Starmer will need to find two new local government reps come September
Alice Perry has announced that she will step down as a councillor and will leave the party’s national executive (NEC) in September when her current term ends – and says that she is ‘so proud of all that we achieved’. Perry sits as a local government representative on the NEC.
According to Labour insiders, Perry has consistently voted in the interests of the party’s right – including in the cowardly decisions to purge left-wingers from the party for links to groups they were allowed to support at the time and last year voting to retain an all-white panel to select council candidates in the West Midlands borough of Sandwell, where more than a third of residents are from black and ethnic minority communities. Two Muslim NEC members were blocked from sitting on the panel.
An NEC member representing party members told Skwawkbox at the time:
There is going to be a joint panel to select the council candidates for Sandwell Council. The area has a sizeable BAME population. The grassroots representatives asked one of the two white male candidates to stand aside in favour of [fellow NEC rep] Yasmine Dar – so the NEC’s representation would be gender balanced and there would be BAME participation.
They refused to stand down so it went to a vote. The left lost.
Angela Rayner voted in favour of keeping two white men. So did the NEC BAME representative Carol Sewell. So did [right-wing former councillor based in Sandwell] Gurinder Singh Josan. So did Alice Perry, another councillor. It was absolutely disgusting.
After losing control of Sandwell as numerous scandals came to light, the right used the all-white panel to bring back various right-wingers to stand – including a former Tom Watson fixer who had resigned from Labour in 2019 and tried to join the Tories (but was rejected) and who was recorded boasting of arranging an undeclared loan of almost £26,000 to save the candidacy of right-wing MP Naz Shah.
Keir Starmer claimed that this was bringing a ‘new broom’ to Sandwell.
Perry’s departure will almost certainly leave Keir Starmer needing to find two new local government representatives to sit on the NEC, after Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes – one of the all-white panel in charge of last year’s Sandwell selections – was deselected by party members in a ‘landslide’. Forbes subsequently said he was leaving politics, but there have been rumours he may be parachuted in as the next parliamentary candidate for Hexham.
Forbes was also at the centre of controversy after trying to drum up signatures from councillors around the country against an NEC motion restricting a right-wing council leader’s plan to demolish council homes for a privatised housing development – despite having largely written the NEC motion in the first place. Some of the councillors whose names appeared on the letter against the NEC motion said they had not signed it.
It’s not clear what Cllr Perry is referring to when she says she is ‘so proud’ of what ‘we have achieved’. Sadly, given the state of local government Labour – even worse than before after a number of racist purges of black and Asian councillors – Keir Starmer is unlikely to find it difficult to secure a couple of replacements to his liking.
SKWAWKBOX needs your help. The site is provided free of charge but depends on the support of its readers to be viable. If you’d like to help it keep revealing the news as it is and not what the Establishment wants you to hear – and can afford to without hardship – please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal or here to set up a monthly donation via GoCardless (SKWAWKBOX will contact you to confirm the GoCardless amount). Thanks for your solidarity so SKWAWKBOX can keep doing its job.
If you wish to republish this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.