“Numerous candidates with significant support from trade unions, plus left and centre-left potential candidates, have not reached a shortlist for often extremely dubious reasons.”
By Gemma Bolton
A range of campaigning organisations, Labour members and affiliates are appealing for support for the ‘Let the members decide – for Labour Party Democracy’ statement, which has already been signed by 1000s of activists from over 500 CLPs.
Far too often in recent times, Labour members have been denied the option of selecting from a full range of candidates for parliamentary and other selections.
As part of this, numerous candidates with significant support from trade unions, plus left and centre-left potential candidates, have not reached a shortlist for often extremely dubious reasons.
The list of CLPs this has effected is long, but includes Wolverhampton West, Broxtowe, Milton Keynes North, Kensington and Chelsea, Camberwell and Peckham, Stroud, Hastings, Sedgefield, Bolton North East. Additionally, the case of Islington North members not being able to select their candidate is of course well known.
The statement reads as follows:
“We, the undersigned, note the Labour Party’s constitution states it is a ‘democratic socialist party’ (Clause IV).
We further note that Keir Starmer stated in February 2020: ‘The selections for Labour candidates needs to be more democratic, and we should end NEC impositions of candidates. Local party members should select their candidates for every election.’
We agree with his statement, and strongly believe that it should be the democratic right of constituency members to choose their prospective candidates.
With regards to the selection of Parliamentary and other candidates, we note the growing concern across our movement at the imposition of shortlists and/or the exclusion of popular local and trade-union backed candidates in numerous areas.
We therefore call on the NEC to confirm that the selection of candidates is the democratic right of local Labour Party members and must be upheld.”
- Gemma Bolton is a members’ representative on Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC). You can follow her on Twitter/X here.
- Add your name to the “Let the members decide – for Labour party democracy” statement.
- A model motion in defence of Labour Party Democracy can be viewed and circulated here.
- This article was originally published in the Labour Outlook Autumn ’23 edition – you can read the full publication here.