Corbyn opponents lose control of Labour’s National Executive Committee after shadow cabinet reshuffle

Jon Ashworth is Labour's new Shadow Health Secretary, and This Blog wishes him every success in his new appointment [Image: PA].

Jon Ashworth is Labour’s new Shadow Health Secretary, and This Blog wishes him every success in his new appointment [Image: PA].

And it serves them right.

Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents gained control of Labour’s National Executive Committee after one of the nastiest subversions of democracy we’ve seen – in a summer of such betrayals.

At the party’s conference a little over a week ago, NEC chair Paddy Lillis refused to hear calls for a “pre-packed” set of 15 party reforms to be discussed and voted through individually, meaning a resolution to add Welsh Labour and Scottish Labour representatives who would be nominated – not elected – to the NEC was passed undemocratically.

This means Kezia Dugdale, who opposes Mr Corbyn, immediately put herself on the committee and, at her first meeting, used the new position to ensure that a Corbyn opponent was voted in as chair. And Carwyn Jones, who also opposes Mr Corbyn, nominated a colleague who, no doubt, has similar views.

As a result, Mr Corbyn lost the narrow majority he had gained after elections earlier in the summer, when all six members of the Corbyn-supporting Centre Left Grassroots Alliance were voted onto the committee by the party’s members (who also support Mr Corbyn by a large majority).

But Jon Ashworth’s appointment as Shadow Health Secretary changes matters yet again.

News sources including The Independent reported yesterday (October 7): “Crucially, Mr Corbyn has replaced Mr Ashworth as the Shadow Cabinet representative on Labour’s National Executive Committee with Kate Osamor. She is expected to bolster Mr Corbyn’s support on the body, which makes decisions about how Labour is run internally.

“Mr Ashworth’s replacement with Ms Osamor – an ally of Mr Corbyn – could, however, restore the leadership’s majority, meaning internal decisions go his way in future.”

So the anti-Corbyn majority on Labour’s main decision-making body lasted just 10 days.

And it is still entirely possible that a fightback by This Writer’s own Labour branch, demanding that the rule change at conference be revoked, will mean the removal of the anti-Corbyn representatives from Welsh Labour and Scottish Labour very soon.

This is another humiliation for the so-called Labour ‘moderates’ who oppose the party’s leader. They won’t learn from it, though.

Jon Ashworth, one of the few remaining moderates in the shadow cabinet, has been promoted by Jeremy Corbyn to shadow health secretary, Labour sources say.

The elevation of Mr Ashworth, who was shadow minister for the cabinet office, to a key post will be seen as an olive branch to the moderates after criticism that earlier appointments strengthened Mr Corbyn’s allies on the left.

There was said to be unhappiness among Labour MPs at the promotion of his long-time ally Diane Abbott to shadow home secretary and the sacking of chief whip Rosie Winterton, seen as a key link with the backbenches.

Source: Jon Ashworth ‘appointed shadow health secretary’ – ITV News


Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in eBook format here:

HWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


12 thoughts on “Corbyn opponents lose control of Labour’s National Executive Committee after shadow cabinet reshuffle

  1. Andrew

    Well the moderates as they prefer to call themselves do never learn, stitch up after stitch up it would still seem they don’t like it when reciprocated, the leader should be allowed to lead if his not up to the job the members that got him there would soon have him replaced, however the membership know that he is.
    Re kezia she is not liked by the grassroots as they feel she has got a wee bit out of her depth and feel she should be supporting the very said man who was duly elected by the membership not stabbing him in the back, I have this on great authority.
    Whilst the moderates for want of a better word call themselves carry on undermining Jeremy the vermin continue to wreck the country, I also have it on good authority how bad this has got the very said seat of Nye constituency the membership voted for Jeremy Corbyn however a secret cartel met in secret and overturned that said decision shame on the Blaenau clp management hang your heads in shame, details can be found by looking at mr Paul Starlings Facebook page

  2. steve pickup

    Will everyone please stop calling new labour PLP rebels moderates.They are not moderates, they are anti democratic and on the far right of the labour party. Calling them moderates, even so called moderates, plays into the hands of the corporate media narrative.

  3. Terry Casey (@tcliverpool)

    It is great to see this move in the NEC, the member’s voice had been removed by the gerrymandering of the NEC members, I hope they now look at why tens of thousands of members lost their votes and were suspended including myself for innocuous comments on Social media, I do hope this is sorted as it is an insult to members to be labelled as racist, bullies and other things for no other reason than to remove their right to vote in the leadership election, it has been a disgusting misuse of power removing democracy from members.

