John Spellar: Is he the anti-democratic ‘rotten apple’ that has spoiled Warley CLP’s executive?

Interesting allegations have been published in Skwawkbox today (July 31), concerning a Constituency Labour Party that has apparently blocked members from electing Corbyn-supporting delegates to attend the national party conference in the autumn.

Warley CLP, whose MP is the rabidly anti-Corbyn John Spellar, apparently discovered that its executive committee had bypassed democracy by changing the venue for the elections and not announcing the decision to members.

So, having decided to send five delegates, including three who would be self-funding, Warley CLP branches nominated candidates and expected to carry out elections at the next meeting of their general committee.

But they were then informed that the election had been moved (for no reason) to the executive committee meeting – and when members attended that meeting they were given minutes of an officers’ meeting at which the delegates had already been chosen.

According to a source inside the CLP, “The minutes stated that this was because Momentum was going to “flood” the conference with it’s own supporters. Although the treasurer had said that the CLP can only afford to fund 2 people, they’d now increased this number to 3 and have refused self funders.”

When CLP members objected at the general committee meeting, their complaint was said to have been “rudely dismissed”.

If true, this is a clear breach of Labour Party democracy. The course of action taken by officers was not agreed with the members – indeed, it was a direct, anti-democratic, contradiction of the agreed plan.

In these circumstances, This Writer would consider it appropriate to contact the National Executive Committee and demand action similar to that taken during the leadership election last year, when members who were considered to have acted inappropriately were suspended, pending investigation by an NEC team.

The officers of Warley CLP who pushed through this offence to democracy should be suspended and the elections run again – in a democratic manner.

I would strongly urge anybody who has been affected by this offence – or similar offences in other CLPs, if they have taken place, to contact the NEC and initiate proceedings.

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