Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tackling anti-Semitism: Report from special Labour NEC Equalities Committee meeting

anti-semitism-report-330x440A special meeting of the NEC equalities committee took place on Monday to discuss tackling anti-Semitism and other abusive behaviour. Labour has a proud tradition of fighting racism and standing up for equality. The NEC and Labour leadership is committed to tackling all forms of bullying and harassment and improving our own internal complaints and disciplinary processes.

The growth in social media has also sadly lead to a rise in abusive behaviour online. Jeremy Corbyn told the meeting that online abuse is as unacceptable as abuse in any other forum, and possibly worse because the abuse is often very public. Labour has devised a new social media code of conduct for members to help address this.

Labour is reviewing our complaints and disciplinary processes to make things as clear, quick, fair, transparent and accessible as possible. Labour also welcomed and agreed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism, which Theresa May announced the UK government will sign up to: Continue reading

Labour’s National Policy Forum: How it works and how you can get involved

Alice Perry, the Labour national executive committee (NEC) member for local government, has written a preview of the national policy forum (NPF) which is happening this weekend:

What is the National Policy Forum?

Labour’s National Policy Forum plays a key role in drafting policy documents, which are agreed by Labour Party Conference and form the basis of the Party’s General Election Manifesto. The NPF is responsible for ensuring the Labour’s policy direction reflects the broad consensus in the party.

Who is on the NPF?

The NPF includes representatives of CLPs and regions, councillors, affiliated trade unions and socialist societies, the PLP, the EPLP and other stakeholder groups within the Party. Current NPF members are listed online. Members of the NEC are also automatically members of the NPF.

How does the NPF work?

The NPF has a number of Policy Commissions that review various policy areas. The eight current Policy Commissions are: Continue reading

Labour NEC Report – September 2016

Leader’s Report

Jeremy Corbyn gave the Leader’s report. He talked about his work to make politics more engaging. He welcomed the increase in Labour Party membership and talked about the positive difference new members could make, particularly in parts of the country where Labour has not traditionally been active. He thanked Labour Party staff for their continued hard work. He spoke about the importance of uniting the party after the leadership election. He thanked the NEC for all their work on Party Reform and welcomed discussions about shadow cabinet elections. He also touched on a range of topics including Orgreave, tackling anti-Semitism, workplace 2020, economic development, Brexit, Post Office closures and justice for blacklisted workers. He took questions on government education policy, grammar schools, tackling bullying and harassment, recent TV documentaries, 2017 elections, gender based violence in the UK and internationally, devolution, preparing for a snap general election, Lords Reform and Labour’s constitutional convention. The NEC endorsed Jeremy’s comments on support for staff. The NEC also agreed that after the leadership election people must put aside their differences and unite to form a credible and effective opposition.

Deputy Leader’s Report

Tom Watson’s report covered a range of areas. He introduced a new safeguarding policy for young members, agreed a social media code of conduct to tackle online abuse, talked about the significant improvements Labour is making to digital campaigning, training new community organisers and Party Reform.

The NEC agreed a number of key rule changes and new guidance notes to be put to Labour Party Conference this weekend:

New Powers for Women’s Conference

The NEC agreed to establish a formal policy-making Women’s Conference. Important campaigns on issues like the minimum wage, the Living wage, fairer pensions, affordable childcare and protecting the NHS have been supported and driven by women in the Labour movement at Women’s conference. The exact details have yet to be finalised but this commitment was welcomed by everyone as an important step forward.

Support for Councillors

It was very positive that the NEC supported my Local Government Party Reform Paper, with recommendations to make our processes and procedures fairer and more transparent, increase diversity and better support Councillors. Thank you to the thousands of Councillors over the past year who contributed to the consultation and final report.

New changes to guidance includes: Continue reading

Standing up for Councillors on Labour’s NEC

Campaigning in Thurrock

Alice Perry, Tom Copley and Labour activists campaigning in Thurrock

I joined Labour’s NEC as a local government representative in September 2014 and have been working tirelessly to make sure Councillors voices are heard at the top of the party.

Opposing cuts to local government and standing up for Councillors

This is a challenging time for local government. The Tories continue to make massive cuts to Council budgets. It is important that Labour is vocal and effective in opposing these disgraceful, damaging Tory cuts, while at the same time emphasising about the amazing, positive difference Labour Councillors make to our communities.

Throughout the UK our Councillors demonstrate the difference voting Labour makes. Councillors are proud of our role in the Labour Party and everything we contribute, particularly our contributions to election campaigning and the Party’s finances. Our 7,000 Labour Councillors are leading the electoral fight-back. It is important that within the Party we get the respect we deserve.

Equally, Labour Councillors should not be unfairly blamed for the Tory cuts to local government. I have worked constructively with colleagues from across the Party to secure support for Councillors in our budget setting processes, including statements of support from Jeremy Corbyn, Jon Trickett and John McDonnell.

Improving campaigning, communications and engagement and more support for Councillors

The NEC is currently reviewing how we can improve campaigning, communications and engagement through digital technology and party reform. Party reform includes reforming local and national party structures, improving equality and diversity of representation, reviewing our policy making, campaigning and organising, providing greater support for Councillors and responding to the devolution agenda.

Deputy Leader Tom Watson is leading this work via the NEC Party Reform working group. I am co-chairing the Support for Councillors and Devolution strands and, if re-elected, will be able to continue this vital work and drive through the changes in the Labour Party that Councillors deserve.

The Party Reform work I am co-chairing recognises the vital role Councillors play. Key issues we are addressing includes: Continue reading

Local Government and Shadow Cabinet Response to the CSR

IMG_5730-0.JPGFollowing a meeting in November to discuss the impact of the Government’s spending review between John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor, Lilian Greenwood MP Shadow Secretary of State for Transport and senior local government leaders; Joe Anderson Mayor of Liverpool, Steve Bullock Mayor of Lewisham, Graham Chapman Deputy Leader of Nottingham, Richard Leese Leader of Manchester, Kieran Quinn Leader of Tameside, Sharon Taylor Leader of Stevenage and Anne Western Leader of Derbyshire, the Labour MPs and Council Leaders released a joint statement, saying:

“Labour councils and councillors across the country have and will continue to innovate, run their authorities well and to do everything possible to defend local communities, protect those who rely on public services and, unlike the government, continue to set balanced budgets. Labour councils have led the way in driving economic growth, creating jobs and building homes.

“The Government’s cuts to funding for local councils are tearing apart the fabric of our local communities. Continue reading

The lessons Labour councillors have learned from May’s defeat

Vote LabourJust two months ago Labour suffered the worst general election defeat in a generation. While Labour did very well in large cities, particularly in London, the North West and Yorkshire, it was a very different story in other parts of England, Wales and, of course, Scotland.

So what went wrong? Why were the results so varied across the country? Why did Labour fail to win seats from the Tories? Why did Labour voters switch support to UKIP and the SNP in such large numbers?

To answer these questions and more the Labour Party established a Taskforce to consider the lessons we can learn for the future. As an NEC Local Government representative on the Taskforce, I have been collecting the feedback and views from local Councillors.

There are almost 7,000 Labour Councillors and they have a wide range of different local experiences and political views. Over 1,000 Councillors have responded so far and a number of common themes have come up frequently. I’ve summarised them below: Continue reading

Are you interested in standing for election?

Our politicians should reflect the communities we represent. It is particularly important to encourage traditionally under-represented groups to stand for election including women, BAME and working class candidates.

I am chairing an event for women who are interesting in finding out more about standing or election/becoming a Councillor at Islington Town Hall. Continue reading