Leonard ‘to take NEC Scottish place in person’

leonard campaign
New Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard

At Labour’s 2016 annual conference in Liverpool, the party’s right-wing factions created outrage by using anti-democratic manoeuvres to create two new places on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) – one each to be filled by members appointed by the Scottish and Welsh party leaders.

With both leaders opponents of Jeremy Corbyn, the move was designed to stack the NEC against the Labour leader – but backfired when Kezia Dugdale unexpectedly resigned as leader of Scottish Labour in August. Dugdale had appointed herself to the seat and had consistently voted against Corbyn on a tightly-balanced NEC.

Her resignation meant that her pro-Corbyn deputy, Alex Rowley, took the seat – creating an opportunity for the leadership to push through measures to improve democratic representation for party members.

Rowley stepped down just before the election of a new leader was decided – a contest that resulted in a clear win for the left-wing candidate Richard Leonard. But no announcement has been made so far about whether he will take up the seat himself or appoint a representative.

However, Scottish Labour insiders have told the SKWAWKBOX that Leonard will ‘almost certainly’ follow the precedent set by Dugdale and take the position in person. This move will be welcomed by Scottish members, as it will give their elected leader a direct voice in the running of the UK-wide party.

With three new NEC positions still to be decided in the tighter-than-expected election of additional member representatives, for which ballots will start to be issued next weeek, Labour’s wider and largely pro-Corbyn membership will also welcome Leonard’s presence on the NEC. It will increase what has been a narrow left-wing advantage on the NEC and make the implementation of the results of Jeremy Corbyn’s wide-ranging ‘democracy review‘ far easier to achieve.

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  1. This may give us the chance to remove Iain McNicol who has been determined to expel Corbyn supporters from the Party and even tried to prevent Jeremy Corbyn being on the ballot!

  2. I am a staunch supporter of the leadership of the Labour Party.

    As such I offer this warning to Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.

    If the three membership seats on the NEC are won by genuine supporters of Mr Corbyn and Jeremy fails to demand the head of McNicol then the membership of the Labour Party will never reach a million and the Labour programme of government will never be implemented in full.

    The membership will fully support the toppling of McNicol.

    I think he should be replaced by a woman general secretary. There are far too few women at the head of the party.

    There is one particular candidate who would be a first class GS and who would root out the corruption that has been allowed, indeed encouraged, to flourish under McNicol’s stewardship.

    1. I’d hope Corbyn doesn’t stop at mcnicol if those seats go to his supporters.

      1. McNicol is the spider at centre of the web of corruption in the machinery of the party in Southside and the Regional offices.

  3. The best way to get rid of McNicol – and a whole bunch of other Southside tagnuts – is to dig up the toxic waste of their misconduct during the leadership challenge and dump it right over their heads.

    There’s enough dirt there to bury them all many times over and, as they’re dismissed in disgrace, not a single honest claim they could make of being hard done by.

  4. Time to sort out the issue of McNichol’s continued employment within the party.

    A,destabilising figure, divisive and unsupportive of Jeremy and his democraticisation of our party.

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