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.
|Martin Abrams||Streatham Wells|
|Andy de Emmony||St Leonard’s|
|Suzanne de Emmony||St Leonard’s|
|Aliyah Davies||Streatham South|
|Will Singh||Brixton Hill|
|Julia Martin||St Leonard’s|
|Stephanie Black||St Leonard’s|
|Linda Milbourne||Brixton Hill|
|Jeff Riley||Clapham Common Ward|
|Nick Oung||Tulse Hill|
|Juliet Schofield||Brixton Hill|
|Amanda Carter||Tulse Hill|
|Sarah Mirfin||Streatham Wells|
|Richard Alcock||Streatham Wells|
|Branka Young||St Leonards|
|Borislav Bosnjak||St Leonards|
|Nigel Grant||St Leonards|
|Lisa Schulkind||Streatham hill|
|Marysia Krupska – Streatham Wells||Streatham Labour Party Branch|
|Helen Carr – Tulse Hill|
|Ollie Collard||St Leonard’s|
|Sheila Wilson||Streatham Hill|
|Will Hoffman||Brixton Hill|
|Jason Bond||Brixton Hill|
|Jude Ellis||Streatham Hill|
|Callum Harries||Streatham Hill|
|Michael Ball||Streatham Hill|
|Leila Evans||Brixton Hill|
|Nat Arkwright||Streatham Wells|
|Sam Browse||Streatham Wells|
|Saleha Jaffer||Brixton Hill|
|Jennifer Herron||Streatham Wells|
|Julia kitching||Streatham Wells|
|Dr Valerie Coultas (chair)||Clapham Common|
|Valérie Coultas||Clapham Common|
|Andrea Speranza||Streatham South|
|Emmerson Webster||SteasthamLabour Part Branch|
|Eamon O’Hearn Large||Brixton Hill|
|Nani Colaco||Tulse hill|
|Vivienne lewis||Brixton hill|
|Maryan Abdulkadir||Clapham Common|
|Ole Hansen||Streatham Hill|
|Ollie Collard||St Leonard’s|
|Dorothy van Heeswyk||Clapham Common|
|Nassradin Ismail||Streatham South|
|Chloe Massey||St Leonard’s|
|Elaine Joseph||Brixton Hill|
|Phillip Williams||Streatham Wells|
|Adriana Hoyos||Brixton Hill|
|Alison Higgs||Brixton Hill|
|Camila Hoyos Stuttle||Brixton Hill|
|Alison Higgs||Brixton Hill|
|Neil Levitan||Brixton Hill|
|Ridhwan Omar||St Leonard’s|
|Barney Walton||Streatham Wells|
|Chris Blake||Tulse Hill|
|Dave Bell||Tulse Hill|
|HASAN Rasul||KHAWAR HASAN|
|Gareth Glynn||Tulse Hill|
|June Ferrell||Streatham South|
|Fionna Martin||St Leonards|
|James Crane||St Leonards|
But there is yet more troubling information emerging from Streatham, which the SKWAWKBOX will publish shortly.
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