Tag Archives: labour party conference

Labour NEC Report – 18 September

The Labour NEC meeting on 18 September discussed matters relating to the 2018 Labour Party Conference, the Democracy Review and including rule changes to be voted on by delegates.

2018 Labour Party Conference (and lessons from last year)

The 2018 Labour Party Conference will be one of the biggest ever, with over 1600 delegates registered to attend and over 5,000 party members attending in other capacities. In total over 13,000 people have registered to attend. This year’s conference has exceeded all financial targets. Money generated can be invested in fighting elections and community organising.

I had the honour of being one of last year’s conference chairs. It was an amazing experience chairing such a well attended, enthusiastic conference. The record number of delegates did create some logistical issues. Continue reading

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Labour NEC Report – 23 January 2018

Leader’s Report

Jeremy Corbyn began his report by wishing Margaret Beckett a happy 75th birthday. He spoke about the 100th anniversary of the 1918 Representation of the People’s Act. He paid tribute to inspirational campaigners and activists who fought for universal suffrage. He noted that he spoke about his personal admiration for Mary Wollstonecraft in a recent BBC programme celebrating the centenary. Jeremy also noted that the NEC was over 50% female with a record number of BAME representatives. He spoke of Labour’s clear commitment to increasing diversity of our political representatives at both local and national levels.

Jeremy also talked about the NHS crisis, the subject of a recent party political broadcast. Jeremy also spoke about Carillion and how the subsequent collapse highlights the deep flaws in the Tory’s privatisation agenda. Jeremy described the scandal as a watershed moment in the relationship between public services and privatisation. Jeremy talked about Labour’s work preparing for government and setting out Labour’s positive vision for Britain. He talked about Brexit and the EU, as well as the damaging impact the roll out of universal credit has had on many communities.

Finally, Jeremy spoked about international human rights, refugees and forced migrants around the world. There are 66 million UN recognised refugees escaping conflict, environmental disasters and climate change. Jeremy said that Britain ought to be leading the world in supporting refugees and challenging the causes of the global migrant crisis such as inequality, poverty and climate change. Continue reading

NEC Report – Labour Party Conference 2016

Congratulations to Jeremey Corbyn

The NEC congratulated Jeremy Corbyn on his re-election as Labour Leader. Leadership elections are resource intensive and tiring for everyone. While there are always lessons to be learned on how any process like this is administered, we look forward to moving on, uniting behind Jeremy and campaigning on the issues that matter most to our communities. Preparing for a possible snap General Election is now also a top priority.

Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 policy pledges

The NEC unanimously agreed Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 policy pledges on topics like health, housing, education, protecting the environment and building a stronger economy and fairer society. You can read the full text online. Labour’s National Policy Forum will now consider how these pledges can be delivered, costed and form a General Election manifesto.

NEC Rule Changes

The NEC meeting on 20 September agreed a package of rule changes that were put to the 2016 Labour Party Conference. All but one rule change was unanimously agreed. There was a disagreement about the implementation of the one aspect of a rule changes in the devolution section. Everyone on the NEC supported giving Scottish and Welsh Labour more power, influence and autonomy. Currently the Leader of the Scottish and Welsh Labour Parties are able to attend NEC meetings but do not have full voting rights.img_4406

The new plans grant the Leaders (or someone they appoint from their front bench) full NEC membership and voting rights. This is a longstanding issue that for many years Scottish and Welsh Labour have campaigned for. In Scotland and Wales it is not viewed as a left/right issue. While Labour is in government Wales, we face enormous challenges in Scotland rebuilding the party and winning back trust. These new powers should help this important work and demonstrate how seriously we take winning back Scotland and supporting our government in Wales.

We also agreed to give more powers to Labour Women’s Conference, a change lead by Ann Black, Chair of the Gender Representation Party Reform work. This was welcomed across the party as an important step forward.

Party Reform: Support for Councillors

Last November, Labour started a process to reform our structures so we better reflect and represent our local communities. Continue reading

Making Labour’s Selections Fairer And More Transparent

lab-conference-2016Each year Labour’s governing body, the National Executive Committee, can propose changes to the party’s rules to be voted on at Labour Party Conference. Recently there has been increased interest in what any potential rule changes might be. People have speculated about whether these changes will be used to pursue various factional agendas or “settle scores”.

In reality, the rule changes we have spent the past year working on are designed to improve campaigning, communications and engagement through digital technology and Party Reform. Key areas identified for improvement have been increasing support for Councillors, responding to devolution and doing more to ensure our MPs, Councillors, PPC and Mayors reflect the diversity of the communities they represent.

Labour’s local government representatives play a huge part in our party, and the introduction of directly-elected mayors of Combined Authorities represent an exciting, new opportunity for us.

If elected, Labour’s new Metro Mayors will make a huge positive difference to their communities, building more housing, improving transport, education and more.

So far though, our high profile Mayoral candidates have been male. It is clear we need to do more to increase diversity in local government, including increasing the number of Labour’s female Councillors and women in leadership roles within local government. This involves identifying the barriers that prevent more women (and candidates from other under-represented groups) from standing for election and fulfilling their leadership potential, and working to remove these barriers.

Equally, we need to do much more to encourage more BAME, working class, LGBT and disabled people to stand for elected office.

New measures currently being discussed by the NEC include:

  • Expand the use of all women shortlists in local government selections.
  • Increase the training and targeting currently done for underrepresented groups in local government.
  • To support new Councillors, there will be more dedicated local government materials including a pack for new councillors.
  • Council and Group executives should reflect the gender makeup of their Groups and should reflect the wider community. If an executive does not reflect the makeup of their group, this could lead to disciplinary action.
  • Work to phase out all male member Council wards.

We are also discussing how local government should be better represented within the Party. Continue reading

Our 7,000 Councillors are leading the Labour fightback

I gave the following speech to the 2015 Labour Party Conference:

Our lives our defined by our work, the communities we come from and our most strongly held values and beliefs. Our lives are defied by the people and places we love. The Stronger, Safer Policy commission covers the issues at the heart of what matters to us most.

May’s General Election defeat was devastating. Some of us still feel in shock at the prospect of what another five year’s of a Conservative Government means for our communities.

Labour’s general election defeat has been particularly hard for all of us in local government. Councils have had their funding cut dramatically since the Tories came to power in 2010. These reckless cuts to Council budgets endanger vital public services. We must come together as a Labour movement to oppose them.

But despite the massive cuts to our budgets, Labour Councillors continue to make a huge positive difference to our communities. Continue reading

Joining the NEC at Labour Party Conference

Last week I attended the Labour Party Conference in Manchester. I arrived early on Saturday to take part in a training session for some of our fantastic new councillors in the North West. During the conference I met Ed Miliband’s office to discuss my priorities on the NEC. These are:

  • Campaigning to win next May’s General Election
  • Making the case for fairer funding and more powers for local government
  • Getting accountability for Councillor’s ALC subs

Continue reading

Letter to the Guardian: Labour must hold Trident debate now

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I co-signed the following letter published in today’s Guardian:

Many people would prioritise spending on health or education, on infrastructure, job creation or supporting the vulnerable rather than on replacing Britain’s Trident nuclear weapons. Others would argue that spending over £100bn on a cold war weapons system – rather than maintaining our troops or combating cyber warfare – is detrimental to the national interest. Many of us see that there is no strategic, economic or moral case for nuclear weapons, but others who think otherwise. It remains a controversial debate (Cheers in the sun as Obama promises nuclear cuts, 20 June). Continue reading