In the important elections for six additional members of the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), the Labour Party’s senior disciplinary body, the party’s left faces a choice between two ‘slates’ of candidates – or more accurately one and a half slates, as three candidates appear on both – put forward by Momentum on the one hand and by a coalition of left organisations led by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) on the other.
That coalition grew further today with a Facebook and Twitter announcement by the Red Labour group that it is endorsing the CLPD slate.
The group’s statement is also critical of Momentum, in particular its founder Jon Lansman and his objection to the inclusion of JVL (Jewish Voice for Labour) member Stephen Marks:
After some serious consideration, the group which organises Red Labour have decided to support the following candidates for the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), who have been endorsed by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), the Labour Representation Committee – LRC, Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) and a range of other organisations on the Labour left.
We share their concerns about the behaviour of Momentum representatives, Jon Lansman in particular, in the process of drawing up a Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) slate and attempting to exclude leftwing Jewish voices, specifically Stephen Marks, who is a member of JVL.
It is not for any one person, no matter what position they have, to veto someone’s membership of a Labour Party committee or to try to block their representation on a slate which is drawn up on behalf of the whole Labour left, not Momentum.
The whole saga calls into question the way that slates are drawn up in private, and as Red Labour, we have been calling for a more transparent process for some time. If we are to have slates, socialist members from right across the Labour left should be involved and represented.
We are aware that the CLPD slate is not perfect (and that it is rumoured that one member of the slate may withdraw[*]), but on a matter of principle, we do urge members to seek nominations in their CLPs for the candidates endorsed by CLPD, who have at least shown themselves trustworthy when defending members’ rights. Nominations need to be in by October 28th.
Lansman told the SKWAWKBOX earlier this week that the objection to Marks was his own personal concern and claimed that Momentum as an organisation had been intending to back the JVL member. However, Marks did not appear on the Momentum slate.
Labour members need to press their CLP (constituency Labour party) secretary to arrange a nomination meeting before 28 October and to ensure that the nominations are submitted before that date.
*Kaneez Akhtar has indeed stepped down from the election. The announcement of a new candidate to complete the slate of six is expected tomorrow.
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