Anti-Corbyn ‘stitch-up’ in Labour leader nomination process is ANOTHER attack on democracy

Chuka Umunna: Members of the Labour Party in his Streatham constituency were blocked from voting for the leadership candidate of their choice.

Chuka Umunna: Members of the Labour Party in his Streatham constituency were blocked from voting for the leadership candidate of their choice.

We all know the campaign to elect Owen Smith as the new leader of the Labour Party isn’t going well – so his supporters are resorting to anti-democratic, dirty tricks to make it seem he is doing better.

Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee has given each local party the option of nominating a candidate through a members’ vote or one by the party’s general committee.

So far, it seems 76 Constituency Labour Parties have held meetings and declared the results which are: Jeremy Corbyn – 57; Owen Smith – 15; Neutral – 4.

But it seems those declaring for Owen Smith may have done so by underhand means – locking out the wider membership and holding delegate-only meetings in order to control the result.

We know this happened in Conor McGinn’s St Helen’s North constituency.

Here’s evidence it happened in Blaenau Gwent:

160729 Blaenau Gwent lock-out

And the Evening Standard is reporting that it has happened in Streatham. That’s one-fifth of all the constituencies that have supported Smith, and there’s no reason to believe they are the only ones.

According to the Standard, “a party source said  the decision was taken on practical grounds as arranging a short-notice members’ vote for a party with such a large membership would have  been too difficult”.

This is rubbish.

If the problem is notifying members, then haven’t they heard of email? If the problem is fitting them all in, then they should take a hint from Jeremy Corbyn, who said they should simply hire a bigger hall.

Perhaps the organisers of these ‘stitch-up’ meetings do not realise that they are storing up a huge amount of ill-feeling among members, who are likely to make their feelings – which is to say, demands – known as soon as possible. Then these operators will be out in the cold.

It is possible that this does not worry them, as it seems plans to split the party and steal its assets are well advanced (of which, more in another article).

In the meantime, anyone who feels mistreated by this attempt to sidestep democracy is entitled to express their displeasure to the NEC – perhaps in the form of a multiple-signature letter or petition; perhaps with a motion of no confidence in the nomination decision and the process by which it was made.

A row broke out today in the local party of one of Labour’s best-known MPs after it formally backed Owen Smith for leader over Jeremy Corbyn.

Grassroots members in Chuka Umunna’s Streatham seat claimed they were “locked out” of the vote to decide the nomination. The decision was instead taken by the party’s general committee, with Mr Smith winning the support of 44 delegates compared with 14 for Mr Corbyn.

Some accused local leaders, including Mr Umunna, of blocking them out of fear of a Corbyn surge.

Unison delegate to the party Dan Jeffries said: “The way they have done it is totally unfair. “Other constituency parties, including in Lambeth, have allowed members to vote.”

Source: Corbynites attack ‘stitch-up’ as Streatham Labour party backs Owen Smith | Politics | News | London Evening Standard


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13 thoughts on “Anti-Corbyn ‘stitch-up’ in Labour leader nomination process is ANOTHER attack on democracy

  1. Kay Dickinson

    Exactly the same happened in West Ham – 57 delegates decided the nomination for a CLP with well over 500 members and apparently the members are fuming – the result was 30-27 for Smith. The same almost happened in Morecambe too – we had an opportunity to speak on behalf of either candidate and not one person spoke for Smith – yet only 8 people in the whole CLP were allowed to vote and the nomination only went JCs way cos one delegate didn’t express a second preference. I’m going to be proposing that delegates are fine for day to day decisions but that there has to be an option for the members to ask for a full members vote for issues they deem important enough. I’d encourage others to do the same – maybe voxpolitical can help make it a national campaign?

    1. mohandeer

      The 500 members of West Ham have the right to make a complaint which according to party rules must be investigated. McNicol then has the choice of either conceding to the members or consigning them to the waste basket.

  2. Brian

    JC’s offer of mercy should sound very tempting to the closet Tories, any conceding now will save themselves the humiliation of failure and crawling back for scraps. They may not find JC so accommodating after the event.

    1. Florence

      JCs recent interview with Owen Jones, and his speech at yesterdays rally are now beginning to show to a wider audience what his party supporters have seen all along – a confident leader.

  3. Dave

    Maybe we need to ask why they are running scared of a leader that cares about the people that voted them in.

  4. Florence

    Same happened in Pontypridd – Smith’s own constituency. If they have to resort to CLP execs meeting behind closed doors, in secret, without the CLP members even knowing about it, then Smith’s campaign (and his reselection?) is is even more trouble than it looks.

  5. mohandeer

    All this skullduggery and blatant vote rigging will backfire on Progress and Labour First. It’s only a matter of time before the membership revolts and demands the crooks are removed from the party and any MP’s guilty of being involved in this undemocratic process are evicted from the Labour Party permanently.

    1. Ron archer

      I think it would be more constructive to concentrate on what is their plans for after the appears quite obvious that smith is not goin to be any were near winning the election you only have to visit his site/page and look at the pictures/photos of his meetings to see the scarcity of supporters.

  6. Roy Beiley

    I am beginning to feel that I am living in a pale imitation of Stalinist Russia! If this sort of jiggery pokery was happening anywhere else the Labour elitistes would be fulsome with their condemnation. Given their own feelings of selfworth I can only imagine that they have collectively morphed into a Fringe Party of Despair which seems to have a bottomless pit of hate that feeds it. Imagining that the electorate are impressed by the spiteful attacks on JC is not borne out in reality as is witnessed by the size of the audiences who show up at His rallies

    1. Kenneth Billis

      Roy, while I thoroughly admire and support Jeremy Corbyn I’m not so sure he has yet risen to a level where his rallies can be described as His rallies! 🙂

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