Early NEC nominations show need for left discipline – why it matters even more than usual

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Over six hundred CLPs (constituency Labour parties) are eligible to nominate their preferred candidates for Labour’s National Executive Committee CLP slots, although not every CLP always nominates.

Once a candidate has five nominations, they qualify for the ballot – but overall nomination totals are often an indicator of likely levels of support in the OMOV (one member one vote) ballot this summer.

Nine CLP representatives will be elected and will take their seats after Labour’s annual conference in September for two years. At least four must be women. Each Labour member can vote for nine candidates.

The ‘left slate’ put forward by Momentum, CLPD, GLGA and others are:

Yasmine Dar
Huda Elmi
Rachel Garnham
Ann Henderson
Jon Lansman
Nav Mishra
Claudia Webbe
Darren Williams
Pete Willsman

The SKWAWKBOX asks readers to vote and campaign for this left slate.

Current NEC member Ann Black is standing separately to this slate after being dropped from it after what many consider a disappointing performance since Corbyn’s first election as leader.

The right-wing slate candidates supported by Progress and Labour First are Luke Akehurst, Lisa Bane, Johanna Baxter, Jasmin Beckett, Eda Cazimoglu, Gurinder Singh Josan, Heather Peto, Marianna Masters and Mary Wimbury.

It goes without saying that these candidates must not get anywhere near a place on the NEC.

The latest available nominations tally is below – candidates highlighted in red are on the left slate:

Luke Akehurst 13
Lisa Banes 7
Johanna Baxter 12
Jasmin Beckett 11
Ann Black 24
Eda Cazimoglu 7
James Craigie 5
Yasmine Dar 21
Huda Elmi 23
Rachel Garnham 23
Ann Henderson 17
Eddie Izzard 1
Gurinder Singh Josan 12

Jon Lansman 23
Marianna Masters 8
Nav Mishra 20
Nicola Morrison 1
Heather Peto 12
Stephen Stanners 2
Ross Sykes 1

Claudia Webbe
Darren Williams 19
Peter Willsman 22

Mary Wimbury 12

While the overall figures suggest a healthy lead for left candidates, the numbers supporting Ann Black are a concern.

Ms Black’s recent history on the NEC has drawn criticism from the left, but whatever your opinion on that a strong showing for Ms Black might not only prevent a solid left candidate winning a place, but could siphon away enough votes to allow one of the right-wing slate to sneak through ‘on the inside rail’.

Important note:

There is a vital further consideration for left-wing members, after this week’s decision by Scottish leader Richard Leonard to help vote in a less solid left chair of the NEC ‘officers’ group and undo the left’s majority on a group with a major influence over the NEC’s agenda and decisions.

Ann Black currently has an officers’ place because she is chair of the National Policy Forum and that position automatically has an officers’ seat as long as the holder is also an NEC member.

If Ms Black fails to win a place during this summer’s elections, it will remove her from the officers’ committee and help undo the damage caused by Leonard’s action at Tuesday’s NEC meeting.

On all grounds, it’s therefore essential that the left-wing majority of members who support Labour’s direction under Jeremy Corbyn and the re-democratisation of party structures and processes maintain discipline and throw their weight solidly behind the left slate.

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  1. After Jon Lansman/Momentum’s decision to give credence to the AS witch hunt (the knifing of Jackie, Marc and Ken aside) I can no longer bring myself to give him my vote. I have tried to ask every centre/left candidate for their view on the AS controversy and of the very few who have provided an email address (four, not including Jon whose view I know) only Ann Black has replied, and given me permission to publish her reply on my closed Facebook group site. For that I have decided to give her one last chance and my 9th vote.

    1. Ann has broken trust with the membership, Philip.

      Ann Black is therefore untrustworthy.

      The only way Ann can regain the trust she has breached is by placing the interests of the party above her own personal ambitions.

      She can only do that by withdrawing from the race.

      If she does not place the party interest first, she will not withdraw.

      Those who vote for her will be voting for a person who has been working hand in glove with the right wing fringe of the Labour Party who are intent on preventing the return of a Corbyn led Government.

