The SKWAWKBOX has been covering at length the issue of suspicious attachment of delegates to CLPs (constituency Labour parties) in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell – the heart of right-wing Labour, if it can be said to have a heart.
Delegates from affiliated organisations can exercise considerable control over the affairs, decisions and direction of a CLP, including the selection of its candidates in general elections – and Brandhall Labour Club (‘the club’) in the borough has been sending significant numbers of delegates to at least two local CLPs, including one whose MP is at odds with right-wing MPs in the area.
There are serious unanswered questions about those sent as delegates – at least some of whom have claimed they were delegated without their permission or even knowledge and that they are not members of the club.
The issues at Brandhall have prompted the executive of West Bromwich West CLP – seat of Adrian Bailey MP – to ask Labour’s new General Secretary Jennie Formby for an urgent investigation into the club, which is a limited company run by two current or former employees of Spellar, in an urgent email sent today.
The SKWAWKBOX has obtained a copy. It reads (emphases and links added by this blog):
The CLP has received delegates from the above company and has serious concerns that the Company is not a fully compliant organisation with The Labour Party and as such should not be able to nominate delegates to our CLP or any other.
We would suggest that to conduct and allow a thorough investigation into our complaints we would suggest [sic] that the Company’s delegates are suspended if not the Company pending the investigation results.
We list below some of our concerns:
Firstly it is clear that the Company are purporting to be fully affiliated to the Labour Party with all of the rights that ensue, has this been confirmed?
Secondly a Company delegate put forward was asked about his nomination only to advise that he knows nothing about it and was not a member of Brandhall Labour Club anyway.
Thirdly at least one of the other delegates who was nominated by The Company is a Councillor and has not declared that she is a member of Brandhall Labour Party in the Councils declaration of interests, I would also suggest that there is no declaration to Sandwell Labour Group declarations also. This is the same delegate who also also falsely claimed to be a delegate from the Fabian Society who knew nothing about her. The previous CLP Treasurer is a close friend and Wednesbury North Branch Member where this conspiracy seems to have originated (see below in point five).
Fourthly it is quite possibly that the other nominated delegates are also not members of Brandhall Labour Club.
Fifthly it is with concern that the previous CLP Treasurer who would have dealt with the affiliation payment from Brandhall Labour Club and the Fabian Society is a close friend of the councillor and also the same branch (Wednesbury North Labour Party) which all but one of the delegates came from, it has been suggested that these branch members colluded with Brandhall Labour Club to send ineligible delegates to the CLP AGM and subsequent meeting.
If as been described that this Company has indeed been Complicit in sending
Illegitimate delegates then this is a very serious breach of Party Rules which was and has been used to try and influence party appointments locally and regionally, and is a serious affront to democracy within the Labour Party
Please investigate as a matter of urgency as the West Bromwich West CLP AGM is only two weeks away.
Bob Lloyd Chair
Ian Jones vice Chair
Maria Crompton Vice Chair
Outrage and concerns about Brandhall – which typify those of Labour members about the behaviour of entrenched interests in the whole borough – grow apace.
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