Christine Shawcroft has replaced Ann Black as head of the ‘Disputes Panel‘ (DP) of Labour’s National Executive Committee, by a vote of 22 to 15.
The DP, of which every NEC member is a de facto panellist, plays a major role in the disciplinary processes of the Labour Party. Right-wing ‘centrist’ factions of the party have already begun complaining about the change in preparation for anticipated defeats in contentious disciplinary actions, while the ‘MSM’ will no doubt carry headlines about the outgoing Chair’s ‘ousting’ by the supposed ‘hard left’.
In fact, Ms Black was elected in 2016 as part of the grassroots-left ‘slate’ and had been Chair of the DP for some years, so the change is unremarkable except in that it will no doubt be used by Labour’s flailing right to scream ‘purge’ – which is ironic, given the numerous purges infliced by so-called ‘centrists’ ever since party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s first stood for the leadership.
Ms Shawcroft is highly regarded and will be representative of the party’s membership. Her election to chair the DP took place via the normal, democratic processes and in full accordance with Labour’s rules – but that is unlikely to be strongly reflected in centrist comments or mainstream media coverage.
Plus ça change…
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