Almost 70 Streatham Labour members demand party investigation into regional office interference in annual general meeting

Labour party members in the London constituency of Streatham have written to the party demanding an investigation into events at their annual general meeting (AGM) last week, which saw dozens of members – many of them black – blocked from participating in the votes taking place at the meeting.

The letter, signed by sixty-eight party members, decries the ‘inexplicable’ take-over of their key annual meeting by Labour’s London regional office and the disenfranchisement of many members:

Streatham Labour Party Members standing together for local democracy

7th March 2021

Dear David Evans (Labour Party General Secretary) and Jim Kelly (London Labour Regional Executive Committee Chair)

We the undersigned call for the Labour Party to launch an urgent investigation into Streatham Constituency Labour Party Annual General Meeting following major issues with the online meeting and online voting system which has disenfranchised local members.

Since the running and control of our AGM was inexplicably taken over by London Regional Office due to unsubstantiated accusations of CLP incompetence the following has happened since Thursday night’s meeting:

1. Many members were denied entry to the AGM Zoom due to apparently not having the correct screen name despite many claiming their screen names were appearing correctly. At the same time some participants had their name listed as “X’s iPAD” or “iPHONE” yet were admitted. The full name rule was not consistently applied equally across the board and we know of many members that just gave up after waiting for over 2 hours. This included our disabilities officer who was barred entry to the meeting and was thereby prevented from speaking. The advice from London Regional Office for entry to the meeting should have been explicit about information members needed to provide and circulated short instructions on how to enter using an iPHONE, iPAD, PC etc to members. This lack of advice ensured those unfamiliar with zoom meeting skills were digitally excluded, as well as those with access to only one device when there were 2 or 3 members in a household.

2. Following the conclusion of the AGM many dozens of members did not receive their ballots. Some had to wait for up to 24 to 48 hours including the candidate for CLP Secretary and Socialist Societies and Co-op Rep. The Streatham Ethnic Minorities Forum reported many of their members not receiving their ballots.

3. Our elected Teller was denied seeing key turnout/voter data following the immediate conclusion of the meeting despite receiving assurances from London Regional Office that he would see that data.

4. Many members reported having to wait 24 to 48 hours for their ballots to be emailed but then reported the ballots having key Executive Officer positions missing from the ballot such as Political Education, Co-op and Socialist Societies, Women’s, LGBT, Fundraising and General Committee Members and were received in up to 18 individual emails. Every other ballot consisted of two emails one email for the LCF Ballot and one for every other Executive post. This is not the first time that irregular ballots have been issued using the “Annonyvoter” voting software, with examples from other CLPs around the UK.

5.The voting deadline of 11:59pm on Friday 5th March had to be extended to 5pm Saturday 6th March due to the major issues with voting. However many members were unaware of this extension and therefore may have disregarded ballots that arrived after the original deadline.

This is no way to run an election and it is clear that members have been disenfranchised. These issues are causing huge stress, frustration and alienation to many of Streatham’s members from all traditions of the Labour Party and to preserve our precious local democracy and to ensure the result has the confidence of the entire membership we need urgent answers from the General Secretary and Regional Executive and if these answers are not forthcoming the entire ballot should be re-run with an extended deadline to ensure the highest possible turnout.

Yours faithfully

Martin AbramsStreatham Wells
Andy de EmmonySt Leonard’s
Suzanne de EmmonySt Leonard’s
Aliyah DaviesStreatham South
Will SinghBrixton Hill
Julia MartinSt Leonard’s
Stephanie BlackSt Leonard’s
Linda MilbourneBrixton Hill
Jeff RileyClapham Common Ward
Nick OungTulse Hill
Juliet SchofieldBrixton Hill
Amanda CarterTulse Hill
Sarah MirfinStreatham Wells
Richard AlcockStreatham Wells
Branka YoungSt Leonards
Borislav BosnjakSt Leonards
Nigel GrantSt Leonards
Lisa SchulkindStreatham hill
Karen BlackwellThornton
Marysia Krupska – Streatham WellsStreatham Labour Party Branch
Helen Carr – Tulse Hill
Ollie CollardSt Leonard’s
Sheila WilsonStreatham Hill
Sarah JonesSouth
Jane Ireland
Will HoffmanBrixton Hill
Mary Schramm
Jason BondBrixton Hill
Jude EllisStreatham Hill
Callum HarriesStreatham Hill
Michael BallStreatham Hill
Leila EvansBrixton Hill
Nat ArkwrightStreatham Wells
Sam BrowseStreatham Wells
Saleha JafferBrixton Hill
Jennifer HerronStreatham Wells
Julia kitchingStreatham Wells
Dr Valerie Coultas (chair)Clapham Common
Valérie CoultasClapham Common
Andrea SperanzaStreatham South
Emmerson WebsterSteasthamLabour Part Branch
Eamon O’Hearn LargeBrixton Hill
Nani ColacoTulse hill
Vivienne lewisBrixton hill
Maryan AbdulkadirClapham Common
Maurice Bhujan
Ole HansenStreatham Hill
Ollie CollardSt Leonard’s
Dorothy van HeeswykClapham Common
Nassradin IsmailStreatham South
Chloe MasseySt Leonard’s
Elaine JosephBrixton Hill
Phillip WilliamsStreatham Wells
Adriana HoyosBrixton Hill
Alison HiggsBrixton Hill
Camila Hoyos StuttleBrixton Hill
Alison HiggsBrixton Hill
Neil LevitanBrixton Hill
Ridhwan OmarSt Leonard’s
Barney WaltonStreatham Wells
Chris BlakeTulse Hill
Dave BellTulse Hill
Gareth GlynnTulse Hill
June FerrellStreatham South
Fionna MartinSt Leonards
James CraneSt Leonards

