Group condemns ‘unaccountable party bureaucrats’ and calls on Labour to reinstate all three dropped women to shortlist, who it says ‘have conducted themselves with great dignity’
The Labour Black Socialists group has issued a statement expressing its extreme disappointment with Labour’s conduct in the Liverpool mayoral selection and calling on the party to reinstate the three women councillors on the original shortlist, who were dropped by the party without explanation.
The statement reads:
Labour Black Socialists are extremely disappointed with the way the outcome of the Liverpool Mayoral selection process has been handled.
The members went through a hustings process to select three very experienced women on a shortlist. It appears to be that one of the prospective candidates was then marked out as the wrong type of black woman by influential people in the Labour party hierarchy. The choice of members was therefore suspended, all three potential candidates were scheduled for re-interview, and they were then summarily cancelled out of the selection process. All without explanation and in violation of the Labour party Rule Book and natural justice.
Because of the furore that followed, the Labour party tried to cancel the elected mayor process and in Council that motion was defeated. We believe that this motion was intended to pre-empt High Court action by one of the previous three candidates.
Then to make matters worse the Labour party came up with a new shortlist, from heaven knows where. The two new candidates lack experience, with one only a councillor since 2019 and not even planning to stand again in May. It is unclear how these people would be able to command the confidence of their colleagues in the bruising game of council meetings.
It seems that the rule book is not being followed. There is a lack of transparency and accountability in the nomination and selection processes. It appears that the Labour party only agrees to democratic processes where the outcomes are consistent with the wishes of the party bureaucracy. That type of governance is unbecoming of a party that sees itself as a government-in-waiting.
Instead of putting square pegs in round holes the Labour party should just let the original three highly experienced women stand and let the voters make a democratic choice. However, it does appear that only a decision from a court of law could persuade the Labour party to follow its own Rule Book and abide by the laws of the country.
For now, the three women candidates have conducted themselves with great dignity which stands them in good stead should they be reinstated. As for the members of the Labour party in Liverpool and the councillors it is a joy to behold as you stand up to bureaucratic instructions from afar. If socialism means anything it means control by people on the front line be it at work or in the community. Where did these unaccountable Labour Party bureaucrats learn their corporate misgovernance skills?
BAME MPs, councillors, activists and others have also written an open letter to Labour leader Keir Starmer and acting general secretary David Evans with a similar call.
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