Pictures from our launch conference

February 22 2020, Sheffield

Report back from our launch conference

You can download this report as a PDF file here.

171 delegates from 36 local and national affiliated Labour Left groups registered in advance to attend our launch conference in Sheffield on February 22 2020, as did a dozen observers. We had a number of apologies and travel problems due to the weather, but still, over 130 delegates and 6 observers made the journey.

We heard political openings by Jackie Walker (vice chair Labour Against the Witchhunt), organising group member Lee Rock (who reported on the recent growth of the LLA) and NEC candidate Jo Bird (whose excellent speech was introduced by her ‘Just Jews’ video, in which she talks about her first suspension from the Labour Party). Here is a video of the speech Jo Bird gave at conference.

Jo Bird spoke about her candidacy for the NEC

Labour leadership and NEC elections 2020

The Labour Left Alliance recently conducted a poll to democratically select the candidates we will be endorsing in the NEC elections. Before the poll we sent four questions to each candidate and you can find the responses of the candidates here.

The results of the poll gave the following preferred candidates in order of preference:

CLP Rep (2 seats to be filled)

  1. Jo Bird
  2. Graham Durham
  3. Lauren Townsend

BAME Rep (1 seat to be filled)

  1. Mehmood Mirza
  2. Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal

Victory for Jo Bird and the left!

Vote Jo Bird for the NEC!

Jo Bird’s reinstatement to Labour Party membership is fantastic news and shows that the left can exercise real pressure on Labour Party HQ:

  • Hundreds of Jo’s supporters, including many LLA signatories, sent letters to general secretary Jennie Formby, urging her to overturn this very unjust and incredibly unfair suspension, just as Jo was leading in the NEC nominations. Clearly, the complaint against her and Mo Azam was politically motivated and should never have led to suspensions in the middle of an election campaign. The LLA statement is available here.
  • Up and down the country, socialists refused to accept her suspension and followed the LLA’s recommendation to keep on nominating her in their CLPs. She now has 115 CLP nominations (and would have had many more if her campaign had not been disrupted).

Jo Bird and Mo Azam must be immediately reinstated!

Please see below for a model motion and further below for some sample letters comrades could use as a basis for protest letters to Jennie Formby

Statement of the LLA organising group:

Verified sources report that respected socialist and Palestine solidarity activist Jo Bird has been suspended. The LLA calls for the immediate rescinding of the suspensions of NEC candidates Jo Bird and Mohammed Azam.

Suspension (before investigation) of the leading candidates in the very midst of an election process, is a blunt and extreme measure that the Party should explain and account to all members for immediately. Failure to do so would give credence to member’s complaints that party processes are being abused for partisan advantage. Such complaints are borne up by attacks, such as these two arbitrary suspensions, against left-wing members that are allowed to go unchallenged from the Labour party’s governing body; the NEC. 

NEC by-elections: Nominate JO BIRD and MEHMOOD MIRZA

As CLPs are in the process of meeting to nominate people for the NEC vacancies, and as the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance has fallen apart, the Organising Group of Labour Left Alliance is recommending that members try to get their CLPs to nominate two of our active supporters who are looking to stand as candidates. They are JO BIRD for the CLP rep (membership no A674976, Birkenhead CLP) and MEHMOOD MIRZA (membership no L0115115, West Ham CLP) for the BAME role. They have both met the required five CLP nominations to get on the ballot paper – but hopefully can get many more nominations, to show that we need NEC representatives who actively and openly stand up to the witch-hunt in the party. Jo Bird and Mehmood Mirza have demonstratively done so and would no doubt use their position on the NEC to continue this fight.

Update: Jo Bird is continuing to seek nominations, despite her unjust suspension. Every CLP nomination will add pressure on the NEC to overturn this ridiculous and clearly politically motivated suspension.

CAC procedural motion

LLA aunch conference February 22

Conference notes that:

  • The attempts to composite constitutional motions has been fraught with difficulty due to numerous irreconcilable and detailed proposals: we have received four full draft constitutions plus a shorter suggestion by Merseyside LLA. But there have also been many overlapping and similar suggestions contained within all of them.
  • This will make it very difficult for conference to have a clear and illuminating discussion or decision-making process.
  • Even if a single motion is approved at conference, all the other good work from other motions would effectively be lost, even if compatible with the motion that is passed.