      On your conscience be it, Philip, should you decide to vote for such a person.

    2. I feel much the same about Lansman, he has failed to properly support Corbyn, indeed he has criticised him and could do further damage if elected to the NEC. In spite of Lansman though I think Momentum are doing great work in supporting Corbyn, I would be interested to hear from anyone who has doubts.

    3. Philip, your implacable and long-standing vendetta against Jon Lansman is deeply suspect, as is your coded but obvious wish for Momentum to collapse.

  2. It is very disappointing that after so many years as an active Labour member, and with the return of a Corbyn led Labour Government in sight, Ann has decided to undermine the party and endanger its electability by working hand in hand with the extremist right wing fringe of the party that does not share the values and ethos of the Labour Party.

    I call on Ann to place the interests of the Labour Party above her own personal ambitions by withdrawing from the race.

    This would be a dignified and honourable act by Ann and would enhance the prospects of the Labour programme being fully implemented by the next Labour Government.

    Sacrifice your own ambitions, Ann, for the greater good of the party.

  3. If anyone should have considered falling on their sword it should have been Jon Lansman, as he did over the gen sec job. But we do not do that, we have elections. His track record has gone from highly suspect to offensive, faithfully followed by his poodle Momentum NCG. Even CLPD has refused to swallow this. How many more ‘insights’ is Jon planning on revealing to us?

    1. I very much agree with your points re: Jon and his position on the AS issue. It is very much regrettable. Let us look at the much larger picture: achieving a Corbyn-led government that the very same AS issue as drummed-up (way out of proportion to the actual problem) by the Labour right and MSM is so intent on preventing. So my humble question to you is: By casting a vote for Ann Black, will it increase the chance of achieving a Corbyn-led government or not?
      What we should be aware of is that the AS issue is wheeled out for a reason – that is the only issue that can divide the left. Let us not give them the chance.

      1. You have chosen to look at only one big picture, how about the overall left big picture? Lansman has been allowed to behave as though this his personal fiefdom. It is time he was deposed. Momentum could not, even if it awoke from its trance and wanted to. The damage, if any, to Corbyn’s big picture is insignificant. Ordinary members have few opportunities to register their opinions, do not throw it away on big pictures, jam tomorrow and snake oil, be honest. Regards.

  4. I find it interesting that labour first have dropped Eddie Izzard, would like to know their reasoning behind that. Do they believe they can win seats without a big name or was Eddie too unreliable?

  5. Who is Internal Affairs and why are they afraid of identifying themselves?

    1. Yer wha’?

      Interwebz personalit’ys a bonus, kid. You gonna front yerself to scum like me?

      Howz about I demand your name, address, bank code etc??…. Do us all a favour ffs.

      IA has nowt to hide. Nor does he/she need ‘identify’ (ffs) theirself to anyone…Unless, of course, IA, breaks that interwebz law.

      I’ll wake up skinny & handsome before that happens .

      Wanna know why I’m ‘The Toffee’?

      Because I’m not a gobshite like gove or johnson or mcvile…

      1. I’m afraid I was quite ‘refreshed’ yesterday afternoon. One of my rare ‘days off’… :/

  6. Does anyone know if there is a list of the names of the 40 MPs who supposedly “shielded” Ruth Smeeth when she attended Marc Wadworth’s hearing a month ago?

    As for the debate about Jon Lansman and Ann Black, I would have thought that not many on the left trust either of them (I know I certainly don’t). And if that’s the case – and given that Ann Black is “standing seperately” – isn’t there a trustworthy left-winger standing seperately who we could vote for?

  7. Doing some independently-minded and amateur Rule Book lawyering regarding the view that “Ann Black currently … is chair of the National Policy Forum”, my reading is that we no longer have validly elected NPF members, so Ann Black is not Chair any longer.

    The Rule Book absolutely clearly states regarding NPF elections “The term of office shall be for two years.” (4.III.D.iv – page 22) The last NPF election results were announced on 14 September 2015. So their terms of office expired on 14 September 2017.

