CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy) has published a new statement on the separate slates that it and Momentum are promoting in the current election of six additional members of the NCC (National Constitutional Committee), Labour’s senior disciplinary body.
CLPD alongside all the other organisations that have been taking part in the CLGA discussions, aside from Momentum, are calling for support for the same slate of candidates.
That slate is backed by the following organisations: the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL), Labour Briefing Co-op, Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (LCND) and Labour Representation Committee (LRC).
The key political difference between the two slates is that Momentum are not backing a Jewish candidate who supports Palestinian human rights. That candidate is the main difference that was discussed within the CLGA, with a representative from Momentum strongly opposing him.
All the organisations that have been participating in the CLGA discussions, aside from Momentum, have included the pro-Palestinian Jewish party member on their slate, as they do not agree with excluding such valuable pro-leadership comrades from positions in the party.
Labour Conference last month overwhelmingly supported a pro-Palestine motion, that strongly endorsed Palestinian human rights.
It is necessary to correct inaccurate statements that, regrettably, some comrades on the left have made about the CLGA discussions..
No CLGA organisation pulled out of CLGA negotiations for a united left slate for the NCC elections. The CLGA regrettably could not reach an agreement prior to organisations needing to circulate slates.
The CLGA organisations met on three occasions to discuss achieving a common position for this election. Unfortunately even at the third meeting, on Wednesday 10 October, agreement on six candidates was not possible.
Many on the left, including the Skwawkbox blog had been led to believe that Momentum was backing Gary Heather, one of the candidates that CLPD is supporting.
All the organisations at the 10 October CLGA meeting, including Momentum, participated in the discussion that different left slates would be being circulated from after that meeting. Claims that Momentum was unaware that organisations would start promoting their candidates are entirely false. There has been nothing underhand in CLPD circulating its slate of candidates.
The question of geographical coverage is not at all the issue that dominated the CLGA discussion. The key issue that divided the discussion in the CLGA, was the attempt to block the Jewish candidate from a CLGA slate.
Jon Lansman confirmed earlier this week to the SKWAWKBOX that he is the ‘representative from Momentum’ who strongly opposed the presence of a JVL candidate, although Lansman described his ‘concerns’ rather than strong opposition and said Momentum’s intention had been to endorse JVL member Stephen Marks. Marks did not, ultimately, appear on the Momentum slate.
There appears to be no reason to believe that Marks was not endorsed because he is Jewish; rather, the political position of JVL concerning Israel and Palestine and the potential for offence among supporters of Israel seem to have been the issue.
The issue of the geographical locations of the candidates on the CLGA slate was thrown into sharp relief by the decision earlier today of CLGA-backed Kaneez Akhtar to stand down as a candidate. This was portrayed by commentators as an endorsement of the Momentum criticism, but for a Bradford-based candidate to step down in protest at a supposed lack of northern candidates would be an odd way to protest.
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