Thank you for re-electing me to the NEC

Nick Forbes and I have been re-elected to represent local government on Labour’s NEC. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us. It is such an honour to serve for a third term on the NEC.

Thank you very much to all the Labour Groups that nominated me: Continue reading

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Labour NEC Report – May 2018

img_5602Jeremy Corbyn was unable to attend the May NEC meeting as he was in Manchester for the events to commemorate the tragic Manchester Arena bombing. The NEC observed a minutes silence for the victims of the attack and sent our solidarity to the people of Manchester.

Deputy Leader’s Report

Tom Watson gave the Deputy Leader’s Report. He described May’s council elections as his recent top priority. Tom, Jeremy and members of the shadow cabinet have been campaigning around the country. Tom praised the positive spirit of unity showed by activists and councillors campaigning in the elections. New and longstanding members worked together for a Labour victory in the local elections and the next general election (whenever that will take place). Tom also praised the role trade unions played in mobilising voters, particularly in London.

Tom touched on recent events in parliament, including the betrayal of victims of phone hacking and data theft, plus the victory for the campaign against fixed-odds betting terminals. Tom Watson praised Diane Abbott’s response to the Windrush scandal. He talked about recent visits to Brussels to discuss Brexit, including its impact on food security and the UK’s creative industries.

Tom then took questions on a range of topics including antisemitism, parliamentary discipline, Brexit, immigration, the proposed Sainsbury’s-Asda merger, the parliamentary enquiry into sexual harassment, the Lewisham by-election, increasing diversity in national and local government, the local elections, engaging young members and the UCU pension’s dispute.

Local Election Results

Andrew Gwynne MP joined the NEC to discuss the local election results. Continue reading

Increasing diversity in local government through extending the use of AWS

For the first time in Islington’s history, over 50 per cent of our councillors are women. This landmark achievement was the result of long-term measures and commitment to increasing diversity. This included significantly increasing the number of candidates selected by all-women shortlists (AWS), as well as a lot of hard work by our local campaign forum (LCF) and CLP women’s forums to identify, train and support talented people interested in local government.

Somewhat predictably, when we celebrated this achievement online we received a barrage of negative comments suggesting this was sexist to men, that identity politics is stupid and what really matters is selecting/electing the best person for the job.

A strong commitment to AWS is something that unites every Labour NEC member. Continue reading

Local Government Reps 2018 Annual NEC Report

The last 12 months have been very busy for Labour’s National Executive Committee. The sudden general election meant the years of work that usually go into selecting candidates and writing a manifesto had to be completed in weeks. We were proud of our role in drafting the 2017 manifesto, which showcased some popular policies pioneered by local Councils and presenting the country with Labour’s positive vision for Britain to counter Tory negativity and gloom.

The NEC also oversaw a leadership election in Scotland and a Deputy Leader election in Wales. We said goodbye to General Secretary Iain McNicol, who has always been a good friend to local government, and welcomed new GS Jennie Formby. We voted for Jennie and look forward to working with her to deliver the key priorities for the year ahead.

Priorities for the NEC following the snap general election last June have been: Continue reading

Making Islington a Fairer Place for All – 2018 Manifesto

Islington is a wonderful place, but we know that too many people struggle to have decent housing, are out of work and do not have the same chances in life as others.

We are committed to making our borough a fairer place for all by tackling these issues.

Our ‘Making Islington a Fairer Place for All’ manifesto for the 2018 local elections, which will take place on 3rd May 2018, sets out a radical agenda for the borough’s future.

Between 2018 and 2022, we will –

  • build at least 550 new council homes, as we deliver 1,900 new genuinely affordable homes by 2022, and crack down on rogue private landlords.
  • support another 4,000 local people into good quality jobs, guarantee support for young people to get apprenticeships and pay all Council staff at least the real London Living Wage.
  • give all young people in Islington the best start in life, guarantee 100 hours of work-related experience by 16 and invest in targeted support for those at risk of turning to crime.
  • save people money on the cost of living through Council-run energy provider Angelic Energy, protect free school meals for all primary and nursery school pupils and keep Council Tax below the London average.
  • still make a difference with less – despite massive cuts by the Tory Government to the Council, we will protect essential services like weekly bin collections, keep all libraries open and maintain support services for older residents.

Continue reading

Labour NEC Report – 20 March 2018

The Labour NEC met on 20 March. The main item of business was to elect a new General Secretary. There were also updates about the 2018 local elections and the usual reports and agenda items.

Thanking Iain McNicol

Jeremy Corbyn and the NEC sincerely thanked Iain McNicol for his work, friendship and service to the Labour Party. Everyone also thanked the outgoing members of staff. NEC members shared their warm memories of working together over the years. Jeremy made the point that we never really say goodbye to former members of staff as they remain important and active members of the Labour family and we will continue to work together for our shared values and goals. Iain reflected on his time as General Secretary, an eventful period that included two General Elections, two Referendums, two Labour Leadership elections and many important local elections. Key achievements included paying off all of Labour’s historic debt and the rapid growth in membership. Iain and the outgoing members of staff received a standing ovation from the NEC and the very best wishes for the future. Continue reading

Labour NEC Report – 6 March 2018

The NEC Equalities, Disputes and Organisational Committees met on 6 March 2018 to discuss a range of topics:

Increasing Diversity in local and national government

I recently blogged about ideas Labour are discussing to increase diversity in local government. This continues to be an important area of work for the NEC. We want our elected representatives to reflect our diverse communities and want to encourage more women, BAME, disabled, LGBT and working class people to stand for election at all levels of the party.

Labour will shortly be launching the Bernie Grant Initiative, a leadership and candidate training programme for BAME members similar to the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme. There will also be “Be a Councillor” events to encourage trade unionists, women, BAME members, disabled members, LGBT and young people to stand to be Councillors. I recently attended one of these events for GMB shop stewards in Liverpool – it was inspiring and exciting to meet so many excellent future candidates and Councillors.

Trans inclusion

The NEC Equalities Committee discussed the latest draft of the statement about trans inclusion in the Labour Party. Continue reading