    It seems someone (NEC?/NCC?) decided to extend the term of the 2015 elected NPF, possibly to align the re-election with a NEC election. But it seems to me that someone had absolutely no power to change an extremely clearly expressed Rule Book rule. So it seems to me clear that the terms-in-office of all the elected NPF members have expired, so it cannot really operate any longer. There are quite a few ex-officio members of the NPF, and as they are non-elected on do not have limited terms-in-office, an alternative view could be that they are now the only remaining members of the NPF who could carry on its functions in a minimal way.

    However when Ann Black was elected in April 2018, the 2015-elected-members were allowed to vote, in my view invalidly as their two-year terms had expired. So to me, the rule book lawyers view should by that that was an invalid election.

    However in recent years it seems the only way to get the Labour members rule book enforced properly is to go to the courts, and I doubt anyone thinks it worth doing on this issue!

  8. I too am not totally happy with the way the slate was drawn up, and I think that those of us who share these concerns must make sure that, in future, the process is much more open and democratic.

    But I think that the heading of this article sums up what we need – discipline. It’s Ok for people to say “I can’t vote for X” – but it’s not about you. It’s about a life and death struggle for the future of our party. Any vote not cast for the momentum slate is essentially a vote for the right. If you feel you need to hold your nose to support the slate, by all means do. But don’t let the right-wing triumph just to appease your scruples.

  9. To all those who are considering voting Ann Black then please consider that the issue is not one of whom you feel is most trustworthy or whatever , or about how you personally feel towards Lansman or Black BUT it is only about getting a Corbyn led Govt into power .

    We can see from the treacherous activities of various RW Labour MPs and the RW in general that they would prefer a Tory govt to a Corbyn led Labour one.

    SO THE RISK YOU RUN IMHO by voting Ann Black is that you will enable the hamstringing of Corbyn and lessen the chances of said Govt .

    Put aside your personal differences or objections to Lansman , he is and the organisation he heads up is Corbyn 100%.

    Time to be as disciplined and as ruthless or more so than the RW in Labour and get the right team supporting Corbyn 100% . I respectfully suggest to you that Ann Black cannot do this .

  10. To be fair to Jon Lansman, he has said it is possible to accept there is both an issue around anti-semitism AND that there are people in our party weaponising it against Jezza.

    And to be honest, is that wrong-I don’t think so.

    1. You may not think there is anything wrong with having your cake and eating it. I most certainly do, and that’s without getting involved in an is there, is not there an AS problem. (There is not.)

  11. The problem for the left is that it always manages to split the vote… and that’s the danger again. Tbh I can’t understand the prejudice against Jon. He has been fighting for LP democracy since the late 70s. There was a mess up in the original design of Momentum … largely because it allowed power to some members of Momentum who wanted to set up structures in parallel to the LP (probably with a view to eventually splitting from LP). Jon then decided that he had no choice but to force through the changes that created the current Momentum. It was not pretty but IMO there is no doubt about Jon Lansman’s committment to the Corbyn LP … and sadly that cannot be said of Ann Black.

    Splitting the vote will put the NEC back to being on a voting knife-edge against Corbyn. Solidarity is imperative if there are the NEC votes to push through the necessary democratisation of the LP. And Skwawkbox can take enormous credit for having exposed the sort of mind-boggling dirty tricks which are facilitated by the current rules and structures.

    1. You exaggerate the split vote argument. I am talking about ONE vote out of nine!
      What prejudice? I have made specific criticisms of his imposed policy which undermined Corbyn’s shaky AS position by abandoning the leaders of the fight against this fact-free frenzy.
      Until Jon revealed his “unconscious bias” insight, Momentum said not one word as our world went crazy! And what Jon’s serial sacrificing of comrades should be of great concern to us all. What happened to unity?
      I have not studied Ann Black’s long NEC record but until Corbyn arrived on the scene she was classed as centre-left, just like Momentum. I am unaware she has ever been accused of being anti-Corbyn other than the freeze date row. What other crime has she committed and let’s not blame her for McNicol/bureaucrats’ war of attrition.
      Since Jon and other left-slate members were elected to the NEC I have failed to notice any improvement. The witch hunt trundles on and heads are lopped off. Ken clearly did not see any new dawn and neither does Jackie, and there’s Marc and so many more bodies, all disposed of without a single word from Jon’s Momentum.

