Labour First welcomes the announcement of the reform proposals that will be put to the Special Conference on 1st March. We are encouraging delegates to support the package of changes at the Conference.
We are pleased that aspects of our own submission were accepted and recognise that the proposals inevitably involve a degree of compromise in order to get consensus support from across the Party and its stakeholders.
We are delighted that a mechanism has been found that enables the collective affiliation of trade unions and socialist societies to be maintained alongside the introduction of the principle of consent for individual members of affiliates paying affiliation fees to the Labour Party.
We welcome the fact that all candidates in leadership elections will now be able to contact all eligible voters and that the Labour Party will be able to communicate directly with affiliated members, involve them in campaigning and other local activities, and hopefully encourage them to take up individual membership.
We are pleased that our concerns about the potential risks of primary elections leading to a “big money” aspect to candidate selection have been reflected and that the London Mayor selection will be based on the same principles as the leadership ballots. We also welcome the thinking that is going on around fairness and spending limits in all selections, though we hope further work will be done on the detail around this.
We regret that the opportunity has not been taken to equalise the number of CLP and trade union representatives on the NEC and to regionalise the CLP representation. Members, who are the backbone of our campaigning, remain under-represented on the Party’s National Executive, and the regions are also likely to remain under-represented. We will continue to make the case for this change.
In any areas where we have specific concerns around detail, reducing risks and technical issues, such as the proposed short-listing process for London Mayor, we will be raising them with Lord Collins and the Labour Party.
Keith Dibble, Chair
Luke Akehurst, Secretary