Enfield council saga continues
Last month, the SKWAWKBOX reported that Enfield council’s Labour group had been banned from meeting without ‘express permission’ of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC).
The ban was imposed as an investigation proceeded into allegations – by a broad spectrum of Labour councillors and officials – of serious ‘irregularities’ in the selection of councillors and of attempted intimidation of dissenting councillors.
In spite of denials and spin by some local officials, some individuals were referred for further investigation – and the NEC imposed special measures on the council Labour group and all Labour’s structures in the borough.
Those special measures included an instruction that the council leader – a position at the heart of allegations of ‘irregularities’ – must stand for election annually, instead of the usual practice of remaining in post for the full term of election.
But the NEC has been forced to intervene after the Labour group’s AGM (annual general meeting) was called with no provision for a leadership election. The meeting, due to take place this Monday, has been cancelled.
“NEC decisions are mandatory requirements, and there is no discretion on the part of your Labour Group about whether to implement the decisions.”
An email sent by Labour’s GLU (Governance and Legal Unit) to acting group chair Tim Leaver made clear why the meeting was called off – and delivers a stinging rebuke to the group:
Dear Tim,(Emphases added by the SKWAWKBOX)
It has come to our attention that the Enfield Labour Group AGM notice that was sent out did not request members to self-nominate for the position of Leader.
As you will be aware the report of the investigation into the Labour Group conducted by the NEC stated as part of its recommendations to amend the Standing Orders of the group so that the Leader is elected annually. The NEC approved the recommendation, which gives it immediate effect. As this is a ruling by the NEC then the Standing Orders do not need to be approved by the Labour Group before it takes effect and therefore nominations for Leader must be taken at the upcoming AGM.
NEC decisions are mandatory requirements, and there is no discretion on the part of your Labour Group about whether to implement the decisions.
Therefore please rectify this by reissuing a notice of the meeting that needs to go out to all Labour Group members, with the addition of Leader to the list of nominations sought.
Council leader Nesil Caliskan has previously said that she does not wish to be contacted by the SKWAWKBOX for comment.
Previous disciplinary actions by the NEC have been denied or spun by senior elected officials, with ample cooperation from local press and London’s Evening Standard.
The wording of this email leaves no room for doubt that this action is being taken because the Labour group leadership on Enfield council has failed to implement a mandatory instruction from the party. It looks like astonishing arrogance and has been dealt with accordingly – but the saga continues.
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