Labour First confuse by nominating LEFT candidate. Left candidate protests

Gateshead councillor and NPF rep Mary Foy

Right-wing Labour faction Labour First routinely nominate – usually together with Blairite group Progress – right-wing candidates it wants its supporters to vote for in elections for key positions.

But it has now been accused of muddying the waters by including left-wing candidates in its recommendations.

Allies of Mary Foy, a Corbyn-supporting candidate for the National Policy Forum (NPF) in the North region, say that she has been added to a Labour First list recommending candidates to support and nominate in the forthcoming elections to the Labour policy-making body.

Ms Foy has been on the NPF since September 2015, when she was elected alongside Laura Pidcock, who is now MP for North West Durham. Foy is a Gateshead councillor with a solid track record of supporting socialist policies – and she consistently backed Corbyn’s leadership against attacks by the right of the party, including Labour First and Progress.

Ms Foy also been outspoken within the NPF both in Corbyn’s defence and in support of the party’s socialist policy pledges. So she says she was shocked to see her name shown among candidates backed by the faction behind those attacks on the Labour Party leader and his ideas:

npf lf 1.png

Ms Foy has also been asked to join the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA)/Momentum slate in the Northern region, but her supporters are understandably concerned about the damage done to her reputation by being included on the Labour First ‘slate’ – and they consider the move to be a ploy to peel away left-wing votes from left candidates.

Curiously, Labour First’s list for Yorkshire also includes veteran socialist Ann Cryer – another candidate who is also on the CLGA/Momentum slate. It is currently unclear whether Ms Cryer has been consulted about her inclusion, either.

In 2015 Labour First pulled a similar stunt with another north-east candidate who also claimed she had no knowledge of her inclusion.

The SKWAWKBOX contacted Labour First secretary Luke Akehurst about the inclusion of Ms Foy on the organisation’s slate. He responded:

It’s not a slate – it is who we are recommending people should vote for. In her case, our supporters in the Northern region told us she was doing a good job and deserved to be re-elected. Us recommending someone does not imply any affiliation with Labour First on their part.

Of course, if Labour First have to choose left-wing candidates to find enough recommendations it does not speak well of the quality of right-wing candidates available.

But if Labour socialists are being tarred with a Labour First brush it is likely to confuse the uninformed and many left-leaning members will, understandably, automatically avoid any candidates supported by Labour First or Progress because of the values and track record of those groups.

For some time now, right-wing candidates have been claiming to be Corbyn supporters in an attempt to sow confusion, but the right including good left candidates on their lists is even more misleading.

Mary Foy has written to Labour First organiser Matt Pound to protest her inclusion. Please spread the word so that all Labour members are aware of the situation and know that she is a candidate worth supporting in spite of the confusion Labour First has created.

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  1. “Of course, if Labour First have to choose left-wing candidates to find enough recommendations it does not speak well of the quality of right-wing candidates available.”

    The RW obviously have an ever-shrinking pool of candidates to select from.

    The vast majority of the party support Jeremy and who can blame the RW for being nervous about being tainted by the social media history of some of the RW candidates that they would normally have supported.

  2. OK, so this month’s “anti-Semitism” nonsense will be about how all the factionalism is coming from the left – this ploy is to give the MSM the ammo to push the “news” morning, noon and night that the “centre” are acting reasonably in the face of constant attacks from the left.
    As soon as the MSM start the dogpile the fact that it’s all pre-arranged by the right can be shown by our having predicted it – making their denials as laughable as chocolate-covered three-year-olds’.
    If they see they’re busted they might not even bother.

  3. Classic warfare tactics …. sow confusion disinformation and crap .Akehursts stance is laughable ,” recommending by Labour First not implying affiliation ” my arse it does !!! and the twxt knows it .

  4. This list is abhorrent. Several people on this list have been included who are categorically not on the right or belong to the soft left and none have been asked for permission about outing them on the slate. Unmesh Desai has been a stalwart in East London politics and his contribution to racial solidarity and hard work across the east London Borough is phenomenal. He was not even aware he was put on this list until I alerted him to it todaay morning. Labour First needs to tell who they contacted before coming up with this slate.

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