But there is yet more troubling information emerging from Streatham, which the SKWAWKBOX will publish shortly.

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  1. I wonder if anyone knows the amount of members at Streatham,and if as I suspect the membership are mainly comotose and inactive like most local branch members.This is the way the knight was elected in sheer ignorance of just what had been unleashed on the activists who are a minority and mainly left wing.The Labour party are in trouble both in leadership and at HQ.I see very little changing without serios confrontation and support from the mps and councillors.This will not happen unless they are effectively threatened by redundancy in the elections.I think we can only hope for a meltdown at the May elections,but even then without an early general election the Labour party is effectively finished as a movement for the working-class.The irony of a Labour party needing a massive loss to save them is not lost on me and it shows just how dangerous the situation is for the people of the UK.who need an effective Opposition party.

    1. Joseph
      Even with 500,000 members voting at every level, using latest technology, would not prevent the stitch ups, the corruption and the jobs for the boys and girls
      What can be introduced and enforced is a functioning discipline and dismissal procedure

      1. ‘What can be introduced and enforced is a functioning discipline and dismissal procedure’

        Yeah…And who’ll get to run it? 🤔

    2. I totally agree with everything you have said Joseph, and I would like to add:

      It is a myth that we live in a democracy when the truth is the UK is no different to the DPRK, (North Korea), for two significant reasons, 1. You cannot take your seat in HoP without swearing an oath/solemn affirmation, “… will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty queen elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according… “ (lowercase deliberate)

      And before any law can be debated/ voted on, consent must be obtained from her and charles!

      I know I would never be a member of HoP as I would swear an allegiance to the electorate NOT queen!

      Its about time we were a republic!

      1. Richard on the day after I took a historic win for the Labour party in Reigate and Banstead I was presented with just such a problem as an elected councillor Oath of allegiance to the House of Windsor and all relatives not yet born.I couldn’t do that and it had never occurred to me.I signed the official secrets act,and then the problem of allegiance to the People of the UK was suggested,and I readily signed.and swore on the Bible(not the king james version).That route is not a common route to holding office and it is a route not allowed in senior positions including MPs,police ,military and all strategic positions.The establishment Labour party are fully on board with proping up the system because for them it works,for the vast majority it works against them.

  2. Skwawkbox,

    Alison Higgs of Brixton Hill is listed twice on the list of names:

    Adriana Hoyos Brixton Hill
    Alison Higgs Brixton Hill
    Camila Hoyos Stuttle Brixton Hill
    Alison Higgs Brixton Hill
    Neil Levitan Brixton Hill

    (the above copy/pasted directly from article)

    Two questions,:
    1. Is this a data entry misname?
    2. Are any other names repeated?

  3. Hands up anyone on here who thinks this strategy from Temporary Embarrassment is going down well with the vast majority of the membership
    It does not matter who stands against him as long as they make it clear they are the person to clear out Red Tories and then hand over to the next generation
    Temporary hatchet odd job man/women

  4. One thing is sure…whatever anyone posts in this thread, SteveH’s response will either be “where’s the evidence?” “it’s the Regional Directors’ fault”, or “Corbyn lost”.

    1. On balance of probabilities, you are likely to be correct kenburch, but it would be without justification.

      1. … for SteveH to make such comments.

        (Posted before completion).

  5. Why would Evans and Starmer (the ‘new management’) respect a request from party members when the aforementioned new management is systematically talking measures to disregard the power and authority of said members and their CLPs and Conference?

    They’ve got us where they want us – and like all authoritarian dictator-types – are using any means at their disposal to impose their oligarchic will.

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