Exclusive: left NEC members’ letter to Evans condemns leader’s ‘undermining’ of NEC legitimacy and Evans’s failure to uphold rules

This morning, left members of Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) ‘walked out’ of a virtual NEC meeting. They have written this letter to the party’s general secretary David Evans about the walk-out, condemning the factionalism, contempt for rules and process and the undermining of the NEC’s legitimacy by the leadership that they say drove the walk-out:

Dear David

As proud members of the NEC we find ourselves unable to stay in today’s meeting. As you will be aware we recently wrote to you to request that you admonish the Leader or Labour, Sir Keir Starmer, for his decision to undermine the role of the NEC by withdrawing the whip from Jeremy Corbyn MP.

The withdrawal of the whip directly undermined the legitimacy of the NEC decision to reinstate Jeremy Corbyn’s membership. It was made worse by Keir Starmer subsequently permitting his shadow cabinet members to make commentary on media that was clearly intended to undermine the legitimacy of the NEC process.

At today’s NEC the agenda item of election of the Chair and Vice Chair of the NEC appears. It is a matter of disagreement as to whether these agenda items can be heard absent the officers agreeing the agenda. But regardless it has become apparent that the longstanding protocol of the Vice Chair being elected as Chair is not to be followed.

Instead the leadership has lobbied for Dame Margaret Beckett to be Chair. The public reason for such lobbying is to be given as Dame Margaret being the longest serving member of the NEC. This is not protocol and is another example of the Leader promoting factional division within Labour. We believe the true reason for the Leader lobbying for Dame Margaret, and indeed the reason that had been given by senior party MPs in private, is because the Vice Chair, Ian Murray, was a signature to the previous correspondence sent to you seeking admonishment of the Leader: The Leader’s decision to again promote factionalism comes at a time when the historic relationship with Trade Unions is under tremendous strain.

Already we know that the Bakers’ Union are balloting their membership as to affiliation and the decision of the Leader to lobby and brief against the President of the FBU taking the Chair, as would be protocol, must be seen in this context.

As the General Secretary of the Labour Party you should be stepping in to uphold the Rulebook, maintain protocol, remind the Leader that he is an officer of the NEC and prevent factionalism. We have decided not to remain in the NEC meeting today in order to show very clearly how factional the decisions of the current Labour Leader have become. We will be returning to future NEC meetings to be the legitimate voice of the membership and to continue to demand that the party unite and reject the current factional approach of the leader.

In solidarity

Howard Beckett
Jayne Taylor
Andi Fox
Pauline McCarthy
Mick Whelan
Ian Murray
Andy Kerr
Yasmine Dar
Lara McNeill
Laura Pidcock
Mish Rahman
Gemma Bolton
Nadia Jama

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  1. Well put and it will enhance the reputation of signatories usually derided as ‘out of touch’ and looney left. We just need them to get some working class friendly economic policies right and Labour left could be making progress.

  2. At last, it would appear the Left has woken up and is prepared to take on these interlopers. What a pity the Campaign group in the PLP doesn’t show similar sense. In fact they are probably in a panic already because they might be called on to take meaningful action.

    1. In this cruel cartoon today Steve Bell accurately portrays both the cynical pomposity of Keir Starmer, AND the weak ‘Battered Wife Syndrome’ masochism of both Jeremy himself and all of the PLP ‘Left, ‘ in the face of four years of constant Right Wing aggression and vile abuse ! A few complaining letters from NEC members and others, and a wee ‘digital walk out’, from the online NEC, just ain’t going to do it !

  3. I really don’t see the point of leaving the meeting? The letter, whilst good at outlining some of the problems should have been discussed at the NEC even if it made others feel awkward. This is turning into an episode of Keystone Cops running around like headless chickens. David Evans should be sacked. We are seeing the destruction of the Labour Party by a leader who is really a Tory.

    1. “We are seeing the destruction of the Labour party” yet you don’t see the point of leaving the meeting. Sigh!

      1. No because you’re just playing into their hands. By staying and making your case they can’t say you’re ding obstructive. By all means after the meeting had finished, release the statement, talk about the issues and make clear that the left was willing for constructive dialogue, they didn’t want that and you then have shown to be reasonable, you then have the upper hand. Then you walk out at the next meeting saying they’ve undermined the democratic processes. You sometimes have be strategic in your thinking and play your cards close to your chest. You’ve just pushed the nuclear button and there’s no going back. The left NEC have now to keep up the war of words and be seen to do so after this, if not their walk out diminishes their case.

  4. Still sitting on the fence folks
    Time to get down and dirty, issue statement on JC and AS Scam
    Why is the left so bloody reasonable

  5. Surely this can’t go on much longer in that some parts of the NEC being ignored and overruled. I know it’s probably been pointed out numerous times that Evans and others are so tunnel visioned they see the factionalism that’s going on as an achievement.
    I also feel they have very little interest in keeping ties with the TUs. No doubt they see it as something to be celebrated. I fear he’ll go on undermining the left until the only members left will be those who are subservient.

