Tag Archives: politics

Labour NEC Report – 19 May

Labour’s national executive committee met via Zoom today. The NEC thanked outgoing general secretary Jennie Formby for her service.

Leader’s report

Keir Starmer talked about his work holding the government to account during the Covid-19 pandemic. He talked about Labour’s work challenging the government on a range of key issues, including selective use of statistics, the furlough and self-employment scheme and lack of personal protective equipment for key workers. Keir talked about 40% of Covid deaths being in care homes, where the crisis has been absolutely shocking. Keir talked about how Labour is pressing the government hard on safety in the work place, transport and schools. Labour is doing a wide consultation with trade union and local government to ensure the experiences of the pandemic across the UK are reflected and raised.

Keir has been holding virtual meetings around the country with local communities. These have included a number of open meetings with local people, including current and former Labour voters, to listen and rebuild trust. The first meetings took place in Bury and Tees valley.

The NEC then asked questions on a range of issues, including: uniting party, Kashmir, the urgent need for financial support for local government, Covid-19, deaths in care homes, support for renters, reopening schools, surveillance testing and contact tracing, the impact of the pandemic on mental health, party discipline, safety of bus workers and other transport workers, the impact of Covid on BAME communities, funding for TFL, the economy, the importance of resisting future austerity and digital inclusion.

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What is the Labour NEC and what does it do?

As well as electing a new Labour leader and deputy leader, members have elected two new constituency reps to the national executive committee. BAME members and trade unionists also elected a new BAME rep to the NEC.

Labour’s NEC is made up of representatives from different stakeholder groups – including members, trade unions, the shadow cabinet, backbench MPs, local government, socialist societies, Scotland and Wales, as well as the leader, deputy leader and treasurer of the Labour Party. The NEC is the governing body of the Labour Party. So, what does it do?

Governance

NEC members hold an important role in holding the general secretary and party leadership to account. This can lead to uncomfortable and difficult conversations in meetings that can be tense (and long!). Recently the mood on the NEC has been constructive and collaborative, with the scrutiny function remaining important. Typical areas of discussion include strategy, campaigning, messaging and resource allocation.

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Labour NEC Report – Tuesday 24 March

In his final report, Jeremy spoke about Covid-19 and how we are living through unprecedented times unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. He spoke about the need for strong action to slow the spread of the virus and support the country, and about how the impact will be particularly felt by those with the least resources.

Jeremy has been in lengthy discussions with the Prime Minister. The government has seemed behind the curve in responding to the outbreak, which has also highlighted issues of poor quality housing, overcrowding and low-paid and insecure work. Jeremy also reflected on his time as leader of the Labour Party and the changes that have occurred during his leadership. National executive committee (NEC) members thank Jeremy, with some members paying emotional tributes to him and his leadership.

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Labour NEC Report – July 2019

Leader’s Report

Jeremy Corbyn gave the Leader’s Report. Jeremy talked about the importance of campaigning against a no-deal Tory Brexit. Labour believes that the public should vote on any no deal/Tory Brexit and have the final say. Jeremy spoke about the importance of preventing a hard border in Northern Ireland. He also praised the work of Labour MPs in securing rights to abortions and gay marriage in Northern Ireland.

Labour will table a confidence vote in the government when the time is right to ensure a vote will have the greatest chance of success. The NEC is very aware an election could come at any time so we all need to be ready with candidates in place and active local campaigns.

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“Two of our Councillors has their cars set on fire…”

“Two of our Councillors had their cars set on fire, totally burned out” one Councillor leader told the LGA Labour Group, as we discussed the rise in abuse faced by elected representatives.

Dramatic as it seems, everyone had a story from their patch. Threats of violence, rape threats, death threats, bricks through windows, stalking, sexual harassment, Councillors attacked at their ward surgeries and more. This kind of abuse can have a damaging impact on people’s mental and physical health and can also have a negative impact on people’s families and personal relationships. While it certainly isn’t the day to day experience for most of the UKs thousands of Councillors, it is a very worrying trend. Any instances of violence and intimidation are completely unacceptable and too many Councillors had experienced this first hand.

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Labour NEC Report – January 2019

Brexit

Richard Corbett gave the EPLP Report, with a detailed update on Brexit and the mood in the European Parliament. The NEC considered practical issues that might arise if the deadline for leaving the EU is extended, including possible European Parliamentary elections and candidate selections. Jeremy Corbyn gave a further update in his Leader’s Report. There was a discussion about Brexit and various scenarios that could arise (the most preferable being a General Election). The MPs on the NEC had to leave the meeting early to take part in important Brexit votes. Jeremy pointed out how the Labour amendments reflect the position as agreed by Conference.

Membership

Labour membership continues to be over 500,000. Membership has being stable for several years. Continuing to engage all members, retain members and reach out to new members of members that have lapsed, is a key priority.

Preparing for a snap General Election

Labour has stepped up preparations for a snap General Election should one take place. It was agreed that all the selections should be completed as soon as possible in every seat in the country (and not just the key marginal seats). The NEC also discussed the importance of our parliamentary candidates reflecting the diversity of the UK.

In his Report Tom Watson asked about the process for trigger ballots for current MPs. He encouraged the NEC to consider and agree the process and timetable.

Police and Crime Commissioners, Metro Mayors and the London Assembly

The NEC agreed the process for selections and reselections of Police and Crime Commissioners, Metro Mayors and the London Assembly. There was consensus that the NEC would like Labour to stand candidates that reflect the UK population, including more women and BAME candidates standing for be Mayors and PCCs. I also raised the importance of realistic spending limits for the selections so a wide variety of candidates can afford to stand.

Baby Leave

An impressive number of Councils are passing motions to give Councillors parental leave. The LGA Labour Women’s Leadership Taskforce has developed a model baby Leave motion – if your Council does not have any parental leave provisions please encourage your Councillors to bring this to their Labour Group and Full Council. Further information is available at https://www.local.gov.uk/lga-labour/about-us/parental-leave-policy-councillors.

Local Election Campaign

Important local government elections are taking place this May. This includes 33 Metropolitan districts, 168 District authorities and 47 unitaries. There are Mayoral elections in Bedford, Copeland, Leicester, Mansfield and Middlesborough, as well as the North of Tyne Metro Mayor Election. Labour is also using the local elections to build support in key parliamentary seats.

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