Islington North CLP rejects “NEC’s undue interference” as Corbyn blocked as candidate by Starmer – left urged to rally support


“We reject the NEC’s undue interference in Islington North, which undermines our goal of defeating the Conservatives and working with our communities for social justice”

Islington North CLP

By Labour Outlook

Today, Labour’s NEC shamefully voted to block Jeremy Corbyn from being Labour’s candidate in Islington North, in a motion proposed by Keir Starmer and seconded by Shabana Mahmoud, the party’s national campaign coordinator.

The motion was rightly opposed by the “Grassroots Four” left CLP delegates, Mish Rahman, Gemma Bolton, Yasmin Dar and Jess Barnard, alongside disabled member’s representative, Ellen Morrison, Ann Black, and representatives from Unite, FBU, CWU, ASLEF and TSSA – but unfortunately passed, 22 votes to 12.

Responding to the news, Islington North Constituency Labour Party issued the following statement:

“‘Local Party members should select their candidates for every election’”

“The officers of Islington North CLP strongly support this statement from Keir Starmer in February 2020’

“We believe in the democratic rights of all constituency parties to choose their prospective parliamentary candidate. Therefore we reject the NEC’s undue interference in Islington North, which undermines our goal of defeating the Conservatives and working with our communities for social justice.”

Reporting the decision, Owen Jones said, “Jeremy Corbyn’s local party denounces being prevented from having the right to reselect him,” and added that “this attack on democracy has been led by Keir Starmer, who promised Labour members could always select their candidates – and called Corbyn a friend – when he stood for Labour leader.”

Rallying to support the CLP, John McDonnell wrote “with the election in 18 months we need a united party to win a Labour government. This decision will be seen as divisive & brutal, victimising someone who has given his life to our movement. We need a campaign in CLPs & affiliates to reverse this decision.”

The campaigning group, Momentum, were unequivocal – “we condemn this anti-democratic stitch-up in the strongest possible terms. Keir Starmer was elected on a pledge to end NEC stitch-ups and let local members decide their candidates. Yet at a stroke his paper bans a former Party leader from seeking the Labour nomination in a constituency he has won ten times and represented for over forty years. This unjust decision drives a massive wedge within the Labour Party and risks alienating the millions of people, especially young people, who were energised by Jeremy’s socialist politics.”

Matt Willgress, National Organiser of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, added “In recent months, hundreds of thousands of workers have taken industrial action against the Tory offensive on our jobs and livelihoods. Jeremy Corbyn has stood with them on picket lines in Islington North and across the country, yet again representing the interests of the people of Islington North as he has done tirelessly for 40 years.

This disgraceful decision to deny Islington North CLP the right to decide its own candidate must be reversed.”

Co-chair of the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy Rachel Garnham said “This decision is a huge affront to Labour Party democracy and the right of members to select the candidates of their choice. Jeremy widens the Party’s electoral appeal and it was good that more CLP & TU reps voted against than voted for. The Party needs to listen to members and trade unions.”

In addition to McDonnell, other Socialist Campaign Group MPs outlined their support for member-led democracy, with Richard Burgon saying “today’s NEC decision denies Islington North CLP members their democratic right to choose the parliamentary candidate they want. Well done to Unite, CWU, ASLEF, FBU, TSSA and all the NEC reps who voted to uphold this democratic right. Islington North CLP should be free to decide.”

After the vote, Zarah Sultana said, “Islington North Labour Party members should have the right to choose their parliamentary candidate. Denying that right is divisive and undemocratic. I support Aslef, CWU, FBU, TSSA, Unite and all the NEC Reps who upheld this democratic principle at the NEC today.”

Likewise, in the run-up to the NEC meeting, the Socialist Campaign Group tweeted, “it is the democratic right of Labour Party members and the affiliated trade unions and socialist societies in the Islington North CLP to choose their Parliamentary candidate. We urge members of the NEC to uphold this vital democratic right at Tuesday’s meeting.”

Apsana Begum, Nadia Whittome, Jon Trickett, Beth Winter, Andy McDonald, Ian Lavery, Ian Byrne, and Kate Osborne all argued that member democracy should be defended and that it was for the CLP to choose their candidate.

