LabourLeft: “why we’re backing Formby for #JenSec”


A Labour insider from the Labour Left group has told the SKWAWKBOX why the group is backing Unite’s Jennie Formby for the position of Labour Party General Secretary.

The information paints a picture most Labour members won’t know about – but will find compelling:

Jennie Formby will make a fantastic Labour General Secretary, and we’re delighted to endorse her.

Jennie was the behind the scenes star of summer 2016. Jeremy Corbyn would not be leader of the Labour Party were it not for her – and of course the members. Jennie worked hard to limit the purge of pro-Corbyn supporters from Labour at a time when the Labour Right were trying to expel many.

She played a key role in making sure the vote was carried to get Jeremy automatically on the ballot after the coup. She also worked hard to bring about the vote to allow “Labour Supporters” a vote in the second leadership election.

Remember that 3-day window were 120,000+ joined? That was Jennie Formby.

Throughout that ‘long hot summer’ she behaved with an integrity that left me with the impression then that she should be Labour General Secretary.

The role itself is a tough one. It’s less about ideas and strategy and more about doing. Mobilising members to canvass. Making sure candidates are vetted. Making sure complaints are handled with integrity. Working to support the wishes of the leadership as opposed to undermining them.

It is not a role for factions to vie over. This is not a chunk of patronage to add to someone’s fiefdom. The purpose of the General Secretary is to act in all members’ interests and by the rules at all times. To be beyond reproach and behave with propriety. Most of all, it is bloody hard work.

The right person in the post will ensure all PPCs get the support they need at the next election, and that Labour aim for a majority. Every seat will be targeted.

Lastly, in an era where our personal data is so important, we need a General Secretary we can trust to safeguard it. Jennie can do that. There will be other applicants, I am sure – and some of them will have talents.

The question is whether or not they are the best person suited for this administrative post. Is that where their talents lie?

I have no doubt that Jennie is absolutely the best person for the role.

Ms Formby’s role behind the scenes throughout the second leadership election will have been unknown to the majority of Labour members – but her efforts to ensure that most got to keep the leader they believed in will be hugely influential in convincing members that her candidacy deserves their support.

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  1. Ok, I think we’re all getting the message that Skwawkbox supports #JENSEC. Fine, but if Lansman’s purpose really is to encourage a wider field then isn’t that a laudable aim? Surely, if more candidate became involved that would only help to define what we want from a GS? Surely, that would feel democratically healthy?

    1. John Lansman seems to be under the impression he deserves the role because of his contribution to the party.

      That’s the completely wrong attitude and makes him unfit to be the General Secretary of the Labour Party.

      People who support and campaign for a Labour Government expect nothing in return. We are acting for the greater good.

      Ambition, pride and a sense of entitlement have caused Lansman to forget that.

    2. Got nothing against Lansman but I do have issue with who will take his place on NEC keeping the right wing out is a must

  2. Who is “Labour Left”? There’s a website at http://labourleft.co.uk/ which seems not to have been updated since 2015, and is full of weird blogs. The “about” page says they are a think tank set up to support Miliband. Who is being quoted above? This may be a very influential group, but I’ve not come across them. Could you provide some more detail?

  3. Very persuasive piece of writing. I hope that person’s talents are being used to best effect – I’m certainly convinced.
    Mr. Lansman’s announcement of his own candidacy seems strangely at odds with all the good things I’ve read about him if the situation is as it appears – and I can see that it may not be, in which case more power to him.
    Like Jack T, I’m happy to trust in the judgement of Mr. Corbyn & Mr. McDonnell.

  4. Jon Lansman has now been endorsed by Wes Streeting.

    Jon, withdraw before your credibility is completely destroyed.

    That is the best advice you will ever be offered.

    Take it, for your own good but more importantly for the good of the party and for the good of Momentum.

    If you don’t you are going to severely, possibly irreparably damage Momentum.

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