  4. yarmouthboy

    I am impressed with the way JC has used his ability to choose his Shadow Cabinet without the disaffected MP’s having any leverage in the process.To have done that and changed the balance on the NEC in his favour at the same time was a marvellous tactical move. Bit like a snooker player potting a red and lining the cue ball up to follow through by potting the black! Magic.

  5. Karl Greenall

    This is marvelous news. The moves by the right to undermine party democracy should be reviewed by the new NEC, and then struck out. This would clearly demonstrate the political strength of the leadership, and give us all the pleasure of seeing the right having to take their own medicine. It would also make clear that any departure from a proper and rigorous democratic standard will not be tolerated.Finally, any Labour revival in Scotland will require a better standard of leadership than any given by Kezia Dugdale, who, as I understand it, only managed to get her Scottish Parliament seat through the top up list.

  6. syzygysue

    Carwyn Jones has appointed arch anti-Corbynite, Alun Davies to NEC. A Welsh Assembly Minister who was sacked in 2014:

    ‘Mr Davies, 51, was sacked after it emerged he had asked for details of farm subsidies paid to opposition AMs, including Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies and Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams.
    He also asked for information on payments to the Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach, Liberal Democrat William Powell and Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd.
    Last week, the Blaenau Gwent AM apologised in the Senedd over a separate row in which he was judged to have broken the Ministerial Code while lobbying for a race track to be built in his constituency.’

    ‘During a heated exchange in the Senedd, First Minister Carwyn Jones said the actions were “poorly judged” and “inappropriate”.
    Opposition parties branded the minister’s behaviour “disgraceful”.
    They accused Mr Davies of launching a “smear campaign” against political opponents and called for him to be removed from his position as an AM.’

  7. Zippi

    If only these people had put their petty differences aside and worked for the good of the Party and country, instead of trying to get rid of Mr. Corbyn, from the time that he was nominated, we would have had a far more effective opposition and this government would not have been able to do some of the evil that it has. Blaming Mr. Corbyn fir the referendum result, which, I might add, was totally outside of his control and furthermore, was not a party political issue, choosing the moment when the country had no government to launch a coup, trying to undermine democracy, smear campaigns and lies… Oh, if only they had concentrated this effort into their actual jobs, what a party we would have been and how the Tories would have been in trouble but no. They listened to Tony Blair and other “dead” politicians and all but destroyed our Party and our democracy. Shame on them! SHAME! Och, that’s another antiquated concept.

  8. James

    Why is it democratic for Corbyn to be on the NEC and force his will on the Shad Cab to appoint their three reps. But it’s undemocratic for the leaders of Wales and Scotland or their front bench appointee to be on the NEC?

    If you don’t address your inconsistencies you defeat your own argument

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      As democratically-elected leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn has every right to sit on the National Executive Committee. He is the party leader; of course he has a place on its main organising committee.
      The three shadow cabinet members are elected onto the NEC by the shadow cabinet. As a member of that group, Mr Corbyn may be expected to have some influence in its deliberations on who those members should be – but only as much as anybody else. Democracy.
      Meanwhile, the leaders of Welsh Labour and Scottish Labour get to put themselves or their representatives on the NEC without any democratic vote at all.

  9. ((( Lee Hyde ))) (@anubeon)

    Not a peep from the bitterites that Labour now has a gender balanced ‘4 great offices of state’ with Ms Abbott’s promotion. Not much concern shown by them for the mysogynistic and racist abuse the later’s suffered. Which only goes to show that the furore whipped up by the ‘moderate’ wing with regard both issues had far more to do with political opportunism than principle.

    I’ll admit, I’m sceptical of Ms Abbotts credentials where high office is concerned. She seems more prone to gaffs than most. That said, I wish her nothing but luck and am happier with her than many ‘gaff free’ ‘moderates’ who might have won the shadow foreign secretary role (many of whom STILL lament not bombing Syria earlier, as if early bombastic intervention would have saved the region – just like it did in Libya. Oh…). The lack of congratulations for Ms Abbott AND Nick Brown from their own colleagues and comrades is palpable; meanwhile, they raise bitter hell at not being afforded the right to employ themselves in whatever shadiw cabinet role they see fit and at the sacking of the most ineffective chief whips in Labour’s recent history (including the Ed Miliband era).

    Self-interest and self-regard; certain elements of the PLP are raised on it, it would seem, and they can’t bare a ‘briad church’ wherein they are not front, centre and pulling all of the levers. Their’s is, was, and would forever be a ‘broadchurch’ in name only (BINO), the sooner they discover humility and a basic sense of comradely respect (or failing that, retire from politics) the better.

Comments are closed.