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British Labour Party Nec Results Will Ruffle More Feathers

Updated on September 4, 2018
ethel smith profile image

With a keen interest in British politics this writer is never afraid to share her opinion

The Full Left Slate Win

All the candidates and votes
All the candidates and votes

The NEC

The National Executive Committee of the Labour Party is made up of 39 places and nine were up for election by the party members. The NEC

is made up of representatives from each section of the Party – the Shadow Cabinet, MPs, MEPs, councillors, trade unions, Socialist Societies, Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs), Young Labour and BAME Labour

This elected body meets on a regular basis and oversees the running of the party from policy making to political direction.

Voting in this year’s NEC election closed August 31 at noon.

Voter participation in 2018 was reportedly low.

Monday September 3 the results were announced.

Momentum and Progress

The successful nine candidates listed above occupy what is called the left slate which means they were approved by the left of the party and Momentum.

Pete Willsman however had that support withdrawn following allegations of antisemitism. By the time Momentum withdrew support for Willsman though many people had already voted and unsurprisingly he was elected.

Momentum is a separate group of Labour supporters which was created to help support Jeremy Corbyn in his leadership bid and beyond.

There already existed a Labour group on the exact opposite political wing of the party and it is called Progress.

Progress dates back to the Blair years and New Labour. It was formed in 1996 to support Tony Blair. Its membership still yearn for the centrist and the neo-liberal politics of Blair’s New Labour.

Members of Progress tend to sneer at Momentum and in some cases call them a rabble and make other derisory comments.

To be fair members of Progress are called red Tories, Blairites and worse.

Momentum candidates are said to be left slate or even called hard left by some in Progress while Progress candidates are allegedly soft left or moderates.

This is the description Progress members prefer though many believe they occupy the right wing of the party.

It is complicated and the internal wrangling is self defeating.

In recent years the Labour Party has wasted too much time on party matters.

The Labour Party

The Labour Party is enormous with more than half a million members. Add to that number supporters who are not members and it should be on to a winner.

With anti establishment party leader Jeremy Corbyn winning the heart and soul of the party is just one issue.

Now is not the first time party wrangling has got in the way of election success but it is disheartening.

Corbyn has had to fight opposition on many fronts.

The election of Peter Willsman is sure to make headlines for all the wrong reasons and any negatives will be laid at Corbyn’s door.

Earlier this year Christine Shawcroft faced similar allegations to Willsman. She was ultimately forced to quit which allowed Eddie Izzard a place on the NEC by default having secured the next highest number of votes.

Ironically it is Izzard again who could win a place on the NEC if Willsman is removed. However it is unlikely that Mr Willsman will quit and doubtful he will be suspended from the party.

Peter Willsman

What Next?

Heard the old saying “united we stand, divided we fall?” That saying has many uses.

A divided political party will not help the people and it will not win elections.

That said many political parties in the U.K. are divided post Brexit.

The British Conservative Party has its own splits but operates a “divide and rule” policy which is currently adding to Labour Party woes.

With so much internal Labour Party division it appears a self destruct button has been pushed by those within.

The election of nine left slate NEC candidates could be a step in the right direction.

It will not please the Blairites and members of Progress but it will strengthen Jeremy Corbyn’s hand and he is the current party leader.

Those who do not support Corbyn will say it enables him to tighten his grip on Labour.

But since becoming party leader on September 12, 2015, Corbyn has battled the mainstream media, the Tories, some of his own M.P’s and others from the old Blair guard of the party.

If the party really wants to provide “for the many not the few” and fulfill its manifesto it needs to be in government and it needs to be united.

The outgoing NEC meet today amid swirling allegations of antisemitism. Protests and counter protects are planned to be held outside of that meeting.

One thing is clear and that is for party members and supporters it will still be a bumpy ride.

© 2018 Ethel Smith

Comments

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    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      2 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks Liz

      Politics can be so nasty yet all our differing opinions are valid. We are all too often conned

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Fair point Ethel. It is easy to turn a blind eye to past events in politics.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      2 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I am only just getting to grips with the machinations of the Labour Party. I have tried to keep it simple in this hub as it is so complex.

      Removing MPs who remain old new Labour is on the cards but for various reasons. I guess we should never forget Kinnock and Blair did exactly the same when they transformed the party into something neo liberal?

      Thanks Liz

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      2 months ago from UK

      Thanks for explaining the internal dynamics of the labour party. I have heard that the NEC is set to vote in mandatory reselection of candidates in a bid to get rid of Blairite MPs who might not make it through reselection.

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