CAC report and rules on ‘reference back’


The CAC (Conference Arrangements Committee) will present its report to Labour’s conference this morning, including the motions and business that will be put to conference delegates for a vote. Delegates will vote on whether to accept the report, but delegates have been in disagreement about whether elements of the report can be ‘referenced back’ – that is, challenged and put to an amendment vote.

Here’s what Labour’s rules say on the matter, as discussed at last night’s meeting of CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy):

G. Party conference shall consider policy reports and draft reports as part of the rolling programme, the NPF report, the NEC annual  report, NEC statements and development  strategy. Conference has the right to refer  back part of any document without rejecting  the policy document as a whole. Conference  shall also consider constitutional  amendments and contemporary motions or  emergency resolutions submitted and accepted. It shall not consider any business  unless recommended by the NEC or the CAC.

At any special session of Party conference, the  NEC shall determine the business to be conducted.

For the avoidance of any doubt, any dispute as to the meaning, interpretation or general application of the constitution, standing orders and rules of the Party or any unit of the Party shall be referred to the NEC for determination, and the decision of the NEC thereupon shall be final and conclusive for all purposes. The decision of the NEC subject to any modification by Party conference as to the meaning and effect of any rule or any part of this constitution and rules shall be final.

Any attempts to ‘refer back’ the CAC report would need to be preceded by the raising of a point of order.

The CAC is treating the issue in a more limited fashion:

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    1. Billy Hayes and Seema Chandwani are the members of CAC. Both solid left Corbyn’s supporters.

  1. Just gonna be a bit paranoid here…

    Is this a deliberate increase of bureaucracy of late and if so, who’s benefiting from it?

  2. Being ‘solid left’ or ‘fixers’ is hardly meaningful if like the NEC on the trigger last night you end up deciding to vote down Open Selections unanimously.

    And the point of our voting for that Left slate was erm what???

    Perhaps the NEC will now decide ‘unanimously’ in favour of the People’s Vote, continued privatisation, austerity, the whole Blairite agenda.

    What a useless bunch the Fake Left slate are. This is what happens when you junk socialism, accept capitalism and embrace left-liberalism.

  3. Fascinating scene at conference (from the perspective of non-deleate TV viewer) That was the sight of a show of hands vote to refer back the CAC report where it was clear that a referral was clearly the majority choice of CLP’s, but when the chair then took the Trade Union section I didn’t see a single hand up for that option. Takes me back to the 70’s…..

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