      1. Completely agree with you about Jon Lansman Philip, and although Momentum hasn’t put out anything officially in defence of those falsely accused of A/S, I’m sure many individuals and local groups are doing what they can to enlighten people.

        As for Ann Black, it was hardly a trivial matter to be a party to disenfranchising so many people – including myself – who had paid there money and joined specifically so that they could vote for JC. And another thing she did was to say that as LP members, we should support and be loyal to whoever is leader, which is disingenuous to the point of absurdity, and, for example, if Jeremy was ousted and replaced by someone on the right – a Blairight – people would of course be cancelling their membership in the hundreds of thousands. And SHE knows it, and trying to lay some loyalty/guilt trip on people is outrageous.

      2. Phillip, appreciate your stance but disagree. I don’t believe that this is an exaggeration of splitting the vote issue , if you take the point made regarding Ann Blacks position on the NEC

        ” Ann Black currently has an officers’ place because she is chair of the National Policy Forum and that position automatically has an officers’ seat as long as the holder is also an NEC member.
        If Ms Black fails to win a place during this summer’s elections, it will remove her from the officers’ committee and help undo the damage caused by Leonard’s action at Tuesday’s NEC meeting. ”

        Thus I would suggest that there is more at stake than ” just one vote out of nine ” the repercussions are greater than they first appear.

        I am as angry as you are re Ken/Marc/Jackie and ,as a member of Momentum, as disappointed to put it mildly with the lack of action/support from Momentum/Lansman .
        However may I suggest that one is also realistic about the ultimate goals of it all and that is A CORBYN led govt in power .
        Splitting the vote over ones personal views towards one individual or another is not going to help achieve that goal.
        Its about discipline , ruthlessness and in getting to the end goal . There is much more to the Labour Party than the rows over AS , look at the fantastic policies in the manifesto and we don’t want to risk loosing them because of it .
        I would suggest that thinking again before pushing the view that ” it is only one candidate vote out of nine” thus is not really that important if voted for . It is important and vital that we on the left get a 100% team supporting Corbyn on the NEC as by God they will be up against most of the PLP for sure.

  12. what’s this for? I don’t understand any of this tbh, I don’t know the internal politics, but what has Ann black done wrong? I thought she was a good one . She is very supportive of Corbyn in the emails I ‘ve read from her and I thought she was an actual friend of the leadership. I know for sure some of those Labour Right wing names should not be on. They’ve done everything they can to harm corbyn and Labour, they’re evil with the lies they’ve told .

    1. I asked basically the same question but my reply seems to have got lost in the ether. I have only ever seen rumour and innuendo against Ann Black – no actual evidence that she has ever done anything that should have excluded her from the left slate.
      The best thing to do to ensure a clean sweep seems to me to be that Momentum and others involved invite her back onto the broad left slate!

  13. Only a corbyn led government can resolve ALL of these issues. This therefore must be the ONLY parameter worthy of consideration

      1. For some reason I am unable to directly reply to Alan so I’ll add it here. Alan: The freeze date fix was important and could have been crucial. I urge you to put your questions to Ann Black as she most certainly will reply in detail and with modesty, something for which she deserves great credit.
        Rob: This machination in no way balances what Jon has done, and will continue doing. I reject ‘my group right or wrong’ out of hand. How can you can talk about discipline in the same breathe as Jon? Do you remember the row about how he got on the candidate list in the first place? I resigned from M immediately after the NCG echoed Jon’s disquieting “insight” which was all done and dusted without any mention of it during the NCG election or reference to members.