    1. BackofBeyond24/11/2020 AT 11:42 AM,
      Exactly. You’ve got it. Well done. I thought I was the only sensible one here.

  6. All socialists must down tools, the first tool I’d like to down is Starmer

  7. Its obvious, the Leader of the Party needs a compliant NEC. The signatories to this letter need a reality check, who ever they are (I recognise two of them, Murray, Labour’s solitary Scottish MP and Pidock, lost her seat at last GE).
    I can imagine Starmer and Evans having a right good laugh at this letter, “we find ourselves unable to stay in today’s meeting.” = ‘we are turning off our computers are going to the kitchen to make a cup of tea’.
    Here’s the one that will have them in fits “As the General Secretary of the Labour Party you should be stepping in to……………….. remind the Leader that he is an officer of the NEC”.
    Who are these people? That is an 11 on the delusional scale.
    This is how it is. Keir Starmer is The Leader. The NEC is the franking machine. The 13 signatories to this pitiful message have just made a very ill judged career move.

    1. I don’t think the Ian Murray here is the solitary Scottish Labour MP. He, if you remember, was going to join the pathetic Change Group of defectors, but backed out on the morning of the day they revealed themselves to the world. Scottish Ian was very much opposed to Jeremy Corbyn.

      1. Ludus5724/11/2020 AT 1:29 PM,
        Your right. Thanks.

    2. Ian Murray is the rep from the FBU at the NEC, not to be confused with Ian Murray Scottish Labour MP.

  8. What happened to Ellen Morrison, is there a reason she didn’t sign this letter?

    1. Steve H, can you please post a link as to how many first votes each candidate standing got? You quote 5 successful ‘left’ candidates = 43,162 and the other 4 successful candidates = 43,595.
      But they were more than 9 candidates standing, so it would be good to know how many first preferences each candidate got and how those votes transferred.

      1. Maria – I thought this may also be of interest to you.

        Slate Vote share
        GV 37%
        LTW 31%
        OL 9%
        LLA 5%
        Tribune 4%
        Independents 14%

      2. Thanks for the information SteveH, but still the only 2 candidates that we know for sure the amounts of first votes for each are Luke Akehurst and Laura Pidcock. For the rest we only now their final votes after transfers and still don’t know where the transfers can from.
        You very helpfully point out that 14% of the vote when to independent candidates, so it would be helpful to know which of the two main slates benefited from transfers and from which independents.
        Open Labour with 9% of the vote only managed to elect one of its candidates Ann Black.
        What it appears too at first glance, is that GV6 slate was more efficient with their voting that “Labour to Win”.
        With 37% of the vote GV6 managed to elect 5 of its candidates, so needing less that 7.5% of the vote to elect each. While Labour to Win needed 10.3% per candidate to elect their 3 reps.
        However, this first glance ignores that the 5% of the LLA slate that is uncompromisingly left and didn’t got a single candidate of their slate elected.
        We need further detailed information to know where the transfer from each candidate come from. When you get to the final figure of 43,162 left votes and 43,595 right, I am assuming that you are considering some independent candidates right wingers, but people voting for them, aren’t necessarily right wingers. Did you consider Open Labour right wingers for example?
        Sometimes, personal loyalties to a member of your CLP, trade Union branch play a role in our voting preferences. Thus, in order to establish with a degree of mathematical certainty how the vote between left and right truly divided, we need by far more detailed information: 1st votes that each candidate received (no accumulation after transfers) and from which other candidates the remaining candidates received transfers.

  9. Or
    Like a hot knife through butter you mount a challenge and unions withdraw funding, members resign en masse, all that’s left are the legal cases that will finish them

    1. I totally agree with Doug that Unions withholding funding will have a major effect. I would like to see this happening right away.
      I also agree with him about a leadership challenge but unfortunately this is not the right time because of the pandemic but it should happen immediately it becomes possible
      I don’t know about mass resignations. I am a member and feel immense anger and downright disgust at the way Keir Starmer and David Evans behave but I wonder if that is what they want – to sicken people like me so that we resign and give them free rein to implement old New Labour policies and practices without dissent. They can soon replace members subs with donations from millionaire businessmen just as Blair did so our membership subs are not vital.I have been really tempted to resign and will probably do so in the end but right now I’m holding on for the reasons stated but it is very difficult .

