Labour NEC Report – 25 May

Leader’s report

Keir Starmer spoke about the significance of the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd and Labour’s response to the global movement addressing structural racism. Keir talked about the shadow cabinet reshuffle and welcomed the new national executive committee (NEC) members. He thanked the outgoing members for their work.

Keir thanked Labour members and supporters for all their hard work on May’s election. He talked about the mixed results. Keir noted that Labour achieved its joint best ever result in Wales and praised the leadership of Mark Drakeford and Welsh Labour. He talked about Labour’s improving performance in Scotland and, while there is a lot still to do to rebuild, the progress is positive.

The Labour leader talked about how Joanne Anderson became the first ever Black women to be elected mayor of Liverpool City and how Tracy Brabin was elected as the first female metro mayor. Keir highlighted some of Labour’s positive mayoral elections and talked about the bitter disappointment of our result in Hartlepool and other parts of England.

Keir talked about the changes necessary to win back public trust and support. He spoke about the need to move to a longer-term vision for the UK, which challenges inequality and insecurity in our economy. Keir told the NEC that Labour needs to be much more outward-facing and less concerned with internal party issues. Keir talked about how Labour also need to be focused on the future and the challenges of the future, rather than focusing on the past. Keir noted that the general election may be sooner than we think and we should plan for it taking place in 2023.

Keir took questions on the election results, international free-trade deals, national identity, the Forde Inquiry, the Batley and Spen by-election, the shadow cabinet reshuffle, social care, climate change, Labour’s disciplinary process, the policy review, community wealth building, community organising, Israel-Palestine and campaign strategy.

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Labour NEC Report – 4 to 9 March 2020

Women’s conference

The NEC women sub-committee discusses the 2021 women’s conference. Plans are continuing for a democratic women’s conference in June. This event will be run on online and could be used as a model for national Labour Party conference if it needs to take place online or in a hybrid format. Delegates can submit policy motions. We discussed whether local parties could also submit rule changes. I asked how motion compositing would work for online.


Ann Black asked a question at the equalities committee about the party’s work to tackle transphobia. This is an important issue, and work to tackle transphobia will take place alongside Labour’s Equality and Human Rights Commission action plan and the ongoing work to tackle prejudice and hate. This will also include a code of conduct for members.

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Labour NEC Report – 21 January 2021

The organisational sub-committee and disputes sub-committee of Labour’s national executive committee met today. I also attended the LGA Labour group meeting, which unfortunately clashed with part of the disputes committee meeting.

Parliamentary Labour Party representative Shabana Mahmood MP was elected chair of the disputes committee. UNISON representative Wendy Nichols was elected chair of the organisational committee and Usdaw’s Michael Wheeler was elected vice-chair of the organisational committee.

Complaints and disciplinary hearings

The NEC disputes sub-panels have been regularly meeting and have heard over 300 cases. The majority of these cases have concerned complaints relating to people’s protected characteristics. As agreed as part of the Equality and Human Rights Commission action plan, regular statistics about complaints and disciplinary cases will be published on the Labour Party website.

2021 elections

The LGA Labour group also met today. The meeting discussed the 2021 elections and when they might take place. If the elections are postponed, councils will need as much notice as possible to accommodate changes. As things stand, numerous polling stations are currently being used as vaccination centres and Covid-19 testing centres. There are some very difficult, practical challenges that councils need to resolve in order for safe elections to be able to take place. Many councillors expressed serious concerns about the elections taking place in May as planned.

Another issue raised is that currently people are unable to register for postal votes online. Labour has been lobbying government to change this and make it much easier for people to register fully electronically. Any change to this won’t be made in time for elections in May.

Postponing the elections to July or September would also pose challenges to local government staff, who have been working extremely hard in challenging circumstances. An election in September would also disrupt the party conference season.

Due diligence for candidate selection

Labour’s EHRC action plan includes commitments to undertake addition due diligence for candidate selection. There have been damaging incidents in the past where candidates were selected, only to be removed due to previous unacceptable behaviour coming to light.

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Labour NEC Report – 14 January 2021

Various sub-committees of Labour’s national executive committee are meeting in the next few weeks. On January 14th, I attended meetings of the women’s committee and the equalities committee. I also attended the national policy forum’s justice and home affairs policy commission meeting.

