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Watson’s CLP meeting cancelled in attempt to dodge all-member vote: ‘no urgent business’

‘No urgent business’ means election of conference delegates cannot take place before deadline

The chair of West Bromwich East CLP (constituency Labour party) – the parliamentary seat currently filled by Tom Watson – has cancelled a meeting after members mooted a vote on switching their meetings to an all-member (AMM) basis under new party rules, instead of the delegate-only basis used by some Labour MPs to keep a tight grip on local members’ activities and decisions.

CLP chair Simon Hackett works for Watson as a parliamentary researcher. Watson’s close Labour First ally John Spellar recently suffered a defeat when Warley members voted by a significant majority to switch to all-member meetings.

A notice circulated to delegates by the West Bromwich East (WBE) secretary on behalf of the CLP informs them that the June meeting will not take place because there is ‘no urgent business to discuss’:

The deadline for security registration of CLP delegates to Labour’s annual conference expires 28 June, so WBE members will be deprived of an opportunity to elect their conference delegates, but this is clearly not ‘urgent business’, in spite of the deadline.

Local members believe that the cancellation is to ensure that last year’s right-wing delegates can be sent again to conference without challenge – but especially because word had leaked that they were planning to move a vote on a switch to AMM. This will not now take place until after the AGM, ensuring that positions are voted on by delegates largely meeting the approval of Watson and his supporters.


Democracy is long overdue in West Bromwich East. But then, Watson has been depriving Labour’s entire membership for years of a chance to have their say on his dire performance as deputy leader.

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  1. If the NEC can’t step in to ensure that members are allowed to exercise their legitimate democratic franchise then what and who’s interests are they serving.

      1. You could be right, from the membership’s perspective some of their decisions do appear to be a little perverse.

    1. Most CLPs meet 11 times a year urgent business or not as per standing orders and power in CLPs is with the constituency meeting – the general management committee.
      Some like this one do not seem to understand that ECs are not Central Committees – their job is to plan agendas so the GMC can make the democratic decisions, their job is to facilitate the democratic order of business NOT TO CANCEL IT – this is not China or North Korea!
      The GMC in the West Midlands should move a vote of no confidence in the Chair and full EC – they should be sacked from their roles.
      Stalinism lives in sections of the Right Wing of Labour!
      They have no ideas so in desperation use procedural methods.
      Sack the lot of ’em!
      I don’t know why they are in Labour, all they offer working people is crumbs whilst the many want to transform!

      1. The only problem Bazza is the members do not have access to Membership Data and therefore no one can contact the overall membership to call a meeting

  2. so can a member of CLP reverse that decision
    Also begs question why AMM motion was not tabled for debate and vote,
    again what is procedure and what lay behind failure to get it on agenda
    apologies if im being particularly thick

    1. Doug 23/06/2019 at 4:06 pm

      There appears to be an inordinately high threshold to reach and I don’t claim to have any expertise but could Chapter 7, Clause IX, 2 be a possible way around this if there is sufficient support.

      “2. Special Meetings
      A. Special General Meetings may be called at the discretion of the Executive Committee and shall be called on the written request of at least one third of the affiliated organisations and Party units which are or would be entitled to send delegates”

      Or alternatively, can’t the NEC just step in and kick some arse.

  3. on another TWatson matter
    he accuses party of misleading us by only publishing summary and not full report on polling data
    he alleges the main body of the report supports his case for another referendum on any deal with Labour backing remain
    even if its a Labour jobs first brexit thats been negotiated
    now either its true or it isnt, either way drag him in and ask him to justify going to MSM with accusations against the party
    complete and utter fuckwit who consistantly brings party into disrepute

    1. Doug 23/06/2019 at 4:19 pm

      I don’t think we should tolerate anyone within the party’s hierarchy intentionally deceiving the membership by publishing incomplete data.

  4. Labour central need to step
    in here or it’ll be another year before this CLP is democratically controlled.

    1. Katherine you are correct that in the real world the NEC would ensure that the members would be helped to avoid them being railroaded by a bunch of Watson’s die hard pals.But you must remember that this is the NEC and they don’t like to get too Involved with the bully boys.I realise that you might wonder why? .Making decisions to act or inform seems beyond their remit ,so basically it’s back to a wing and a prayer. Sorry!

  5. I guess the NEC would only get involved if members formally ask them to or make a complaint. Perhaps they have done so…. Perhaps they will

  6. As a 100% supporter of Jeremy Corbyn it pains me to say it but the only person who can prevent him from becoming PM in the near future is Jeremy Corbyn.

