POLL: Selection stitch-up for Lewisham East? Is this the spirit of Corbynism?

Hundreds of thousands of people have joined the Labour Party – and millions more supported it in elections – because of the promise of improved democratic representation.

Corbynism promised that party members would have a much louder voice – and that they would be able to influence decision-making like the selection of election candidates.

So what’s all this? Why are we being told the candidate for Lewisham East (replacing anti-Corbynite Heidi Alexander) will be selected by national party bigwigs rather than the Constituency Labour Party?

There are arguments to support the move, of course. But it has opened Mr Corbyn up to criticism from Blairites and right-wingers who have been quick to point out that the Left complained bitterly about people from their side of the party being “parachuted” into safe seats.

What do you think?

And let’s have your thoughts in the ‘comment’ column.

Labour bosses have been accused of a “stitch up” and of trampling over party democracy by rushing through the selection of a candidate for the Lewisham East by-election.

Ian McKenzie, the party’s constituency chair, has written to local members urging them to petition Labour’s national ruling body for a say in who their candidate should be.

It is understood a shortlist will be chosen at national party level rather than by Lewisham East members.

Source: Anger at Labour ‘stitch-up’ over Lewisham East candidate selection

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15 thoughts on “POLL: Selection stitch-up for Lewisham East? Is this the spirit of Corbynism?

  1. Phil Weaver

    It is important to get a proper Labour candidate elected, not a Blairite, so I vote for getting that done, by any means

  2. Paul Needs

    In this case I’d reluctantly agree with the decision, because the original local candidate is out of step with national party policies.

  3. leo

    right wingers tricked/conned their way into Labour, so the gloves are off now that’s it’s time to get them out.

  4. Julie lloyd

    Mike im not getting a share button on your posts . How do I share now ? Only noticed it today .

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There’s no reason you shouldn’t have a share button – usual place at the bottom of the article. Have you tried reloading? I know it might seem obvious…

  5. Dez

    Local elections are always a good indication of grass root feelings about parties and I would have thought the voting results would have indicated that locally selected candidates would have been the fair way to proceed. The leadership conduct in some areas has been blemishing the democratic sales pitch.

  6. Signor tbf


    According to skwawkbox:

    The compressed timetable has been governed by the decision of Lewisham’s deputy Returning Officer – Lewisham currently has no Returning Officer in place – to choose a deadline just a week away.

    So, that presumably means there’s no choice in the matter because there simply isn’t time to go through the usual by-election procedures.

    And, the NEC will NOT be imposing a candidate, just a short list for Lewisham East members to vote on-as far as I’m aware, that has been the procedure in most recent cases anyway-cf Stoke,Gorton etc last year.

    Typical of those of our comrades on that side to complain if they can’t get to rig the NEC selection any more-and that’s what happened in every by-election in 2016 & 2017, two centrists & one nominal leftist every time.

  7. Steve W

    I voted yes for the same reasons mentioned above, let’s hope it works out well for the people of Lewisham east.

  8. aunty1960

    Too much dictating by certain closed small factions of everyone else, whether left or right without any interest as to people’s needs and wants and own ideas.

  9. Christine Bergin

    I gather from Skwakbox that the reason for this action is the decision of the local acting Returning Officer setting a vert tight timetable for the election, not a choice by left-wing officials. The right-wing are raising a fuss because it causes trouble.

  10. Growing Flame

    Is there enough time for a proper local selection involving all the local members? I recall that May’s sudden election decision meant that candidates had to be quickly put in place in some constituencies because there was no time for any more democratic process. If this is the case, then practicality demands that national leadership bodies make the choice. And, if they have any sense, they choose somebody who would fit in with the Lewisham members preferences.

    Democracy, consultation etc are all time-consuming. Sometimes, we haven’t got the time. But, now the last General Election is over, constituencies who had a centrally-selected candidate are able to take the time to democratically choose their next candidate.

    I wouldn’t prefer a centrally-selected candidate just because they held similar beliefs to mine, in defiance of most local members. That DOES smack of old-style machine politics. Anyway, are there still constituencies where a straight choice by all local members would lead to an anti-Corbyn candidate?

  11. Geoff

    I beleive that the Returning Officer for the ward, has only allowed a few days for a candidate to be put forward, making it difficult to say the least for a candidate to be selected via the CLP. Under which cirumstances, I personally, would be happy to leave it to our new hierarchy.

  12. Neil burton

    It should always be down to the constituency to vote for their representative,that is democracy, the reason we have the problems now is because of the safe seat nonsense…..

  13. Pat Sheehan

    Sometimes the ‘leave a comment’ button appears at the top-right of the articles!

Comments are closed.