The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) is today writing to all constituency parties and supporters calling for nominations of six candidates for the six constituency party places on Labour’s National Executive (download leaflet here). The deadline for nominations is Friday 30 March 2012 and the all-member postal ballot will take place in May and June. This is an important election since, at the last election two years ago, the right-wing Progress and Labour First slate won three of the six places in spite of winning only 36% of the votes cast. In the absence of agreement on a centre-left slate, ten candidates on the Centre Left of the party won 53% of the vote but only three places. Non-aligned or self-described independents won almost 11%.
Since organisations across the centre-left of the party, under the auspices of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance, have not yet been able to agree six candidates, they have resolved to let constituency parties resolve the issue themselves. The Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance will support three women candidates and whichever three of the four men seeking nominations who win most nominations. All the candidates will also back the constituency parties’ choice of six.
The CLPD is asking for nominations for the following:
Ann Black, former Chair of the NEC and NEC member since 2000. She is secretary of Oxford East CLP and a member of UNISON’s National Labour Link committee. She reports back here. Membership No: A35389
Ken Livingstone, current NEC member and candidate for Mayor of London. As well as being the former Mayor and Leader of the Greater London Council, he was MP for Brent East. His current campaign website is here. Membership No: A08022
Kate Osamor, a Community organiser in Tottenham. She is Chair of a School Governing Body, and an activist in her union, Unite, the Coop and her constituency party. Membership No: L0121033
Christine Shawcroft, NEC member since 1999. She is Secretary of Nottingham South CLP and her own branch and has previously been leader of a council Labour Group and PPC for Meriden. She is a regular columnist at Labour Briefing. Membership No: A490373
Darren Williams, member of Labour’s National Policy Forum and candidate for the Welsh Executive. He is Secretary of Welsh Labour Grassroots, the Centre-Left group in Wales that won every seat on the National Policy Forum at the last election. As an official of the civil service union, PCS, in Cardiff, he is in the forefront of the campaign to defend pensions. Membership No: A024240
Peter Willsman, first elected to NEC in 1998 after 16 years on the Conference Arrangements & National Constitutional Committees. He was his Union branch secretary for 18 years (GMB/APEX) and a Coop Area Committee/Party Council member for 22 years. He is Secretary of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and lives in Oxford. Membership No: A071448
The Labour Representation Committee (LRC) is calling for nominations for Christine Shawcroft and Gary Heather, the two candidates who received the most support at hustings they held at their AGM in London last November.
Gary Heather is Chair of Islington North CLP and was, until recently, a member of the CWU executive. He is also President of Islington Trades Council and was a PPC at the last election in Tunbridge Wells. He has previously stood for election to the conference arrangements committee with the enthusiastic backing of the CLGA.
Of these seven candidates, therefore, all three women be be backed by the CLGA in the election. Ken Livingstone is a sitting candidate and, as a prominent national figure, is thought likely to receive the most nominations amongst the others. Pete Willsman was the highest placed non-elected male candidate last time and, having served on the executive for so many years, is thought to have the best chance of winning an extra place this time.
CLPD is backing Gary to be a constituency party representative for London on the national policy forum but wanted to ensure that there was better representation of the other nations and English Regions on the national executive. The LRC is also keen to see wider geographical representation but, since Darren Williams had not decided to stand at the time of their hustings, felt bound to support the two who had done so and had the most support.
The matter will be resolved by the nomination process. All organisations and candidates involved have agreed to abide by the outcome and there will therefore be an agreed slate of six centre-left candidates before the election takes place.