Rank anti-democracy in NW London CLP

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Yesterday the SKWAWKBOX covered a huge win for the left in taking a clean sweep of executive positions in Hornsey and Wood Green, the largest CLP (constituency Labour party) in the UK. But the situation in a nearby seat in north-West London on the same night portrays the ongoing lengths to which so-called ‘centrists’ will go in order to maintain their grip on the Labour Party’s structures and positions.

The CLP meeting in question erupted when an emergency motion was submitted addressing serious concerns about the behaviour of the Local Campaign Forum (LCF) for the area as follows:

Emergency Motion : Local Campaign Forum (LCF)

A democratic vote of no confidence in the selection process halted the first shortlisting and selection meeting at ______ Branch. The vote was proposed and passed on the basis of many significant procedural irregularities and breaches of Labour Party rules, including but not limited to:

  • Member disenfranchisement
  • Merging of shortlisting and selection into one meeting – thereby disadvantaging candidates who were not given advance access to the membership list
  • Failure to present the full panel to the meeting.
  • Failure to provide access to candidate applications.
  • Failure to meet quota for female candidates.
  • Failure to properly advertise application process for candidates.
  • Failure of LCF to meet between March and August.
  • Failure to reopen application process, despite the rule book requiring reopening and the LCF agreeing to do so.
  • Failure to review timetable in light of the general election results.
  • Failure to offer members open or closed selection for sitting councillors.

The ________ LCF has abjectly failed to deliver a sufficient number of councillor candidates to fill available seats in the borough and has failed to give wards any real choice of candidates, despite the Labour Party having doubled its membership.
Further irregularities and discrepancies are coming to light daily in wards across _________.

This CLP calls for:

  • An immediate halt to current shortlisting and selection process.
  • The immediate resignation of the LCF Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.
  • Immediate, democratic appointments of a new LCF Chair and Secretary.
  • Immediate reopening and promotion of the candidate application process
  • A new timetable which factors in the General Election results.
  • Openness, transparency and democracy in all LCF operations.
  • Disclosure of all correspondence with London regional officers, and sharing of future communications.

This CLP resolves to:

  • Immediately remove the LCF Chair as one of its LCF delegates.
  • Immediately elect a replacement delegate to the LCF.

A local member told the SKWAWKBOX: 

Left-Wingers wanting to be Councillors have been excluded due to the LCF and _____ rejecting them. People who are loyal campaigners for Labour have been excluded. 

Rules broken include people who do not 6 months of membership participating in selection meetings. In other words Progress people bringing their friends to meetings to rig the vote. A lot more besides those, as well.

In one ward in _______ they rejected so many candidates that Labour still don’t have enough people for the elections – that’s how desperate they are to keep left-wingers out of the council.

Worryingly, the members’ call for disclosure of correspondence between the LCF and the regional Labour HQ suggests a serious lack of trust toward the HQ and members’ suspicion that this is a regional plan rather than a purely local issue. The problems that the SKWAWKBOX has already reported in nearby Ealing may support the locals’ view.

However, this is far from being a London-centric problem. The SKWAWKBOX has received reports from all over the country detailing similar issues and tactics to control council selections.

It’s essential that Corbyn-supporting members use their new influence at CLP measures to organise now and counteract these measures, to ensure that Labour stands candidates in the 2018 local elections who are behind the party’s successful direction and not resisting it.

We’ve seen in the latest Conference delegate news how effective the left can be when it does so.

If you have information relating to similar issues in your CLP, email skwawkboxclp@outlook.com.

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  1. “a serious lack of trust toward the HQ and members’ suspicion that this is a regional plan rather than a purely local issue”
    There’s been too much of this – it’s time the leadership ordered a full investigation into the actions of certain officers, about whom there is a list of complaints as long as your arm.
    Democracy at all levels is vital to the party – especially now – and the ‘party machine’ cannot ignore these attempts to subvert it.

  2. It does seem that Labour HQ in an attempt to hide their real agenda has created a monster it has lost control of. The LCFs are not worth the effort as the distrust is so damaging to the party strucure. The issues facing a modern party are being ignored by the party at the top. Personally I want to see an end to All women shortlists as they are now simply counter productive and outdated. The idea that every labour councillor or MP has to be a member of a trades union is outdated. The labour party seems to be losing sight of what people want. It matters nothing much to the membership of the party. What does matter is the perception of what the party really stands for on the important issues that affect the public. Public and political correctness do not mix in the electorates eyes. The party needs to wake up and get a grip on the reality. The internal workings of the party are not of interest to the public. We came close to electing a labour government. People did not trust us just enough and that is where labour is weak. We need to concentrate our efforts on those areas first.

  3. It has become increasingly clear that Local Campaign Forums are being used by right wing Labour Party and Cooperative Party members for the express purpose of rigging the councillor selection process.

    As the right wing of the party is in a minority, this is an abuse of party democracy.

    To prevent this corrupt practise it would make sense to remove responsibility for councillor selection from the LCFs and place it with the CLPs.

    Local Capaign Forums could then focus on the purpose they were intended for in the first place, to organise local campaigns.

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