As the SKWAWKBOX predicted in its article about the Lewisham East selection and by-election timetable, Labour right-wingers are unhappy about a supposed ‘stitch-up’ of the process, which will involve a selection by members from a shortlist decided by the National Executive Committee (NEC), rather than candidate nominations from branches.
The compressed timetable has been governed by the decision of Lewisham’s deputy Returning Officer – Lewisham currently has no Returning Officer in place – to choose a deadline just a week away.
Right-wingers are claiming this is anti-democratic, primarily because they would have been looking to control the candidates themselves via the branch nomination process.
Lewisham East member Ian McKenzie emailed supporters asking them to lobby the NEC, saying “don’t let the NEC officers group take away our party democracy. Act now!”
Progress director Richard Angell called the process “pathetic” and a “stitch-up”, claiming the NEC was putting “factional interest over public interest. A shameful way to take advantage of local voters and bulldozers local party members. So much for party democracy.”
What a joke.
Ian McKenzie, for the right-wing faction Labour First, has been travelling the country talking up his achievements in controlling Lewisham East and teaching right-wingers in other constituencies tips and tricks to control their local party in spite of the fact that most of them have pro-Corbyn member majorities.
Left-wingers, who tried to attend to see what was being said, contacted the SKWAWKBOX to advise that they had been uninvited.
When last year’s General Election was called, the then right-dominated NEC decided not to allow any CLPs (constituency Labour parties) to even discuss having trigger ballots (the process for trying to replace an MP members are unhappy with) or have a selection process – unless they had to because their MP didn’t want to stand. Constituencies with no MP had no choice but to accept the candidate who failed in 2015 – unless that candidate didn’t want to stand again.
There were cries of outrage and ‘stitch-up’ from members about a decision that affected virtually every constituency in the country – but the then-NEC blamed it on a lack of time, because Theresa May had called a ‘snap’ election.
However, there were no such objections from the Labour right – the decision gave them their best chance of keeping right-wing MPs in post.
‘So much for democracy’?
No. So much for hypocrisy.
As usual, the right is happy to dish it – but then plays the victim when things don’t go their way.
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