Selection of parliamentary candidates/trigger ballots

A) Put selections in the hands of members

This branch/CLP is alarmed by recent reports regarding parliamentary selection processes across the country.

We note that there have been public complaints in a number of constituencies, where local candidates have not made it onto the ‘longlist’ drawn up by the NEC, despite these candidates having strong support amongst grassroots members in the area.

This CLP is concerned that the selection process decided upon and implemented by the NEC does not put the membership in the driving seat. Instead, there is an echo of the worst practices of the Blair years, when outsiders were parachuted into constituencies, against the wishes of local members.

Instead of trigger ballots and imposed lists, we need a genuinely democratic selection process that puts the membership fully in control. It is essential that rank-and-file members be able to choose their representatives, as it is ultimately members who will be campaigning for these candidates to be elected in a general election.

This CLP therefore calls on the NEC to halt the current selection process based on imposed ‘longlists’, and instead to restore power to local selection committees.

Furthermore, we call for mandatory reselection to be brought in for all Labour MPs, with a fully open and democratic selection process – in every seat and for every election.

With a general election imminent, and with it the prospect of a Corbyn Labour government, it is vital that we have a Parliamentary Labour Party composed of class fighters and not careerists – MPs who are fully in line with our mass, left-wing membership and our political principles.

B) Selection process

Model motion by Campaign for Labour Party Democracy

This CLP notes that the recently adopted fast-track parliamentary selection process is a cause of concern in a number of CLPs, as it does not fully reflect the views of members in those CLPs.

We call on the NEC to revise the long-listing process to ensure that all those with support in a CLP are included ahead of those totally unknown to that CLP.

We also call on the NEC, at a minimum, to allow each CLP to add an extra person to the shortlist in order that a positive and democratic response is made to the justified criticisms and to ensure that our Party is united at all levels and thus can be totally focused on winning the General Election.

We agree to send our motion to Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party General Secretary and to our Labour Party Regional/Scottish/Wales [delete as applicable] Director.

C) The NEC should take over implementation of trigger ballots in case of a snap election

This branch/CLP notes:

The trigger ballot reform passed by Conference in 2018. That in 2017, Labour MPs who wished to stand again were automatically reselected.

That many CLPs entitled to do so have not yet completed trigger ballots for or against an open selection of parliamentary candidates for the coming general election.

That in the event of a snap general election being called before selections are completed, sitting MPs may be reselected automatically in spite of any trigger ballots.

Conference believes:

Labour members have a democratic right to select their parliamentary candidates.

For these rights to be abrogated for two general elections in a row would mean many Labour members have had no say in the selection of their parliamentary candidates since 2015. This would leave an indefensible democratic deficit that the NEC must take emergency measures to prevent.

Conference mandates the NEC

To amend its selection timetable as foreseen under Chapter 5.IV.1 of the Labour Rulebook by:

  • Instructing CLPs with sitting MPs who wish to stand again to complete all trigger ballots by 31 October 2019.
  • Beginning all CLP selection processes automatically within one week of any trigger ballot threshold being reached, and by 1 October 2019 if this threshold has already been reached.
  • To complete rather than abandon all ongoing selections in the event of a snap election, by bringing forward the selections timetable under the powers granted under Chapter 5.IV.10 & 12 of the rulebook.