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Urgent need to defend Labour Party democracy – #GrassrootsVoice candidates

To be an effective, fighting opposition to the Tories & to win a transformative Labour Government, real party democracy & the rights of members to discuss important matters & hold the leadership to account is absolutely crucial.”

#GrassrootsVoice NEC candidates.

By our Labour Party Correspondent.

This weekend the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance #GrassrootsVoice candidates for Labour’s NEC have issued the following statement on the need to urgently defend Party democracy. The statement reads, “Members are the beating heart of this party and defending their interests is a central motivation for all of us to stand as the Grassroots Voice candidates for the NEC. If Labour is to be a vibrant, democratic party, we have to ensure that our members’ voices are at the core of policy making and the functioning of our party.

We are therefore alarmed to hear of attempts to limit the political discussion of members in their own Constituency Labour Party’s (CLPs). We fully support left NEC members, who have written to the General Secretary raising their concerns.

To be an effective, fighting opposition to the Tories and to win a transformative Labour Government, real party democracy and the rights of members to discuss important matters and hold the leadership to account is absolutely crucial.”

Their statement follows a letter from six current NEC members (Yasmine Dar, Huda Elmi, Rachel Garnham, Ann Henderson, Jon Lansman and Darren Williams) to the new Party General Secretary David Evans which expresses “deep concern about the tone and some of the content of your latest email to CLP secretaries, dated 12 August.”

The signatories make the important point that they “believe that it is outside the rulebook for the General Secretary to tell CLPs what political topics they can and can’t discuss and sends completely the wrong message in a democratic socialist party,” adding that “Of course CLPs are subject to the rulebook, but there is no serious explanation about why discussions on the topics noted are outside of competent business – if there is legal advice it needs to be published in detail, including the potential risk to CLP officers of legal action, so that an informed decision can be made.”

It also adds that “to be able to participate in political discussion and hold elected representatives, including the NEC and its General Secretary, to account is absolutely fundamental to a democractic socialist party, and anything else sets a very dangerous precedent.”

  • For party democracy, socialist policies and a transformative Labour Government, please support the #GrassrootsVoice NEC candidates – Gemma Bolton – Membership Number L1405940, Yasmine Dar – L1173052, Ann Henderson – A279236, Nadia Jama – L1486115, Laura Pidcock – L0086386 and Mish Rahman – L0137964 – you can see more info here.

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