Here in Wales, Blaenau Gwent is the only Constituency Labour Party to have nominated Owen Smith for the party leadership – by underhand means.
CLPs are allowed to organise their constituency meetings along two lines – as all-member or delegate-only meetings. If Blaenau Gwent had held its nomination meeting in the same way as all the others, there would be nothing to say about it.
But that isn’t what happened.
Last year, that constituency nominated Jeremy Corbyn after an all-member meeting; this year, the meeting was restricted to delegates and Owen Smith got the nod.
Senior figures in the constituency party had decided that only delegates would be able to vote – and the ballot would be secret.
Knowing that, take a look at the following email from failed right-wing candidate in the recent National Executive Committee elections, Luke Akehurst:
The image was provided by fellow blogger Steve Walker, who provides the following illumination in his blog:
Luke Akehurst, bastion of Progress (the shadowy ‘party within a party’ promoting right-wing views in the Labour party), avowed opponent of Jeremy Corbyn and failed 2016 NEC candidate (who still sees fit to call Corbyn ‘unelectable’), has been writing to CLPs reminding them that the party’s rules give them an option to exclude constituency membership from the nomination ballot.
He also suggests that they may not wish to have a ballot at all in case it’s ‘divisive’ – reading between the lines, he seems to be suggesting that constituency execs should arrange nominations for Smith by excluding the membership and that if it doesn’t think it can win the nomination process even via that option, they shouldn’t have one.
Considering that Mr Akehurst, as his own blog details, holds no official position in the national party that would entitle or require him to be contacting CLPs to advise them on the rules regarding ballots, Smith’s supporters are extremely desperate to ensure that the nomination numbers don’t humiliate their candidate.
The numbers do humiliate Mr Smith. His CLP support is only a fraction of that won by Jeremy Corbyn.
And who knows how many nominations were gained in the underhand way suggested by the underhand Mr Akehurst?
This leadership election is shaping up to be less a choice between two left-wing politicians and more a battle between good and evil.
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