Opposition to Keir Starmer’s motion blocking Jeremy Corbyn also came from campaigns such as the Stop the War Coalition, who pointed out that “It is ironic that Keir Starmer should persecute Jeremy Corbyn on the 20th anniversary of the aggression against Iraq, a war against which he campaigned so strongly,” and the Peace and Justice Project who said “Keir Starmer’s decision to block Jeremy Corbyn from reselection in the constituency he has represented for the past 40 years is a disgrace and an insult to the people of Islington North.”

Diane Abbott noted the bizarre rationale behind the motion, which justified blocking Corbyn on the basis of a poor 2019 electoral performance and that the chance of a Labour victory would be “significantly diminished should Mr Corbyn be endorsed by the Labour Party as one of its candidates for the next general election.”

As Abbot argued, “the decision to bar Jeremy Corbyn on the grounds he lost the 2019 election is ridiculously flimsy, without logic or precedent. On that basis, many other Labour leaders would also be barred.”

Simon Fletcher, a former advisor to Keir Starmer, argued that “many people will feel that in granting itself such a sweeping approach to its judgement, the party leadership is involved in peremptory behaviour. Concern about the implications of that for transparent and inclusive politics ought to stretch well beyond the Labour left.”

He is not wrong – the Mirror’s Kevin Maguire wrote that “blocking Corbyn is wrong and authoritarian, intended to intimidate other Left MPs. Should be up to Islington North whether they wanted him again.” His comments follow leader of the liberal left Compass think-tank, Neal Lawson, earlier this year, who cautioned against an assault on the left of the party.

All these voices and many more have it clear that the block on Jeremy Corbyn should be reversed – it’s for the members in Islington North to decide their candidate at the next election.

Featured image: Jeremy Corbyn speaks to Islington NEU members on strike on March 2nd March 2023. Photo credit: Jeremy Corbyn/Twitter

24 thoughts on “Islington North CLP rejects “NEC’s undue interference” as Corbyn blocked as candidate by Starmer – left urged to rally support

  1. This is the last straw. I’ve hung on for so long as Starmer incrementally denies all his promises. My husband and I are resigning from the Labour Party. Who will we vote for? Who knows? But it won’t be for a party I can no longer trust.

  2. voting and supporting the labour party for almost 50 years,i know we have to get rid of the tories,but with this ,i can not vote labour anymore.

    1. Starmer and his kind need to be ousted from the Labour Party. He does not represent the values of ordinary working class people of the UK.
      Starmer and Labour insiders denied us of a decent Prime Minister in Jeremy Corbyn. All those have had no criminal charges brought against them as they interfered I’m a General Election.
      I will not vote Labour until Starmer is removed from the Labour leadership.

    2. I always vote labour , next time election, with this attitude from , The leaders of the Labour Party , I,Am not bother to go to vote at all , and many people will be the same.

  3. Jeremy Corbyn only spoke out against the right wing Israeli government for murdering women and children in Palestine is that a Crime . Jeremy Corbyn hasn’t got one racist bone in his body . I am disgusted with the shadow cabinet who all supported Corbyn when he was leader and now because of Sir Starmer have jumped on Starmers bandwagon.

  4. I have been a Labour voter for over 50 years and was a member for 40 + years. I will never vote Labour again unless this cowardly decision is reversed angd Kier Starmer can stop himself breaking pledges and lying to the membership,.

    1. After representing my Ward at every District Election since the mid 80s, I feel I can no longer put my name forward while SKS is i/c and operating his blatently cruel vendetta against Corbyn. Someone who uniquely raised the party to a radical level, enthusing hundreds of thousands of young and old to join or rejoin the party. Look at the state of Labour when he took over, then only narrowly failing to miss out in the2017 snap election.
      SKS is benefitting from the worst Tory regime ever. Sadly his character traits have been exposed to include lying, breaking pledges and refusing to acknowledge the findings of the Forde Report, and not even acknowledging the existence of the Al-Jazeera “The Labour Files”. Though I would hate another Tory government I have fears for how his failings will affect the country if as likely he wins the next GE.