      1. Smartboy – …. the lack of a candidate is also holding up any challenge for the leadership.

      2. Reply to Steve H
        I don’t agree and have no doubt there will be a challenger when the time is right. With hundreds of people dying of Covid 19 every day and millions plunged into poverty , a mental heath crisis looming and so many lonely and living in isolation I’m sure you will agree that now is not the right time for a leadership challenge,

      3. Smartboy – I agree it would be insanity before the next GE.

      4. Smartboy, Stamer isn’t Blair, he is worse, so I am afraid it would be not millionaires donations to the LP, since Labour under present circumstances cannot possibly win a General Election anytime soon.
        Even with a second lock down, with Tory mismanagement of the pandemic, Boris Johnson is three points ahead of Starmer.
        This war that Starmer is wagging on the left of the Party doesn’t look like is abetting anytime soon. Since actually, it is persuading a lot of us to remain in the Party, to ensure that we are elected delegates for 2021 Conference and make sure that David Evans isn’t ratified as General Secretary.
        Millionaires see donations to political Parties as an investment, so donating to Labour at this moment in time, would be throwing money to a losing cause. On the contrary, we most probably will see donations to the Conservative Party increasing While the MSM will carry on reporting on increasing divisions within the Labour Party, rather than on Tory failures.
        You are right, the healthy Party finances under Corbyn’s leadership are going to be very soon a thing of the past, when the Labour Party is forced to defend legal action and most possibly order to pay cost, as in the case of Chris Williamson.

      5. Maria “Quite frankly JC should tell them to F’ off. Shove your apology and shove your whip I will be forming a real socialist Labour party and watch them panic!!”
        I think it is far more likely that JC’s opponents would sigh with satisfaction before declaring TFFT and starting the celebrations.

      6. Maria – Ooops sorry. I lost track of who I was replying to

      7. Blair left the Party heavily in the red, almost bankrupt in fact. It took only six months to bring it back in the black thanks to all the new members who joined to support Corbyn. There is no way Starmer can replace the income that those members generated.

    2. SteveH
      My dead dog would beat Temporary Embarrassment, its all about timing, your man appeals to PLP and his funders, any challenger would wipe the floor with him by going straight to the members

      1. Doug – You may well find that the members are more than a little pissed off that the self appointed guardians of ‘the left’ presume to know better than them. The last time this happened the incumbent was returned with an increased majority. Also can you perhaps imagine just for a minute how you would have reacted if the unions had been opposed to JC and withdrawn funds when Jeremy got elected.

      2. SteveH, the point is most Trade Unions weren’t against JC but sided with the membership. Again you ignore that in the recent NEC election, despite left members leaving in droves and their votes taking from the final ballot, the left got 5 of its candidates elected versus the three for Starmer’s supporters.
        You are ignoring too that among those who signed are 5 CLPs representatives on the NEC. Hence, the majority of the membership that are facing economic hardship and see the little effective opposition that Starmer is doing, aren’t going to criticise the Trade Unions. On the contrary most trade unions members are going to push towards further cuts of Trade Union funding to the Labour Party.
        Perhaps, you don’t remember but during Blair it was GMB that cut their financial funding to the Party. GMB didn’t nominate Starmer for the leadership but Nandy. Also, is worth noticing that people like Yvette Cooper, Hilary Ben, aren’t rushing to defend Starmer’s actions. Plus the silence of people like Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair for example.
        I believe Starmer is on a count down, he is only pleasing a few between the Labour PLP. Let’s us not forget that the right of the Party preferred Lisa Nandy. At the right time they right could for example, promote Stella Creasy on a leadership challenge and abandon Starmer to his fate.

      3. SteveH
        Your talking Trumpton again, very few people live on your planet
        Temporary Embarrassment is just like every other cheap and nasty Tory who will say anything to get elected
        It never lasts, your hero, Thatchers greatest creation lost us 5 million votes, twas JC what got us back in the game
        Then there’s the unions and legal cases
        Oh what a tangled web

    3. Smartboy
      It would be strategic and timed to inflict maximum damage, I have no doubt membership would explode, once we get rid of Red Tories

      1. Doug – I think the membership exploding with anger at you selfishly sabotaging Labour’s electoral chances is a more likely reaction.

      2. Steve H
        Do you really think that a Starmer led Labour government would make the changes necessary to improve the lives of the Many?

      3. Yes, I wouldn’t have voted for him in the leadership election if I hadn’t believed that.

      4. SteveH, Dough is a member of the Labour Party that like many others are fighting to keep the Labour Party on the left. As it is our right.
        You are forgetting that the majority of the membership still voted for the GV6 after the mass Corbynista supporters’ exit from the Party.
        Moreover, a couple of candidates supported by the LLA did better electorally speaking than two of the candidates on the slate of “Labour to Win”.
        Where apart from you and a couple of others do you see defending Starmer’s actions against Corbyn?

