‘Geographical diversity’ difference between CLPD/Momentum slates = 1 London candidate?

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The battle between two competing left slates – those put forward by CLPD and Momentum – for the important election of additional members of Labour’s senior disciplinary body, the National Constitutional Committee (NCC), has led to a narrative developing that the Momentum slate is more ‘geographically diverse’ and that the CLPD slate has ‘too many people from London and the south-east’.

Indeed, Momentum itself has claimed that this was a key concern driving its decision to put out a separate slate at all, albeit with three candidates out of six the same as those on the CLPD slate.

But does the claim stand up to scrutiny?

The CLPD slate

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The CLPD slate for the NCC. Sonia Klein has been added by the SKWAWKBOX

The members of the CLPD slate – also backed by a number of other left organisations – at the point where Momentum issued its own recommendations were:

  • Kaneez Akthar (Keighley, W Yorks)
  • Annabelle Harle (Cardiff, Wales)
  • Gary Heather (Islington, London)
  • Stephen Marks
  • Khaled Moyeed (Tottenham, London)
  • Cecile Wright (Derby, E Mids)

Ms Akhtar, the most northerly candidate on the CLPD slate, subsequently dropped out of the election and was replaced just yesterday by Wales-based candidate Sonia Klein, whose family is also of Asian origin. The current CLPD slate therefore consists of candidates from:

  • London x2
  • Oxford x1
  • Wales x2
  • Derby x1

Momentum communications have described a preponderance of CLPD candidates from ‘London and the South-East’, but in fact two are from London. Oxford is strictly speaking ‘south-east’, but is considerably closer to the Warwick in the West Midlands than to London and well to the north-west of the capital.

The Momentum slate

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Momentum’s ‘left team’ slate contains the following candidates – of which three, shown in bold, are also on the CLPD version:

  • Annabelle Harle (Cardiff, Wales)
  • Khaled Moyeed (Tottenham, London)
  • Jabran Hussain (W Yorks)
  • Susan Press (Todmorden, W Yorks)
  • Cecile Wright (Derby, E Mids)
  • Martin Menear (Cornwall)

Momentum is therefore recommending candidates from:

  • London x1
  • W Yorks x2
  • Wales x1
  • E Mids x1
  • South-West x1

The main difference in terms of offering candidates who live away from London is therefore one fewer candidate from London. CLPD now recommends two Wales-based candidates, while Momentum recommends two from West Yorkshire. CLPD’s slate now does not extend as far north as Momentum’s, but did until Keighley-based Kaneez Akhtar stepped down, which CLPD believes she was pressured to do.

Both slates offer a balance in terms of gender and of BAME representation. CLPD’s slate has four BAME candidates – including Stephen Marks of Jewish Voice for Labour. Momentum’s has at least three – it’s not known whether any Harle, Press or Menear represent a minority.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

Momentum consider that ‘half of the CLPD slate is from London and the south-east’. It’s technically true but not as clear-cut as it seems at first reading. Both slates have a substantial geographical spread.

Whatever grounds those in the Labour Party with a vote use as a basis for their decision how to cast their ballots, geography probably shouldn’t feature significantly – especially when one of the London candidates also represents Jewish Voice for Labour, which the Labour right and Labour’s opponents consistently attempt to marginalise.

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  1. Isn’t all this geographical thing just a bit daft. I would just like to be able to vote for the people who will do the best job and worry that all these shenanigans are simply an indication of the power struggle between the various factions. Let’s not ruin what was working so well for the many to be destroyed for a the egos of the few.

  2. I am no longer much interested in what Lansman and his acolytes say,so I will proceed accordingly.

  3. Either a Left-Wing vote or a Zionist vote, from what I can tell. I hope that Lansman is not casting a shadow over well meaning Momentum members – splitting the left vote is utterly foolish and does seem tied to Lansman’s personal issues – Walker & Willsman before this is causing grave doubts in me, especially after the Jenny Formby debacle.

    1. I am from the North but as long as the candidates are from the left, support Corbyn and are sensible enough to see that the IHRA is a trap, I don’t care if they are all from one village in one street in Cornwall.

  4. The Momentum slate does NOT have a JVL rep simple as …..
    JVL stoodby and supported against the false onslaught from JLM /LFI/BOD etc attacking and undermining JC and the leadership .
    Payback time now and they deserve our support , as for Jon Lansman pse Jon stand aside you have done well but your decisions personal likes/dislikes are now a hindrance for the advancement of the Left you are splitting the vote !
    The prize is to re-balance Labours internal organisation / systems and remove the Blairite rot of 20yrs , this splitting does not help that cause .

  5. I posted a couple of questions a couple of threads ago (‘New Slate candidate Sonia Klein’), about the concerns re splitting the vote – perhaps they can’t be answered.

    Meanwhile, Given the dreadful onslaught on Corbyn, and on individual members over the past three years, the presence of a JVL member is absolutely essential – I would have said inarguable. As Rob, Pimatters and others have already said, they were with us when we desperately needed them. We will continue to need their voice and that can’t be said too often. Sadly, I’m sure that geography has nothing whatsoever to do with the exclusion of Steven Marks from the Momentum slate.

  6. Is one extra London candidate really a good enough reason to split the left-wing vote? Not in my view. Momentum should back down on this issue and support the CLPD slate. Solidarity is better than division.

    1. Well said! Mx Sonia Klein is excellent – only 3 miles away from where I am typing this!

    2. I fully agree. I am so disappointed in Momentum: I had so much invested in Momentum playing a major part in the recovery for this country after Tory devastation. Where did it all go so wrong? Is Lansman the only problem? But he is just one person. Why can’t others stand up to him?

  7. This article is meaningless waffle Skwawk which merely serves to obfuscate the essential point, namely that Lansman is being economical with the truth through his tokus in his mindless determination to prevent JVL having a voice in the higher echelons of the Party.

  8. And don’t forget to get your local branch/CLP to affiliate to the JVL. They stood with Corbyn this summer, while Lansman and Momentum hid behind the settee, so we should stand with them now. Solidarity with our Jewish comrades.

  9. This NCC thing appears more of a stitch up for the few and NOT for the many !. How can a CLP nominate and get another 4 CLP’s to support nominees in less than 28 days !!! Most CLP’s only meet once a month and supposed to put motions 14 days prior to vote ! AND those chosen are supposed to be at least 5yr members AND must know/understand whats been going on as this is a quasi judicial role, which could mean members let go !. Is this a democratic party or not ?. If it is supposed to be democratic then this item must be deleted/put aside and discussed properly by all concerned !.

    1. The time scale is crazy and I don’t understand it. The role of the NCC, given the context of the last 3 years or so, is way too important for nominations to be so compromised.

  10. More evidence to strengthen the idea of letting every Momentum Group/Grassroots Labour/CLPD from around the country to nominate one nominee for the Left NEC slate and NCC slates. Then WE all deciide instead of top down. The democratic revolution under JC Should be GRASSROOTS BOTTOM UP and about HONESTY!

  11. I’m trying not to get riled about the tone of the statement from Momentum;”We call on the CLPD to rejoin …” etc: unhelpful, I think, not to mention “We’ve always been clear …” Really?

    Still, perhaps there’s hope yet. We need to get a bit of a sprint on.

  12. So we ALL pick the best left wing democratic socialists but first everyone including YOU (if you are interested) from around the country has a fair chance.
    We need left wing, grassroots, bottom up, participatory, democtratic socialist practice 4 the 21stC – get with the programme Ha! Ha!

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