Lansman said to want Momentum national coordinator in prime spot in Labour’s list of European Parliament candidates for London
Labour figures have expressed concerns about the selection of the party’s candidates for the European Parliament elections that the UK will have to stage if a Brexit deal has not been agreed before 22 May.
Winning candidates are decided on a list basis, with parties listing their candidates in order and winners selected from the list in order, based on the number of votes won by each party, according to a proportional representation (PR) method.
In view of the short timetable, Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has decided that incumbents who wish to re-stand will automatically take the top positions on the list, with subsequent positions filled by other applicants. Labour’s lists for each area are being decided by a panel consisting of two NEC members and two members of the relevant regional board.
Around seventy-five percent of incumbents have indicated they wish to stand again. The process of selecting remaining candidates is expected to be completed by next Tuesday.
The selection panel for London consists of Momentum founder and NEC member Jon Lansman, NEC youth representative Lara McNeill, who was backed in the NEC election by Momentum, London board member and Momentum vice-chair Emine Ibrahim and a GMB union representative on the London Labour board.
Two male incumbents – Seb Dance and Claude Moraes – intend to stand again and would be allocated the first two places on Labour’s PR list. It’s likely that Labour will win four places, perhaps more. In spite of the short notice, the party has received around two hundred and fifty applications for the remaining list places.
Labour insiders report unease that Jon Lansman is pushing hard for Momentum’s national coordinator Laura Parker to be placed immediately after the two incumbents on the list – or even higher – in spite of a relative lack of experience compared to other applicants and a significant number of BAME applicants.
One highly-placed source told the SKWAWKBOX that Lansman is even arguing that Parker should take the first position, ahead of the two incumbents and contrary to the NEC’s selection policy for this election, on the grounds that they are both men. Some sources fear that Lansman may sew up the selection by offering the GMB representative the pick of the fourth slot to secure support for Parker.
Emine Ibrahim, in spite of her Momentum position, is reported to be resistant to the push but would be outnumbered if GMB supports it.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted Jon Lansman to ask for comment about the reported push and the conflict of interest in a Momentum-heavy panel selecting a senior Momentum employee for a highly-paid position. Mr Lansman did not deny the reports, but declined to comment except to say that it would not be unusual for a list of applicants to include people known to panellists.
Other regions also report large numbers of applications for their lists. The short time available means that most decisions will be made based on CVs, with a small number of interviews.
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