Leeds North East CLP members have been denied the opportunity to hold a hustings and nominations meeting regarding the 2016 Labour leadership contest for unsatisfactory reasons.
Despite an email in July stating that a meeting would happen, on 3rd August the CLP secretary distributed an email to the membership – though it was not received by many – saying that due to certain factors, the LNE exec had come to the decision that LNE would not hold a nominations meeting.
The reasons given were that:
1) The NEC had suspended all party meetings. The clear dispensation from the NEC is that hustings and nomination meetings are allowed. This is explicit and has been happening in other constituencies across the country.
2) The constituency is still under special measures for membership and therefore would struggle to adhere to the 12th January freeze date for attendees. The Membersnet system, which is in use for all CLP matters, allows users to run a freeze date report. So a list would be available on the door for people to show their membership card/ID to be checked against. This would have to happen in any case, and has nothing to do with the special measures.
3) The result would not be binding and would be advisory only. Yes. That’s how these things work, as the exec will be aware from the hustings meeting held last August.
4) Branches had not had the opportunity to properly elect their delegates and inform the exec in the correct way therefore voting would not be fair.
The CLP has only seen it fit to implement the delegate voting system in recent, highly charged votes and has previously never bothered to do so, therefore undermining the decision making capabilities of the CLP over the last year. They could have also taken the decision to make this meeting an all-member meeting. Also, the CLP exec cancelled the July AGM in line with the NEC’s recommendations. However, branches will have already selected delegates in preparation for this in their own June and July meetings, and therefore there would be no problem here.
This decision not to hold a meeting follows an incident in the CLP’s June meeting whereby 2 different emergency motions submitted by members were blocked by the chair, who had opened the well-attended meeting with a disturbing warning that members were not to be abusive or use “the language of racism” in the meeting, despite there being absolutely no indication that any such discourse would happen.
It is also the understanding of some members that at least two members of the CLP exec were not consulted on this decision, therefore it is not binding and must be reviewed.
Some members of the CLP exec have continually abused their positions to silence the voices of the party membership and block debate on the most important process a political party can go through – the election of the party leader.
This petition calls on the CLP exec to overturn the undemocratic and unconstitutional decision explained in August 3rd’s email and to announce the time, date and location of the CLP’s hustings and nominations meeting in accordance with the necessary timetable – that is, to be hold before August 15th, with 1 week’s notice to members.
Sign the Petition