‘Society’ does not have branches to affiliate, but is still set to have influence in votes to select/deselect MPs
Labour Party Irish Society (LPIS) has a history of controversial practices, with allegations of rigged votes to maintain Blairite/right-wing control of the society – which is a ‘socialist society’ officially affiliated to the Labour Party.
This affiliation gives LPIS the potential, but not the automatic right, to be represented at meetings and in votes of constituency Labour parties (CLPs).
The SKWAWKBOX understands that LPIS has received an ok – from what one insider dubbed ‘legacy’ officials of Labour’s London region – to participate in the approaching ‘trigger’ votes to decide whether Labour MPs will face a fresh selection contest.
However, LPIS is not entitled to such a vote under the party’s rules, as according to Labour Party sources it does not have constituency-based branches, at least in the capital. Labour’s rules are clear on this point:
Organisations may affiliate to the Party at constituency level if they fall within the following categories:
A. trade unions or branches thereof affiliated to the Trades Union Congress or considered by the NEC to be bona fide trade unions affiliated
to the Party nationally. Where provided by the structure of an affiliated organisation, subsections of branches, retired member sections/associations may affiliate separately at the discretion of the RD(GS) of the Party in agreement with the appropriate authority of the affiliated trade union
B. co-operative societies, branches of the Cooperative Party and other co-operative organisations
C. branches of those socialist societies affiliated to the Party nationally
D. other organisations or branches thereof which in the opinion of the NEC are deemed eligible for affiliation.
LPIS is closely associated with so-called ‘moderate’ MPs, including London MPs such as Stella Creasy and, before he quit the party, Chuka Umunna. Right-wing peers Roy Kennedy and Margaret McDonagh are honorary presidents.
Under Labours new rules, affiliated societies cannot prevent Labour member branches from triggering a selection contest. However, they can separately trigger a contest if one in three affiliated branches votes for one – or conversely, they can help to prevent a trigger by increasing the number of branches that must vote to initiate one.
LPIS and London Labour were contacted for comment. None was received by the time of publication. The branch-less affiliation phenomenon is not limited to London.
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