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Support Katy Clark and Jon Lansman for the Conference Arrangements Committee

Clark & Lansman for CAC v1Although most Labour Party members are now focused mainly on working for a Labour victory in the general election, there are some important internal party elections shortly after 7 May. Since the closing date for nominations in those elections is 10 June and many constituency parties won’t even have a cycle of meetings before that date, many are considering their nominations now and readers of Left Futures need to know who is standing from Labour’s Centre-Left for the positions up for election.

There are three important national committees on which constituency party representatives are up for election:

  • the conference arrangements committee (CAC) which is the body that is supposed to oversee the agenda of annual conference which under the party’s rules is its sovereign body. Although conference is an important showpiece for the party, it should also be its main forum for debate and decision-making. In recent years, the CAC has allowed party managers to rule out far too many constituency motions, and amendments to party rules, leaving delegates as little more than spectators at their own conference. For the last two years, the two places reserved for local parties (out of seven) have been held by two whips appointed by the leader after an election whose results were challenged because a number of party officials tried to improperly influence how delegates voted in contravention of the staff code of conduct. Although we are not satisfied with the investigation of the complaints, the NEC did agree autumn to support rule changes based on proposals by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy for future elections to be one-member-one-vote ballots of all party members, and to bar frontbench MPs or whips from standing. This is the first election that will take place on the new basis.
  • the national policy forum (NPF) is the 200-strong body that draws up the statements of party policy which are put to conference for approval in the final year before the election and serve as the basis of the manifesto. Constituency parties have 55 representatives on this body, 5 from each region including one young member (gender-balancing requirements) who are also elected by one-member-one-vote ballots of all party members (a rule change introduced in very similar circumstances five years ago against the wishes of party managers).
  • the national constitutional committee which is in effect the party’s final court of appeal on discipliniary matters. This year, one reprentative of constituency parties will be elected by a vote of conference delegates.

The Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance which represents a number of regional and national organisations on the centre-left of the party, is backing Katy Clark (MP for North Ayrshire and Arran) and Jon Lansman (editor of Left Futures) for the two conference arrangements committee places and Gary Heather for the national constitutional committee. We do not yet have a final list of those seeking nominations for national policy forum but anyone wanting information about which centre-left candidates are standing should contact me (Peter Willsman) by leaving a message on 01865 244459 (since I’m almost always already on the phone) or emailing me.

I had previously intended to stand for the CAC myself alongside Katy Clark, as I did two years ago, and did write to constituency parties asking if they would consider nominating me. However, after the General Election, it now seems most likely that I will have the privilege of becoming a member of the NEC. This is because the wonderful Kate Osamor has been chosen as the PPC for Edmonton and in the event of her election to parliament will no longer be a member of the NEC as MPs cannot be members of the CLP section. As the runner up in the NEC ballot I therefore will take Kate’s place on the NEC, and Kate will be a superb MP.

Given these circumstances I decided to withdraw from the CAC Election and would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. As an NEC member I will post regular reports on this website as well as circulating them to CLP Secretaries. My close colleague Jon Lansman is therefore standing for the CAC in my place. alongside Katy Clark. Like Katy, Jon would be indefatigable in defending the rights of CLPs and their delegates. I would urge your CLP to give serious consideration to nominating Jon.

Jon Lansman and Katy Clark have written asking CLPs to nominate them for the CAC. Click here to download Katy’s letter to CLPs; and Jon’s; and letters of support from Pete Willsman and the CLGA. The NEC has confirmed that each CLP can make two nominations for the CAC (not one as had been previously advised). The nomination deadline is 10 June, and we understand CAC ballot papers will go to all members early in July together with those for the NPF and, for those living in London, the Mayoral selection (closing date of ballots 29 July). Gary Heather has also written to all CLP secretaries, asking CLPs to nominate him for the NCC. The NCC election is by conference delegates. Click here to download Gary’s letter.

Peter Willsman is secretary of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy


  1. Robert says:

    Go for it somebody from the left should be holding down positions, nice to see less Progress types within the NEC sadly Progress are more interested in getting MP’s now.

    1. John reid says:

      It’s alright Robert, non progress people like ken livingstone aren’t intersting who becomes the Mp, as they back non labour members like Luftur Rahman, when the labour one isn’t the one like

  2. John reid says:

    I know Roberts not a labour party supporter ,so he can spend time commenting
    But why are you wasting time on this ,when the election, is what counts, just putting the fact it’s not important as its at the beginning of the Article, doesn’t deflect the fact, that it’s still wasting time

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