      2. Phil I suggest that you miss the point of importance here .I keep saying again the discipline is on us as members to vote in a manner that ensures the best possible opportunity of getting a Corbyn lead government into power
        if we split the vote and you vote for Ann Black along with thousands of others ,for arguments sake, then you run the risk with the end result being that the right wingers will slip through on the inside and we will have lost.
        As I have stated Iam disappointed in Momentums response but have chosen to continue to support it as I can see it offers the best way of helping get a Corbyn Govt into power.
        Walking away and resigning although cathartic it does not In effect help with the ultimate overall goal of helping to get Corbyn into power IMHO you have more influence inside the tent than from outside.
        The left needs to stay United focused and disciplined in order to beat the right wingers and our ultimate goal to beat the crap out of the Tories who are the real enemy

      3. You seem to be suggesting Jon is exempt. He is not and he must not be allowed to get away with it any longer by granting him yet another get out of jail free card.

      4. Phil forgive me but trying to punish Jon lansman in this fashion is somewhat short-sighted and surely not worth the risk to a 100% strong power base to support Corbyn.
        This exemplifies precisely what I mean by discipline and focus keeping the eye to the main goal and that all is a Corbyn lead government , and punishing lansman in the short term will not help achieve that goal.
        There are people in the country who desperately need a Corbin led government and we on the Left should be doing all we can to ensure that that happens.There are other options available to punish as you see it lansman perhaps to remain a member of Momentum and vote accordingly when lansman is up for reelection.
        But I suggest punishing Lansman in this way you are sacrificing and putting at risk the Corbyn lead government that many people in our country now need.
        I’ve said all I’m going to say now on this topic in trying to persuade you to think again of your stance. I hope the others who may be reading this exchange will be of an enlightened opinion and take the correct vote.
        In solidarity Comrade.

      5. Punishing!? The guy has repeatedly shown himself to be undemocratic, beyond any control and untrustworthy, for that he should not be supported. What has not voting for him to do with getting the Labour Party elected to government under Corbyn? Absolutely nothing.

  14. What a depressing debate! In all the lean ‘New Labour’ years Ann Black’s reports from the NEC were like gold among the dross. For
    God’s sake (for the people’s sake) stop this stupid feuding and concentrate on winning meaningful elections. No need for a new set of policies: those that were agreed for the 2017 election will serve our united purpose. Witch-hunt went out of favour 300 years ago.

    1. There is no witch-hunt. There’s a goal – and the discipline needed to reach it. Ms Black’s candidacy puts it at risk, whatever her virtues or faults

      1. Is this supposed to be taken as an official Skwawkbox position or has someone hijacked their avatar?

      2. Your reply is obtuse and does not answer my question. I assume it is fake.

  15. I agree with one notable exception, namely John Lansman who clearly has his own agenda – he must get nowhere near the NEC. Lest we forget this is a man who staged a coup against his own grassroots support meaning that he now “owns” Momentum as a private company!! Let’s also not forget his ideological closeness to JLM and his failure to get behind the opposition to it’s promotion of the AHCR definition of anti-semitism with it’s extremely unhelpful examples of what constitutes anti-semitism – Lansman apparently has no issues with it. He then had the brass knuckles to put himself forward for the GS post on the utterly risible basis that he wanted to widen choice for female candidates. He only stepped down when even he despite his egocentric world view cottoned on the the blizzard of opposition to his candidacy. Quite disingenuously he is on record as claiming that the manufactured moral panic in the party is nothing to do with Zionists, further suggesting that the term Zionist and Zionism should not be terms used by the left. He is an idiot with an agenda that is not in the interests of the party and can take a hike as far as I’m concerned – he should get nowhere near the NEC.

  16. I have just stumbled on to this Red Labour statement issued in March.

    “The LRC, Grassroots Black Left (GBL) and Red Labour have agreed that it is no longer possible to endorse the slate for Labour’s NEC drawn up by Momentum and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) for the following reasons:

    1. The CLGA is supposed to operate on the basis of consensus, but the slate has been drawn up without consultation with all its constituent bodies. It has to all intents and purposes been presented as a fait accompli.
    2. The GBL has been unilaterally refused membership of the CLGA on the basis of opposition from one person representing Momentum.
    3. Red Labour was invited to join the CLGA but has been informed that this will not be permitted until its 2018 slate is finalised.


      1. Can you give a link to where that happened? I stuff about the original issue with other organisations not willing to accept the momentum slate, but have seen nothing about them changing their minds.

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