  5. My grandfather was proud to have shared ‘the platform’ with Keir Hardy on one ocasion. I have been interested in the ‘Palestine Problem’ from prewar days when I was considering a career in the P.P.F. (Palestine Police Force provided by Britain for those ignorant of the granting of the mandate in 1928 or so by the League of Nations).
    I was appalled by the decision in 1948 of the English government to despatch a destroyer (It might have been H.M.S. Narvik) to retrieve a band of Jews who had been ‘liberated’ from a Nazi concentration camp and shifted en masse to a camp in Cyprus and the members had arranged a passenger ship to take them to Palestine. They were interrcepted in sight of Haifa and taken back to the camp in Cyprus.
    Hitler was elected. in my lifetime, and there were some Jews who voted for him because he promised subsidised passages of Jews to Palestine. Hitler kept his promise and despatched two subsidised vessels, but the English government sabotoged subsequent attempts, and then managed to ban further attempts. The government in England was forbidden to continue by the new-formed United Nations Association and the mandate granted by the League of Nations was withdrawn.
    I should declare an interest; I have Jewish DNA both Sephardic and Ashkenazi, to my surprise.
    I confirm the Nazi anti-Jewish diatribes of the 1930s from my own experience of gossip and press mentioned by Mr Lineker, and I associate myself with it enthusiastically. I knew his family well. Hitler with his oratory skills on a par with Churchill, Johnson and others could not outdo a clip shown on TV last year from 1910 showing Kaiser Wilhelm berating ‘Finanzieren und Juden’. Hitler was a fiercely loyal German and has had to shoulder alone the blame that he acquired from The Kaiser.
    In my opinion the talk of Sir Starmer is very similar to that I recall from Heinrich Himmler, and his expulsion of Mr Corbyn indicates similarities in actions.
    (Dr.) Ronald Lampard, Market Harborough.

  6. When did the Labour party become such a nest of lawyer’s tricks and duplicity?

    Its unrecognisable. These actions towards Corbyn are not in line with straightforward honest Labour values. They are some Kafkaesque pretzel of spite and game-playing.

    Just enough, Lets have decency and honesty back please – and let us all remember who the Labour party belongs to. It is not Starmer’s party, or any single person’s party – It is OUR party and each and every one of us is entitled to justice and fairness, to be allowed the freedom to undertake our role and speak our truth when it is truth.

    Restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn and lets get on with providing Islington North with the excellent MP it has had for so long and wants to have for much longer.

  7. ‘ Democracy in The Labour Party is Dead for as Long as I am Leader ! ‘

    ‘ Long Live Democracy in The Labour Party for as Long as I am Leader ! ‘

    Keir Starmer
    Manor Farm

  8. Jeremy Corbyn dared to try and live up to the Labour Party’s founding principles, which it has been failing to do for a long time now. He was and is the nearest thing we have ever had to an honest politician. Sir Kier Starmer (that ‘Sir’ tells us much) is a self-seeking hypocrite, and the servany of one of the most right-wing regimes this world has known since Hitler’s. How did this all happen? It amazes me that the Labour Party has found itself now ruled by an elite whose only interest is its own ambition when it should be, and would have been if Corbyn had been given the support he needed and deserved, genuine champions of democracy, not only in Britain, but in the world. Corbyn was building a proper party of the people. Starmer is destroying it. The Party, through its CLPs, must now refuse to work with Starmer. He and his cabal deserve no respect and should no longer be accorded any. The hope is that those of the CLPs who worked so hard to sideline Corbyn will have seen the terrible error they made and now do something similar with Starmer: otherwise, as things stand, we will have two Conservative parties fighting over this country like dogs over a bone, and an end to democracy.

  9. How, HOW? HOW CAN WE GET RID OF STARMER (and those who pull his strings)??? He hasn’t got an ounce of true Labour values in him. A charlaton, a liar, and a breaker of promises.

  10. The least racist man in the country has an allotment. The most dangerous man in the country has an allotment (according the the daily Mail and Kier Starmer) I know who I trust more.

  11. How can public north Islington not to be allowed to vote their choice of candidate. Hon Jeremy corbyn exhibited original labour policies of public ownership of utilities which saved our country after ravages of second world war

  12. Now 83 years, if Jeremy stands as an Independent, I give my word that I will relocate from Yorkshire to Islington for one month and work my socks off to see
    him elected.
    PS: I left the Labour party when Bliar took control.

  13. Can someone publish a list of who voted and which way they voted, I think its important to know which way the people who are supposed to represent us voted..

  14. Starmer is a bully! We need a principled Leader! We need Jeremy Corbyn! Reinstate Corbyn Now!
    Starmer must respect the will of the people Let people decide what they want!
    Starmer is a liability to the Labour Party that we love.

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