The women’s committee noted that UNISON have elected Christina McAnea as their first female general secretary. UNISON represent over one million female members. The committee sent their congratulations to Christina.

Women’s conference

Women’s conference this year will take place online. This will be a democratic conference and will incorporate online voting technology. Women’s conference is piloting this technology, which could be used for annual Labour Party conference if necessary.

The cost of the conference for delegates was discussed. Options to reduce the cost are being considered and any changes will reflect the cost of running a democratic conference online. I also asked about opportunities for sponsorship and revenue generation for online conferences. It was good to hear about the work that is ongoing in this area.

Representatives from the women’s conference arrangements committee joined the meeting and discussed possible themes, topics and speakers for the conference. 

EHRC action plan

The equalities committee discussed the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) action plan. On December 17th last year, the Labour Party published its action plan for driving out antisemitism in the Labour Party in response to the EHRC report into antisemitism in the party published on October 29th.

The action plan demonstrates how the Labour Party will address all the recommendations made in the EHRC’s report and sets out a clear timetable for implementation. You can read the action plan on the Labour Party website. It was agreed that this will be a standard agenda item at all equalities committee meetings.

Challenging GRT discrimination

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Labour NEC Away Day Report – 24 November 2020

Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) away day took place on November 24th. The morning was set aside for formal business, including the election of chair and vice-chair. The second half of the meeting focused on elections, membership engagement and effective governance. The NEC thanked outgoing members for their service and contributions and welcomed incoming members, and thanked the outgoing chair Andi Fox for her service.

Dame Margaret Beckett was elected chair of the Labour NEC. Margaret has had a remarkable political career. She has served as leader and deputy leader and has blazed a trail for women in politics. I was honoured to be elected vice-chair of the Labour NEC (big thank you to Tom Warnett from the GMB and Ann Black for proposing and seconding me). I look forward to working with Margaret and the other NEC officers to help rebuild the party, win back public trust and win back power for our communities.

Leader’s report

Keir Starmer gave the leader’s report. Keir spoke about the importance of reconnecting and reengaging with voters. He stressed the importance of being outward-looking and focusing on winning elections. If we lose the next general election, we will have let down an entire generation. Keir spoke about Labour’s ongoing work to connect with voters and win across the UK.

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Labour NEC Report – 29 September 2020

Labour’s national executive committee met today, September 29th. This was the last full meeting before the new NEC is elected. 40% of NEC posts are up for election and some long-serving members are standing down. This meeting usually takes place before Labour Party conference, but the Covid-19 pandemic led to conference being cancelled and the NEC election timetable was extended.

Leader’s report

Keir Starmer gave the leader’s report. He updated the NEC on recent activities. Keir has had meetings in the Midlands and Scotland, working to regain trust with former Labour voting communities. He talked about his TUC speech on the importance of job retention. Keir highlighted that Labour believes it should be illegal for businesses to fire people and rehire them with worse terms and conditions. He condemned the Tory government’s total chaos and incompetence in their handling of the pandemic.

Parliamentary business is currently focused on tackling Covid and local restrictions. Keir has been in regular contact with local government representatives who have been managing this across the country. Serious concerns continue to be raised about the government’s handling of the crisis.

Keir talked about Labour Connected, thanking staff for all their work. 27,000 registered to take part, with 84,000 listening to Angela Rayner’s speech and 120,000 tuning in for Keir’s speech.

Questions and discussions included: the political situation in Belarus and support for pro-democracy protesters, Brexit, the internal market bill and its implications for devolution, Labour’s fundraising strategy, support for local government, support for local businesses, mental health during the pandemic, green jobs and the green new deal, the Covid-19 recovery, Keir’s ten pledges in the leadership election, election campaigning, collective responsibility, support for veterans and the armed forces, support for higher education and students, Covid-19 testing, track and trace, the role of the NEC and governance, Labour’s complaints process and Labour’s improved performance in the opinion polls.

Keir welcomed the questions and discussion. He talked about the importance of transparency, working collectively and constructively challenging each other with a shared sense of purpose. Keir talked about how disrespectful it is for people to leak from confidential meetings. He reminded the NEC how he stood with Jeremy Corbyn against leaking from shadow cabinet meetings.

