There have been suspect goings-on in Manchester Central CLP (constituency Labour party) in recent days, as Labour members work democratically – and some perhaps not so democratically – to have their say in how the CLP is run.
In the Moss Side branch in particular, it seems there have been moves to prevent women being properly represented among delegates. The branch recently held its AGM (annual general meeting) and elected five delegates – three men and two women.
This is in clear breach of the party rule-book, which states:
One would-be woman delegate challenged this with the branch, CLP and Labour’s legal dept – all of whom insisted that three men and two women somehow complies with this rule, or even that the rule is merely a guideline or suggestion – but seemed curiously unwilling to put that ruling into writing.
When the CLP treasurer discussed this in a phone call with legal and then asked for it to be confirmed in writing, this was the – deliberately? – vague response:
But no mention, in writing, of what the advice was.
Apparently, Labour’s north-west region has now finally confirmed by email that,
it is acceptable practice to rounding down the quota rule
But in fact, two out of five is only forty percent – so the branch is rounding up two women to three, which is a 50% round-up of the actual number.
The barred woman delegate has tried to have a motion to apply the rules properly discussed at tonight’s branch meeting but has been told it will not be included in the agenda on the spurious grounds that it has already been discussed – when in fact, the branch chair merely made a unilateral ruling.
The Labour right seems ready to go to creatively sexist lengths to protect its hold on party structures.
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