A huge battle broke out at today’s Annual General Meeting of CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy), a key Labour Party organisation founded in the 1970s and the forerunner of Momentum – Momentum founder Jon Lansman is a long-term member and wrote a piece to celebrate the organisation’s fortieth AGM in 2013.
The seeds of the fight were sown during the recently-announced left slate for this summer’s elections for Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) – which omitted Ann Black, the long-term NEC member who was on the left slate in 2016 but has since been criticised, rightly or wrongly, for involvement in the suspension of Labour members and other attempts by the party’s right to impede Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
NEC and CLPD member Christine Shawcroft has put forward the following motion criticising CLPD’s slowness in providing input to the new slate and a perceived attempt to keep Ann Black, who is close to senior CLPD figures, on the slate – and for an election to choose a new secretary:
CLPD’s Secretary is Pete Willsman – also an NEC member and highly respected, but who has faced criticism for ‘stubborn’ support for Black in spite of her perceived choice to side with the Labour right on key NEC votes. Willsman has been a key figure in CLPD for almost forty years.
The motion was proposed as an emergency motion (EM), which would allow it to be accepted from the floor of the meeting rather than pre-approved by the executive. The vote on whether to accept it as an EM was initially 49 ‘no’ to 50 ‘yes’.
A recount was aborted amid scenes of chaos and one teller resigned in frustration.
The third count came out 60 ‘no’ to 50 ‘yes’, blocking the motion, with four abstentions – a large increase in no-votes but agreed by all four tellers, blocking the motion.
Willsman is safe for now, but for how long?
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