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NEC Report: Special meeting on 2019 election defeat and lessons for the future

Shortly after the 2019 general election defeat, Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) asked to have a stand-alone meeting to discuss the defeat and learn lessons for the future. 2019 seems like a very long time ago, and when we agreed the meeting we had we had no idea of the challenges 2020 would bring. The meeting took place later than intended but was an important step to understanding why we lost and what we need to rebuild and deliver for our communities and everyone who desperately needs a Labour government.

The purpose of the meeting was to analyse and evaluate the 2019 campaign, what went well, what didn’t, and how we can move forward to win in 2024 (and in future local elections). The meeting focused on topics such as voting trends and demographics, campaign strategy, the manifesto, campaign themes and messaging.

Keir Starmer introduced the meeting, highlighting the importance of reflecting on 2019 and ensuring we don’t make the same mistakes in future. Keir noted that while the NEC may not agree on everything, it is important that we engage constructively and understand what we need to do to win future elections. Keir told the NEC that if we don’t win the 2024 general election, we will have let down an entire generation who will have lived for 19 years under a Tory government.

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Labour NEC Report – 21 July 2020

Leader’s report

Keir Starmer updated the national executive committee (NEC) about Labour’s work responding to the Covid-19 health and economic crisis. He talked about the concerning levels of infection across the world, with recent local spikes in the UK. He highlighted the risk of changing weather in the autumn, coupled with seasonal flu and NHS winter pressures, which bring new challenges and risk the virus becoming resurgent.
The Bank of England has predicted the worst recession for 300 years. Labour is pushing for real job protections on a sectoral basis. Keir talked about how the health and economic crisis exposes inequality. The Labour leader talked of the need for more resources, support and powers for local government.

Keir told the NEC that the economy was not functioning well before the pandemic, and that Labour must argue for a different economic settlement. People want to see a different country coming out of this and Labour needs to provide that vision and hope for the future.

Keir told the NEC that Labour has received a draft of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) report, and that Labour is cooperating fully with the EHRC. The NEC will discuss the report when it is in the public domain.

Keir also updated the NEC about the settlement reached with former Labour Party staff interviewed in an episode of Panorama. He reminded the NEC that all leadership candidates made a commitment to settle this, and that it is the right thing to do both morally and financially. This settlement doesn’t interfere with the Forde inquiry or any disciplinary action.

The NEC asked questions on a range of issues; Continue reading

Why I am standing for the NEC

Councillors are the backbone of the Labour Party. Our contributions are enormous. We deserve respect and a greater say in how the party is run. If re-elected I will:

  • Continue providing detailed reports on NEC meetings, so Councillors are aware of what is going on at the top of the party.
    • Provide a strong voice for local government, arguing for better representation on the NEC and other bodies, and accountability for our ALC subs.
    • Ensure Labour Groups and local parties get the resources we need to fight elections, and have more say over election campaigns.
    • Champion local government policy initiatives, like building more affordable housing, tackling climate change, protecting and creating jobs and defending public services.
    • Work to increase diversity in local government, increasing working class, women, BAME, LGBT and disabled representation.
    • Fight to restore the local government pension fund.
    • Campaign for parental leave and greater flexibility for Councillors.
    • Stand up for members’ ability to select their MPs, giving people a real choice of talented candidates.
    • Support an independent disciplinary process.
    Defend the link between Labour and Trade Unions, and work closely and constructive with Trade Union colleagues.
    Champion Labour Councillors in opposition and the important work they do.

Since my election to the NEC in 2014, I have:

Please ask your Labour Group to nominate Alice Perry (L0111249) and Nick Forbes (A603264) to be your two local government representatives on the NEC.

Nominations will be done online this year. The link to the nomination form will be sent to Labour Group secretaries.

How Labour’s NPF works – and how to get involved

How should Labour make policy? How can members become more involved? How do we  reflect the views and values from across the party and wider labour movement? How can you harness the expertise and interests of members, local government, the Parliamentary Labour Party, socialist societies and trade unions? Is Labour’s national policy forum (NPF) the answer – and if it isn’t, what is?

Labour’s democracy review has been considering how to improve the party policy-making process. This ongoing work led the national executive committee (NEC) to postpone this year’s NPF elections. The leadership elections and Covid-19 pandemic have paused some of the democracy review work, but they have not reduced the appetite for members to get involved in deciding party policy.

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