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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