    The dispute between the RW of the Party represented by Watson and others and the dinosaur left of the Party represented by some Unions and MPs should have been nipped in the bud long ago by a determined leadership. Trying to pacify both sides of the Party is futile, especially when the membership has overwhelmingly united around Jeremy Corbyn and want him to make clear decisions.

    1. Comrade Jack T…… JC & other Labour Party members cannot defend themselves against accusations of Anti-Semitism as long as the Labour Party accept the IHRA definition. Labour members made guilty by our own rules. Get up off your knees!

      1. Steve, you are correct. And who pushed for acceptance of the IHRA definition? the right of the Party plus a selection of LW and RW Union Leaders. Which because of our own stupidity, resulted in us importing a trap, the exact object of our enemies plans.

        It’s exactly the same with Brexit, if we are not careful, our attempt to compromise will please no one and will kill us.

  7. Mooting is not sufficient, we need to follow the procedures to bring about change. The CLP Secretary needs to receive the request for a special meeting from the appropriate number of branches in good time. He/she did not receive this request, so blaming the Right Wing is no substitute for the Left’s inaction when needed.

  8. “Watson has been depriving Labour’s entire membership for years of a chance to have their say on his dire performance as deputy leader”
    That is simply not true.
    Much as I have contempt for Watson and his childish games, he has never deprived members of anything, he just hasn’t been challenged.
    If the left wants to shift Watson (yes please!), then challenge him. Don’t lie about him.

    1. Excellent point. It is not the case that it should somehow fall to Watson to give us the opportunity to vote against him. Bizarre idea! We need an alternative candidate.

      The feeble PLP “Left” has been unwilling and unable to put up anyone against Watson and that is why we members are being deprived of a vote.

      It is a silly whitewash of the so-called Left in the PLP to heap the blame on Watson for the lack of a contested election.

  9. The easiest way to proceed with the minimum of noise is for him to be deselected as an MP. But that requires his CLP to take some basic action

    1. Felicity,from my understanding Watson has already covered all of the bases and the gang in his constituency have control of all that needs covering.furthermore he has been in preparation for battle with the left wing for a number of years!We are way behind this ruthless operator and we need to realise we should be on a war footing to fight Watson’s treacherous supporters and the Torys.,If we wish to fight a general . and win!

    1. rayvisino 23/06/2019 at 10:22 pm

      Are you proposing the same rule changes for Leadership elections and challenges . It would be difficult to justify changing the rules for one and not the other. People need to appreciate that the rules that protect Tom Watson from being continually challenged are exactly the same ones that protect Jeremy Corbyn.

  10. So Tom Watson gets his way again and denies democracy happens and is seen to be happening? NEC does nothing AGAIN! Utterly disgraceful.

    1. Whether you like it or not Tom Watson along with John McDonnell, Emily Thornberry & Keir Starmer are all consistently in the top 4 (by some margin) in popularity polls of the shadow cabinet.

      1. Well Steve who’s doing the polls !At least 3 of those you mentioned I wouldn’t trust with my cat,surely the member’s can’t be serious.Sir keir knighthood?Plotter Watson and Emily the backstabber Barrister?

  11. Thanks for that information about popularity in the shadow cabinet.I looked at the numbers and decided that I still belong in a socialist Labour party after the numbers showed a minute number of Labour party members voted in the census…and we are NOT talking about a representative number of Labour party members.I would still not trust Sir keir knighthood Watson or Thornberry barrister with my cat 🐱

    1. Joseph OKEEFE 24/06/2019 at 4:31 pm

      ” the numbers showed a minute number of Labour party members voted in the census…and we are NOT talking about a representative number of Labour party members.”

      What did you expect, that’s the nature of polls and surveys.

      I would be more than happy for Labour to hold a electronic poll of the whole membership. I can’t think of one good reason not to, can you?

      Let’s establish what the definitive view of the membership actually is.

    2. ps: Just to clarify – I am advocating an electronic vote on Labour’s position on a CV and Brexit (including the revocation of A50).

  12. Steve,just to be clear! I thought we had a referendum on the brexit issue? As on your second point I thought the conference had voted on our brexit position..The Labour party membership stands at five hundred and thirty thousand and increasing under our Jeremy’s leadership..A few hundred votes for Sir knighthood keir Watson and Emily backstaber barrister in The popularity stakes is meaningless.Thanks for the info though ,always welcome Steve!

  13. A change from GC to AMM is a standing order, standing order motions can only be passed at AGM. So if it is for this reason then the “no urgent business” is an AGM

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