It’s been a spectacular day for the Corbyn-supporting majority of Labour Party members, with sweeping improvements to the NEC (National Executive Committee) agreed at today’s meeting of the party’s ruling body and the reinstatement – albeit at short notice – of delegates unlawfully blocked from attending this weekend’s annual Conference in Brighton.
A key part of the changes – but not yet concrete in their final form – will be the ‘Corbyn Review’ of Labour Party democracy.
This review will be headed by Corbyn’s political secretary, Katy Clark – and in another exclusive the SKWAWKBOX brings its readers the crucial terms of reference provided by Jeremy Corbyn and approved by the NEC, to which Ms Clark will work, reporting to party Chair Ian Lavery:
PARTY DEMOCRACY REVIEW
Terms of Reference from Jeremy Corbyn MP
Labour now has an individual membership of well over half a million, the highest level for two generations at least. The Party is also preparing for government, on the back of a huge increase in the Labour vote in the 2017 General Election.
In November 2015 the NEC instigated an NEC-led Party Reform process which looked at how our structures can better reflect the concerns of our local communities and should always be focused on activity, not bureaucracy. This process included reviews of Gender representation, Local Government, Devolution and a bursary scheme for working class and disabled candidates.
At the same time, events and experience over recent years have highlighted shortcomings and difficulties in the functioning of the Party’s democracy in certain respects it is therefore time to hold a comprehensive and thorough review of Labour Party democracy and structures to ensure that we have a twenty-first century Party ready for government and responsive to its members, drawing on their talents and energies across the country.
The Leader of the Party has therefore asked Katy Clark, a former Labour MP and presently Political Secretary to the Leader, to lead a Party Democracy Review. She will be assisted by Malcolm Powers, Head of Party Development and Andy Kerr from the National Executive Committee (NEC) and will report to the Leader and to Party Chair Ian Lavery MP.
The review will include the following areas:
- The method of electing the Party Leader, including the role of registered supporters and the issue of nominating thresholds.
- The composition of the NEC and the procedures for elections to it in its various elements.
- Developing democratic policy-making procedures, including strengthening the role of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) and of Party Conference and the development of local and regional plans
- The role, accountability and transparency of regional structures.
- The democratic functioning of associated bodies like BAME Labour, Young Labour etc
- Strengthening the involvement and participation of our hundreds of thousands of new members in constituency parties and other aspects of the Party’s work.
- Recruitment of members to further develop a mass party
- The composition of CLP Executives
- Strengthening the links between the Party and its trade union affiliates locally and nationally, and engaging more of their members in the Party’s life.
- Developing the accountability of Labour local authority representatives.
- Gender representation throughout the Party, and the role of Labour women’s conference.
- Harnessing the potential of social media across all aspects of Labour’s democracy and political work
The Review will organise its own programme of work, and will consult widely with CLPs, affiliated trade unions, other affiliated organisations, the PLP and individual members and will aim to produce a first report within twelve months. The experience of sister parties abroad will also be examined.
The long-awaited process of democratising Labour from root to branch – of making it a party that represents the movement and supports its growth in numbers and impact – begins here.
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