Analysis Breaking

Breaking: right-wing council leader and NEC member Nick Forbes deselected in ‘landslide’

Forbes, one of two local government reps on Labour’s national executive, will lose eligibility to remain on the committee after May local elections unless he can get himself selected in another ward, say Labour sources

Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, one of two right-wing councillors on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) as local government representatives, has dramatically been deselected this evening by members of his ward to stand in May’s local government elections. Forbes is also ‘senior vice chair’ and Labour group leader on the Local Government Association (LGA).

Local sources told Skwawkbox the vote was a ‘landslide’.

Forbes would be ineligible to remain as council leader or sit on the NEC as local government representative when his term ends, unless he is able to win selection in another ward – or be imposed by the party. However, one local source told Skwawkbox:

Even if he manages to get himself levered into another ward, being deselected in his own ward must be humiliating enough to make his LGA role untenable.

In 2018, Forbes pleaded with council leaders around the country to sign letter supporting fellow right-winger Clare Kober when the party intervened in Kober’s ‘HDV’ gentrification project that was widely hated among Haringey locals. Yet the motion against which the letter protested was Forbes’s own motion, which he had pushed through as a watered-down version of a much stronger one originally tabled by the then-Corbyn-friendly NEC.

In 2016, Forbes – a member at least at the time of the right-wing pressure group Progress – has been leader of the council since 2011. In 2016, the council tabled a pay-cut of up to almost £4,000 a year from the incomes of ‘middle managers and blue-collar workers’.

In May last year, Forbes survived a challenge to his leadership but his deputy lost. Newcastle looks set to need a new council leader – and Starmer a new ally on the NEC.

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  1. brilliant+++ and it’s not even friday yet

  2. “Landslide” is a slightly OTT term to use for a councillor selection meeting given the number of people who vote! When we deselected our councillor in my ward last time around the vote was 32-16. I guess a landslide but can it really be with 48 people voting? On this occasion I’d imagine there were fewer than 100 people there?

  3. With BoIo making a town halls of everything. Keith Stammer has a chance of being PM, not that it’s going to make any difference.

  4. Predictably enough the ‘new management’ is “set to investigate the events that led to Newcastle’s council leader being deselected.”

    Forbes’ branch voted by a margin of 13 to four in favour of nominating local activist Abdul Samad instead.

    Democracy in action? Well, we all know what Starmer’s Trilateral Commission think about “the problem of democracy”, there’s too much of it.

    The sooner Starmer’s dirty politics and non-Labour values become font page news, the sooner Labour becomes electable again.

    1. baz2001 – A quote from the a article that you linked to.

      “Lewis Atkinson, secretary of the Tynemouth Constituency Labour Party (CLP), alleged on Twitter that the meeting “sounds like a no-notice ambush outside the rules rather than following due and democratic process”.
      A source within Newcastle Labour’s Local Campaign Forum also confirmed that several complaints had been received due to concerns about the meeting and said: “The whole process needs to be investigated.”
      They added that Coun Forbes had “no idea” he was about to be challenged before the meeting and claimed that the exercise had been “totally unfair”.

      If this is true then don’t you agree that this vote besides being against the rules was also underhand and cowardly?

      1. Southbank Labour, and their affiliates, are the last people who should be bringing up the subject of processes being ‘underhand and cowardly’.

        Live by the sword, die by the sword!

      2. Whataboutery won’t change the fact that if this is true then it was against the rules, cowardly and underhand.

      3. Well they say it was against the rules – so which
        rules exactly?

        If it was so simple – why not just state them – just
        as they do when they are about to discipline

      4. HFM – As I understand it the problem is that there was no notice given of the vote.

      5. Steve H 10/02/2022 at 8:32 pm :

        ‘Whataboutery’. Chuckle! You’re so precious.

        That only highlights your hypocrisy, and the hypocrisy of Southbank Labour.

        The votes by the Members, at Conference, on various policies – only being valid while Conference was in session, was ‘underhand and cowardly’.

        In fact, I would go as far as to say, it was dictatorial, and against any rules you care to mention.

        Get the Rule Book out. That will show you – that was illegal. No legal justification, whatsoever.

        …and you’re whining because ‘Forbes had “no idea” he was about to be challenged’.

        Go suck a lemon!

  5. If there’s such a thing as justice, Starmer and his clique’s political death certificate will cite “Ten Pledges” as their Cause of Death.

  6. Concerning the fact that Clr Forbes had “no idea”
    he was being challenged – that is not part of the
    rule book ?

    For MPs The only requirements are that they
    should turn up at the meeting with a
    statement from themselves and one from the whip.

    1. HFM – I suggest that you check out Appendix 4 of the rule book, it is quite detailed.

      Appendix 4
      NEC Procedures for the selection of local government Candidates
      These procedural rules supplement Chapter 5 of the Party rule book – selections for election to public office, and provide a framework for Local Government Committees (LGCs) and Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) to follow when conducting selections of local government candidates.

  7. SteveH The guardian takes a very different point of view

    in that local people want someone who will devote him or herself
    to local people and they have been dissatisfied with him for a long time.
    They are replacing him with someone who will work for THEM.

    He has also fallen out with a former chief whip – Nick Brown?
    He should have known he was in trouble.

    So much more to this than meets the eye ..

    The objection to the timing is only that it leaves him no
    time to find another Branch to try for.

    1. HFM – I suppose that depends on how much credence you give to the anecdote of one anonymous ‘activist’. All I have said above is that if the rules were broken as reported in the local newspaper then it was cowardly and underhand if on the other hand the new candidate won fair and square then I don’t have an issue. That’s democracy.

  8. SH – Ive also been paying attention to Nick Brown, the former
    chip whip for various Labour Leaders. He was Chief Whip when
    Jeremy was a back bencher and he became mates with Jezzer
    who used to send him notes when he intended voting against the whip.

    Nick Brown appears to be that very rare individual – an MP
    who will try to play fair with a person – even though he disagrees
    with him politically. Thus he spoke up for Corbyn right through 2019
    when there were so many who plotted and smeared. Brown
    is also very concerned at the spilt in the Labour Party – that will
    let the Tories intoTyneside. If Forbes has done anything to
    worsen that spilt then he will be concerned. What Brown thinks
    of Starmer – who knows?

    As for the rules – Forbes himself said they dethroned him at a
    stage when he would be unable to find an alternative branch
    to be their candidate. There is no rule against that I daresay ..

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