Labour First statement following Leadership Election

Labour First did not support Jeremy Corbyn and our concerns about the impact of his political positions and even more, those of some of his supporters, on Labour’s electability are profound.

Of course we will work with him and the Shadow Cabinet to oppose the relentless Tory assault on workers’ rights and benefits.

However, one election does not change the position of the party any more than if one party wins the US Presidency the other party does not stop contesting the House, Senate and States.

Accordingly, we will continue to work to maximise the representation of moderate voices at every level in Labour’s structures. We will oppose policy changes where we think these take Labour away from the views held by ordinary voters. We will oppose any constitutional changes that are designed to give a partisan advantage to the Hard Left within the party. We will oppose any moves to deselect moderate MPs or councillors.



Voting Guide

Here are Labour First’s recommendations for moderate candidates to support in the current Labour Party ballot:

Labour First’s position remains that there are prominent supporters of Labour First backing each of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. We clearly do not share Jeremy Corbyn’s politics and believe these would destroy Labour’s chances of electability. Because Labour uses a preferential voting system we would encourage supporters of Andy, Yvette and Liz to transfer votes to each other. Make sure you use all three of your 1st, 2nd and 3rd preference votes.
Deputy Leader
For the Deputy Leadership, none of the candidates are problematic but Tom Watson has a particularly long-standing connection to Labour First and has spoken at our events.

Conference Arrangements Committee (2 places)
Michael Cashman
Gloria De Piero MP

National Policy Forum (4 seats plus youth rep per region)

East of England
Sandy Martin
Alex Mayer
Stacey Nash
James Valentine
Youth Rep: Tom Maisey

East Midlands
Rufia Ashraf
Natalie Fleet
Andrew Furlong
Mark Glover
Youth Rep: Christian Weaver

Unmesh Desai
Alon Or-Bach
Nicky Gavron
Fiona Twycross
Youth Rep: Jack Falkingham

Nick Forbes
Nick Wallis
Brynnen Ririe
Helen Hughes

North West
Zahid Chauhan
James Frith
Joanne Harding
Anne Trafford
Youth rep: Jasmin Beckett

Gemma Doyle
Jamie Glackin
Cat Headley
Katrina Murray
Youth rep: Katie Dearden

South East
Duncan Enright
Victoria Grouleff
Naushabah Khan
Martin Phillips
Youth Rep: Helena Dollimore

South West
Keir Singh Dhillon
Joanne McCarron
Mark Dempsey
Brenda Weston
Youth Rep: Sarah Staples

Chris Elmore
Anthony Hunt
Jen Smith
Mary Wimbury
Youth Rep: Martha O’Neill

West Midlands
Christopher Bloore
Mariam Khan
Trudie McGuiness
Jackie Taylor

Nikki Belfield
Rory Bickerton
Jayne Hill
Adam Wilkinson
Youth Rep: Josh Molloy

ALC Reps on NPF

Richard Watts


An Open Letter to Progress

To: John Woodcock MP and Richard Angel

Dear John and Richard,

We are writing to you as Chair and Director of Progress.

We appreciate the experience of working with you for many years now to jointly promote moderate candidates in internal Labour Party elections for the NEC and NPF etc.

The current challenge for the leadership by Jeremy Corbyn represents the most serious threat of a Hard Left victory in the Labour Party since Labour First initially helped deal with this phenomenon 30 years ago.

Within Labour First we have high profile supporters of each of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. As individuals we are working hard for our preferred candidates but collectively Labour First is very publicly calling on people to use their second and third preference votes for the other two mainstream candidates to stop Corbyn winning.

We know that Progress has decided to support Liz Kendall and respect that this is the view of your Strategy Board.

However, we are concerned that you have not recommended use of second and third preferences to stop Corbyn and that some individual members of your Strategy Board are suggesting not using their second or third votes.

We are therefore writing to ask you to consider helping us demonstrate the unity of moderate and mainstream forces in the Labour Party and the strategic priority of stopping a Corbyn victory by amending your position slightly so that as well as continuing to support Liz you join us in recommending people use their second and third preference votes for the other mainstream candidates.

Best wishes,

Luke Akehurst, Secretary, Labour First
Keith Dibble, Chair, Labour First
Rt Hon John Spellar MP

Labour First welcomes Party reform proposals

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