Exclusive: phases, timetable, process for Corbyn’s #DemocracyReview

sleeves up

In September the SKWAWKBOX exclusively published the terms of reference for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘democracy review’, which will be headed by ‘LOTO’ staffer Katy Clark, helped by NEC left-wingers Claudia Webbe and Andy Kerr and will report to party Chair Ian Lavery and to Corbyn himself.

Now, also exclusively, this blog brings its readers the detailed phases of the review and the timings for each, as agreed at this week’s meeting of Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee), so Labour members/supporters and other interested parties know what to expect and when.

The review’s formal launch will take place early this month and CLPs, affiliated trade unions/societies, members and the PLP (parliamentary Labour party), with a report to be presented at Labour’s 2018 annual conference in Liverpool.

The review will consist of three phases, with deadlines for submissions on relevant topics as follows:

Phase 1:

  • The role of BAME Labour
  • The role of Young Labour
  • The role of Labour Party Women’s Conference.

Deadline for submissions for phase one: 12 January 2018.

Phase 2:

  • The governance of CLPs
  • The role of socialist societies
  • Improving diversity and gender representation
  • Strengthening the involvement and participation of members
  • The recruitment of members and harnessing the potential of social media.

Deadline for submissions for phase two: 23 March 2018.

Phase 3:

  • The method of electing the Party Leader
  • The composition of the NEC
  • Regional structures
  • Freeze dates
  • The policy process including CLP motions
  • Local government
  • Local and national links with Trade Unions.

Deadline for submissions for phase three: 29 June 2018.

Consultation process

A hub for the review will be hosted on the Labour Party website. Members, CLPs, affiliates and other stakeholders will be able to access the consultation questions and submit responses.

In addition there will be a dedicated email address for submissions and queries: democracy@labour.org.uk. A facility for paper submissions will also be provided.

At least one consultation event will be held for members in each Nation or Region. Members of the review team will also visit a wide range of CLPs and other party units/organisations to profile best practice.

A calendar of consultation events has been put together and a ‘live’ version will be available shortly.

This review represents one of the most seismic events in Labour’s history and is an exciting opportunity, as the preface to the NEC papers on the timetable states, to “ensure that the hugely expanded membership is fully involved to become a mass movement which can transform society.”

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  1. Just two additional items:

    Members to vote for a General Secretary every four years, with incumbent automatically permitted to appear on the ballot paper.

    Members to review and vote four yearly on whether to renew the electoral agreement between the Labour Party (600,000 members) and the Cooperative Party (10,000 members and £100k in the bank).

    The Cooperative party has few members and hardly any cash.

    Yet, thanks to Labour, it has 38 MPs and over 700 councillors.

    This is the largest single democratic deficit faced by the Labour Party today.

    In my view both items need to be addressed.

    1. I think it would be a bad idea to give a general secretary a mandate. Look at the problems Watson has caused and can’t easily be removed. Agree on the other stuff!

      1. I think that some kind of mechanism is required to create a level of accountability in the relationship between the General Secretary and the membership.

        To win a general election there need to be synergy and trust between the General Secretary and the membership.

        Iain McNicol’s actions against the membership have actively damaged both these key components of electoral success. It is highly unlikely that missing trust and synergy can be restored under his leadership.

        You make a fair point about the mandate issue. Tom Watson has proved to be a complete disaster as deputy leader.

        If the plot Watson and McNicol have been organising for the last two years to topple the leadership had succeeded, the party would have lost over 3 million votes and up to 100 seats at the last election.

        Maybe the answer would be for the leader of the party to pick the General Secretary, with the NEC voting on the selection?

  2. I note there is a point on “the role of socialist societies in Labour ” could there also be a similar relating to ” Progress ” and it’s role in Labour or other non socialists grps .

    1. NO progress has had it’s day and was part of the coup, all the troubles of the past two years has come from the right faction and if we want new beginnings they must be cast aside

      1. leonc1963 I wish it were so but , to me Progress, I feel , is still a viable right wing vehicle that allows the Blairites to organise and plot against JC and the membership . I agree the right wing destructive elements need to go . I have no problem with honest critical debate for the improvement of our election chances BUT that is not what Progress is about . To ignore one ( progress ) whilst dealing with the other ( right wing factions ) would I fear allow the continued undermining of our leadership/membership and electoral chances . It would be fine if we could unite but as we have seen there are MPs who never will ( Ummer , Field , Phillips , all the usual suspects , ) and I feel they need to be removed or find a new party to support. Labour is after all a socialist party not a neo liberal one , that was NEW labour not Labour .

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