As the SKWAWKBOX revealed last night, Friday evening was an important day for Labour on Merseyside, as Birkenhead CLP (constituency Labour party) held its AGM with a strong slate of left-wing candidates standing for the CLP’s ‘exec’.
Results are in – and were a ‘mixed bag’ but still a strong performance by the left, who didn’t win Chair or vice-Chair but did manage to win a majority on the executive committee, including the vice-Chair membership.
Local members describe this as a ‘huge shock’ and a ‘shot across the bows’ for the right-wing old guard that has held sway for so long.
The evening did not pass without controversy, however. The Birkenhead constituency is represented in Parliament by veteran MP Frank Field, who is well to the right of the party. At every CLP vote, tellers are appointed to oversee the count and ensure everything is carried out properly – so it’s important that tellers are perceived to be neutral.
Frank Field, the MP, was one of the tellers – as far as the SKWAWKBOX can ascertain, no Labour MP has acted as a teller before.
This caused consternation among members and the regional Labour regional representative at the meeting reportedly told members that if they decided to put a complaint in about the MP teller, he would have to uphold it. As yet, no decision on a complaint is known to have been made.
While ‘mixed bag’ is probably the best summary of the night, local left members are elated at results that, seen in the context of Birkenhead politics, can justly be described as seismic.
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