      5. Maria – Interestingly
        Total number of first preference votes for the 5 successful ‘left’ candidates = 43,162
        Total number of first preference votes for the other 4 successful candidates = 43,595

      6. SteveH
        How thick are you, people will not forget Temporary Embarrassment’s previous
        Your entertaining nobody but yourself now, not nice on a public forum

      7. Reply to Steve H
        What evidence have you to base your belief that Starmer will make the changes to improve the lives of the Many in the event that he becomes PM

      8. SteveH24/11/2020 AT 2:31 PM
        Doug – I think the membership exploding with anger at you selfishly sabotaging Labour’s electoral chances is a more likely reaction.

        Well fuck me. The expert on ‘The membership’ has spoken.

        ..without any sense of irony hypocrisy or contrition for his part in fucking up labour’s chances at the last election.

        In fact, he revels in the delusion it was the correct thing to do, to sabotage that chance….Because stammer said it was.

      9. SteveH24/11/2020 AT 3:24 PM
        Yes, I wouldn’t have voted for him in the leadership election if I hadn’t believed that


        Says the lying twat that for the weeks and months leading up to April 4th, pleaded he was ONLY voting for stammer as he was ‘best of a bad bunch’.

        Just fucking die.

      10. Toffee – Wow, well done!
        …..and it only took you 2 days to come up with that.

    Like when somebody asked a day or two ago whether an incumbent leader had ever faced CLP no confidence judgements before the Millionaires’ Friend, Sir Keir Rodney Stamer, provoked several, THIS is a potential schism moment.

    A schism like this can result in a formal separation of the party into 2 parts – For the Many and for the pro-billionaire neoliberal Status Quo.

    BRING IT ON, but, frustratingly, the Left cannot expect its SCG to play a pioneering role here. Hopefully, the Unions are with the Members here and will recognise their own catalystic function.

    1. Thanks for unearthing this PW.
      Lets see if those with EASY access to public platforms, use it to rebut the lies.
      Don’t hold your breath though. I certainly won’t hold mine.

      It is beyond doubt that THE priority is neither the welfare of “the many” nor noble causes to which attachment is only a worthless distraction from the failures at all of them – CND, Iraq, the displaced Chagos Islanders, the Palestinians … HUNDREDS of them, ALL oddly sacrificed with all of us, long held beliefs… EVERYTHING on the alter of the “Big Church”. WHY❓❓❓

      Just to gain the approval of, and play with the priest and priestesses of that sordid “Big Church”? What is the reasoning? What is the gain? What has changed except for the worst ? ? ?

      We have been painfully and selfishly hoodwinked. There may be something which we are yet to discover. Whatever it is may either crush the “Left” for good or hopefully, compel us to realise that the virtuous noises without meaningful actions are just noise. Worthless noise with no TRUE determination to change the Status Quo. Has anyone seen any sign determination …even the slightest sign
      ❓ ❓ ❓
      Please, inform us all.
      Please 🥀🥀🥀

    2. What a shithouse stammer truly is…”It was everyone else’s fault that jeremy lost the election because the media and others hounded him…

      ….Whereas I only plotted with fatboy watson to launch a two-pronged attack on both Corbyn AND democracy.”

      And as for that shower of shite crowd cheering the blockhead on…Boils my piss, so it does 🤬🤬.🤬🤬🤬🤬

      Small wonder they’re the object of my hatred every bit as much as the ‘rags

  11. Whoopi do… So they walked out of one sodding meeting and will be back next time WHY? Until they agree to change we should ALL be refusing to pay subs and refusing to work within their structures or they have WON!

    If they go back before they agree to change you have achieved nothing just a pointless gesture with no teeth! Then allow there breaking of or ignoring the rules to continue what did you achieve?

    Why are we playing by there BS rules and giving them money and support they don’t deserve. While they abuse the rules and declare civil war on the left. Our endless cupatulation and agreeing to stay silent and never fight back is just as bad..

    1. “Why are we playing by there BS rules and giving them money and support they don’t deserve”.

      It’s OUR rules and OUR protocols of OUR PARTY that they are contorting, ignoring and violating, twisting and distorting

      Their entire purpose is to wrench and bend LABOUR out of shape, thereby deforming democratic socialism.

      It’s not THEIR rules, party and movement. They are its enemy grandad.

  12. Just as we are not supposed to discuss anything at our CLP meetings, people need to realise that what’s going on is the crushing of democracy within the party. I’ll bet that the NEC now doesn’t make decisions as in the past but they’re decided beforehand and this is just a hoop to jump through for the Starmerbots. The NEC have become irrelevant to Starmer. If you’re going to fight back the things this lot relate to is power and privilege. Take that away from them, how? The unions have to be more involved, take away funding to MP’s that are on the right of the party, unions like GMB, USDAW & Unison (currently controlled by the right) have to be won back by the left. If this happens you get them together with Starmer and say enough is enough you’re going to sack Evans, you’re going endorse a democratic election process for MP”s that means they don’t have a job for life. Ultimately, Starmer will have to be challenged but only when we have organised and put in processes that will ensure our victory.

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