Labour right seek to curtail council selections and leadership electorate

The FixersLabour First calls itself the voice of Labour’s “moderates” dedicated to keeping the party “safe from the organised hard left, and those who seek to divert us from the work of making life better for ordinary working people and their families.” Yesterday its secretary, Labour national executive candidate Luke Akehurst, announced in a letter to supporters  that it is setting up local groups across the country. Unlike Momentum, whose local groups have a public campaigning role and seek to bring new members into the party, Labour First‘s objectives are purely factional – euphemistically explained as “a space where Labour moderates can meet up informally and build networks with like-minded people.”

It also announced that it intends to promote dramatic changes to Labour’s rule book to: Continue reading

Putting Labour first: time to stop the party tearing itself apart

o0qghvLike Fight Club, the first rule of Labour First (the voice of Labour “moderates”) is to not talk about Labour First. Or at least it used to be. Pulling up outside the Brandhall Labour Club in Oldbury yesterday morning, conference-goers were treated to banners festooned with the Labour First logo and reminders everywhere about its hashtag. If that wasn’t enough, these days even Corbyn-critical lefts like me get invited. Assembled comrades included national secretary, Luke Akehurst, and parliamentary stalwart, John Spellar, a smattering of MPs and MEPs old and new, about 150 or so attendees, and the recently back-benched Michael Dugher, who was present to give the keynote. Continue reading

There is a concerted ‘Anyone but Corbyn’ campaign organised by the Labour right

Labour Leadership Candidates and now they are 4_edited-1The story of the Labour leadership election has moved firmly from which of the four possible contenders could win, to whether or not it could be Jeremy Corbyn – and how to stop him. For many on Labour’s self-proclaimed ‘moderate’, austerity-backing wing of the party, this has become an all out campaign to stop Jeremy winning – and all the dirty tricks are coming out.

Labour First activist and blogger, Luke Akehurst, whose views and politics we have reported on before, sent an email in which he outlined Labour First’s campaign to fight Corbyn. He has also tweeted, “Labour First is fighting to stop nightmare of a Corbyn leadership.” Continue reading

Will the Labour Right maintain its unholy alliance in internal elections?

NEC electionsToday saw nominations close for Progress members wishing to stand for Labour’s national executive in 2014 to apply for the organisation’s endorsement. In a process designed to convey the appearance of transparency and internal democracy, the strategy board invented last year for the same purpose will meet shortly to select two or three candidates who Progress will back alongside the two sitting Labour First members.

This is a significant departure from previous years when organising the right wing slate was a fairly simple process. It was decided by two people. Continue reading

Why a Blairite party-within-a-party is a structural obstacle to Labour’s revival

In the face of defeat in Bradford, Ed Miliband has recognised that Labour needs “real, deep, genuine change” to reconnect with the 5 million voters lost under New Labour. At the same time, Labour right-wingers like Luke Akehurst express “disgust that other Labour members can put aside loyalty to their party to express solidarity not only with the voters of Bradford West who rejected Labour but even with Respect leader Salma Yaqoob. They fail to recognise that what prevents others feeling the tribal loyalty they espouse is the very same barrier that is preventing Labour breaking through to regain the support of its lost core voters. And it is Blairism. Continue reading