LLA conference – summary of Day 1

Over 120 delegates attended conference over the two days, with a maximum attendance of 106 at any one time. For LLA supporters not organised in one of the groups affiliated or whose local groups did not meet, we organised a number of regional and national pre-conference events to elect delegates. The vast majority of delegates though were elected at pre-conference events organised by 32 of our affiliated groups. We also had observers from the Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform and Left Unity in attendance and conference was live-streamed in our main Facebook group. The videos are available there. Please join the group if you have not already done so (and it is helpful to answer all questions to speed the joining process up).

We started our first day of conference with a defiant act of solidarity: We discussed and passed an emergency motion in solidarity with LLA supporters Sam Gorst and John Dunn, the most recent victims of the witch-hunt against the left in the Labour Party. We also decided to support Sam’s legal fund with a donation of £250. Together with a donation from Labour Against the Witchhunt of £500, this enabled him to reach the target required to fund legal support for his appeal. Further, we passed an emergency motion from LAW, criticising David Evans’ attempt to ban branches and CLPs from discussing issues like the IHRA mis-definition of antisemitism. The motion makes clear, “there is no ban” and the vacuous phrase “not competent business” means precisely nothing. We will now produce model motions for branches and CLPs on this matter and urge comrades to ignore Evans.

Conference then heard a report from the LLA Organising Group about some of the key aspects of its work in the last few months, focusing on our fantastic education programme (Click here to download a PDF with an overview of our educational events), our efforts to seek left unity with other groups and our strategic orientation to the Labour Party: We urge comrades to remain members of the Labour Party, but we continue to accept members expelled and suspended as part of the witch-hunt. We also agreed to continue to allow those to remain involved in the LLA who have left the party in despair over the direction taken by Keir Starmer – provided they don’t support candidates who stand against the Labour Party.

Conference also supported an emergency motion from the Organising Group on our ongoing efforts to democratise and politicise the NEC candidate selection process. A motion from Dulwich LLA, which suggested that any additional slate recommended by LLA would “split the left vote”, was overwhelmingly defeated by conference following a number of contributions asserting that is not the case. Click here to read the OG report, as amended.

In the afternoon, we discussed proposed changes to our constitution. Two quite radical proposals, from Rotherham LLA and Labour Party Marxists, were voted down, as was a proposal from Sheffield to accept only Labour Party members into the LLA. Despite some vocal disagreements, we voted to include disciplinary procedures into our constitution. Congratulations to our chairs Phil Pope and Daniel Platts, who kept a cool head, despite some very complex votes.

Please click here to read a detailed overview, a summary of all votes taken and links to all motions discussed.