The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy is circulating this suggested wording about the rule change on selections passed at Brighton Labour Party conference, 25-29 Sep 2021.
To: Labour Party NEC
This CLP notes:
1) Labour’s Annual Conference is the sovereign body of the Labour Party. The Rule Book, Chapter 1.VI.1 clearly states: “The work of the Party shall be under the direction and control of Party conference”;
2) the composition of shortlisting panels for snap parliamentary elections was agreed by Labour’s 2021 Annual Conference as: 3 CLP reps, plus 1 NEC rep and 1 REC rep;
3) despite this, the Party assembled a shortlisting panel for the Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election selection comprising of: 3 NEC reps, plus 1 CLP rep and 1 REC rep;
4) the justification for not following the rule agreed by Annual Conference, according to a report on Labour List, is that the new rule was “inexpertly drafted”;
5) the Party employs staff to advise on “technical” matters and in the past, if HQ has considered something was ‘poorly drafted’ staff would have advised the CLP before Annual Conference;
6) whether the drafting was carried out “expertly” or not, the intention of the rule was clear to Conference and remains clear now.
We support the decision of Annual Conference and believe that CLPs should play the key role in selecting their parliamentary candidates.
Accordingly, this CLP calls on the NEC not to overturn party democracy and instead to respect the decision of Conference that the composition of shortlisting panels should be: 3 CLP reps, plus 1 NEC rep and 1 REC rep.