[Image: Getty Images.]

[Image: Getty Images.]

The Labour Party’s ruling National Executive Committee will have to consider a call to nullify the party conference vote on a package of 15 rule changes, including the addition of Welsh Labour and Scottish Labour representatives, after a Constituency Labour Party agreed that party rules were broken in order to have the changes approved.

The motion states that Paddy Lillis, who was chairing the conference at the time, prevented delegates from voting on the changes in the proper manner by refusing a card vote after delegates requested it.

It was supported at an all-member meeting of Brecon and Radnorshire CLP today (October 15).

NEC member Ann Black, attending the meeting, warned that it would make no difference as the NEC may not overturn conference votes. But this ignores the point which is as follows:

The vote was only passed in the way it was because conference’s own rules were broken. It is, therefore, corrupt and should be disregarded.

This is a matter of fact.

Ms Black also tried to say that the motion had been ‘lifted’ from a website, but she seems to have got events muddled. It was drafted at a branch meeting and sent to the CLP secretary, then it was published on This Blog, for the benefit of other Labour branches whose members might wish to pass a similar motion (I understand some do).

There was considerable discussion, with some members arguing against the motion because of the inclusion in the package of the Welsh Labour representative, and one pointing out that the Unite union had to abstain because it could not support all of the measures in the package.

It seemed to This Writer that there was considerable resistance to the motion from CLP officers. The agenda was packed, with two speakers, and the chairperson suggested that the motions might not be considered.

Then they wanted to filibuster it, with three motions for discussion in 10 minutes – so members voted to extend the meeting by 15 minutes to fit them all in.

From the reaction of what, for want of a better word, I’ll call the Labour ‘establishment’ to the motion, I can foresee a huge amount of resistance to it, all the way up. Brecon and Radnorshire is just one CLP out of 650 – and doesn’t even have a Labour MP.

But there was a huge amount of support for the motion at the meeting. If that pattern is true across the UK, then the NEC needs to be made aware of it.

My personal opinion is that the 15 rule changes have no weight and may be freely ignored. If the NEC doesn’t wake up to what its former chair has caused (Mr Lillis was replaced by Glenis Willmott at the end of this year’s conference), perhaps passive resistance of this kind will have a stronger effect.

I would certainly invite all the other CLPs in the UK to consider passing a motion similar to mine (read it in full here), and possibly even to ignore the rule changes that were voted through wrongly.


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