other CLPs (Stella Creasys but one example) I am somewhat suspicious .Yes, no doubt it is a right for the AM to attend but did he vote ? if so how can that be correct.
      Again yes we know that the membership elects the delegates to conf normally BUT if due to possible underhand tactics of right wing EC’s any left-winger candidates have been excluded , then the ONLY delegates that can be elected are right-wingers .
      Possibly more independently verified info as to what happened to this vote and the result this time round might help to clear things up .

      1. Clause VIII of the rulebook states: “5. The team of officers and coordinators, together with the parliamentary candidate and/or member of Parliament and the campaign coordinator, shall
        provide a strategic lead for the development of the Party in the constituency. (NB coordinators are non voting)
        6. The Executive Committee shall consist of the Executive Officers and { } members upon such proportionate basis of the whole membership as this CLP may decide, subject to the approval of the NEC.
        7. The parliamentary election agent may also attend
        Executive Committee meetings.”

        In Wales we have MPs & AMs, who are ex-officio with voting rights (as I understand it). SHE attends whenever she is able, ie when the Assembly is not in session as she is the deputy presiding officer (ie speaker). She has longstanding left wing credentials (don’t know if she ‘favours’ JC or not) and tends to guide rather than vote, if you see what I mean. We have left & right wingers (I refuse to use the word moderate) who tend to get on well together most of the time in VoC.

        Hope this helps

    2. Oh wow, thank you for clarifying that, nice to get the right info from a member of the exec who was present & in possession of the full facts as I didn’t realise you are a member of the VOC exec committee? I’m a relatively new member & still trying to get my head around the inner workings & structure of VOC CLP.

      1. I am not a member of the exec but my husband is & I checked repeatedly with him, as he was present at the meeting. I have been a LP member since 1984, apart from a few years when I resigned due to Blair & his crimes. I know the rules, which many new members don’t but I am very willing to share. I am very left wing & believe that we have to out-rule the right if we have any hope to maintain true socialism in our party. Know your rules inside out so you can keep a watch on the right wing for when they break them & so you know how to bend the ones that favour us.

  5. I’m confused here about actually what happened.But I’m sure that the weaponising of anti-semiticism,the banning last year,and the manouvering and offensives to unseat Corbyn of the RW of the labour party has put a canker of mistrust about the administration of the labour party.It is extremely off-putting.

  6. Let us all stand up and unite against this undemocratic behaviour. How dare anyone use such tactics to get his/her own way. United we stand. Keep the Faith and remember we, the true Membersip, are right behind you. Keep the Faith. JC4PM



  8. Thanks for giving Welsh members a platform to air their concerns, SB. It’s a great way to empower Labour party members who might otherwise find themselves boxed in and taken advantage of.

    Public awareness can often be enough to preclude unsavoury conduct and, of course, once exposed, those so inclined will habitually claim that the warnings were unfounded.

    As to the goings on in VoC, did the attending AM vote (if so, how and on what matters) and were they entitled to vote or not. The only apparent defence of what took place at VoC’s last EC meeting does state outright that the attending regional officer did not vote but is conspicuously vague on the actions and entitlement of the attending AM.

    1. kAY perhaps see above comments from Jo Hall . Altho the rules seam to allow for the AM to vote , it concerns me on how those rules are used/abused , interpreted or in some CLPS just plain bent .

      1. Well I didn’t need to wait long before another case of the right wingers in the CLPs abusing the rules and disenfranchising their membership for voting see case reported on 10 Sept 2017″ Streatham ignores local and party rules to select #Conference delegates online”
        This is EXACTLY what I was referring to above about rules being bent however in this case they have been just plain broken and trashed.There may well have been some alleged breaking of the Data protection Act , altho on McNicols past performance re that then I don’t expect ANY action to be taken

    2. as far as I understand, our AM did not vote, although I believe she is entitled to. The regional officer did not vote either. Hope this clarifies what happened in the VoC last Tuesday.

  9. I was there at the Clwyd South AMERICA so can tell u what happened if anyone interested. Just to say the NYC member did not vote. He was very helpful in fact reminding us of written rules of the Labour party & an important factor to do with total membership of the region & percentage of whole in attendance. There were over 100 of us there & no ugly behaviour but someone did put in a written protest to the voting & another raised a spoken protest early on. We got a change of chair & secretary in particular.

    1. Sorry one or two mistakes there as my predictive text took over. America should have been AGM & NYC be NEC.

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