Therefore, conference resolves:

  • To vote on a simplified composite, as compiled by the CAC in consultation with the current OG, proposing a set of fundamentals taken from all the constitutional motions, including proposals that have consensus, but also including irreconcilable proposals, which shall be treated as options within the composite.
  • To call another conference in six months time, which could consider any amendments to the new constitution and, if necessary, to elect a steering committee.

The procedure shall be as follows:

  1. Conference will consider each section of the CAC composite in turn, debating the whole section including both the consensus part and the opposing options, and then voting before moving onto the next section of the composite.
  2. In each section Conference will vote on the opposing options.
  3. The substantive document, with the options agreed, will be put to conference for ratification.

Outcome:

  1. If CAC motion is carried, the four original constitutional motions and any amendments will not be debated or voted on.
  2. If the CAC motion is voted down,
    1. The four original motions will be moved.
    1. Amendments to all four motions will be debated and voted on first.
    1. Then the motions, as amended, will be voted on against each other, with the motion that receives the largest number of votes being carried and declared the new constitution.
    1. If two motions should receive the same amount of votes, the chair casts the decisive vote.

NEC by-elections: Questions for left-wing candidates

We have asked all left-wing candidates the following four questions – and will publish their answers as we receive them. Feel free to approach any of the candidates yourself or let us know if you think a left-wing candidate is missing! In addition to the candidates below, we have also contacted Deborah Hobson (supported by Grassroots Black Left), but she has not replied. Lauren Townsend said she would answer – but then didn’t. Cecile Wright sent us her statement, but did not answer the questions.

1) Will you campaign for open selections (and scrapping the trigger ballot) for all Labour Party public office holders – including Westminster MPs?

2) Will you campaign against the Labour Party adopting the Board of Deputies’ 10 Pledges and for Labour to support the Boycott, Disinvestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign?

3) Will you campaign for conference to become the party’s sovereign body, especially when it comes to deciding policy? Will you therefore campaign for the scrapping the National Policy Forum?

4) Will you press for Party complaints and disciplinary procedures that are fit for purpose, that include both the full implementation of the Chakrabarti report, with its principles of fairness and natural justice, and an effective means of addressing members’ complaints related to abuse of procedures and rules?

CLP section:

Jo Bird (supported by Jewish Voice for Labour and the Labour Left Alliance)

1. Yes. I have been arguing for open selection publicly and on various media outlets. Many parties already operate with this system and Labour Party councilors quite rightly face reselection before every election.

2.  Yes. I was one of the initial signatories of the ‘Open Letter to Rebecca Long Bailey’, which urged her to distance herself from the Board of Deputies’ 10 demands. They would be a disaster, if implemented in the Labour Party.

3. Yes, I’m very much in favour of reviewing policy-making processes to make them more members-led. This is what I’ve championed on the Wirral, as secretary of Wirral Labour Group, in partnership with the Local Campaign Forum. I support the recommendation in the Labour Party Democracy Review, which suggests setting up “a new NEC policy committee”, which would replace both the Joint Policy Committee and the National Policy Forum.

4. Yes. We should implement the recommendations from the Chakrabarti report in full – especially on the issues of fairness and natural justice. I believe that there should also be consequences for vexatious complaints.

Iqbal Sram

The answer to all the 4 questions is yes without reservation. I would also go for more decentralized decision-making as far as possible.

Fiona Dent

To be clear, I am a long term Labour member but independent of any of the different lobby groups within our Party. Here I am answering questions put by Labour Left Alliance but will happily answer questions from any other groups or individuals.

1) Open selection: From the time I joined Labour in my early 20s I have known that selection to stand for Parliament was a complex and often mysterious process that the majority of us are, in some respects, excluded from simply because the unwritten rules are known only to those who are already within a power circle. If open selections were to be run simply with equal ops criteria that would go some way to improving matters. However other issues should be addressed too such as that of patronage; for years we had the Blair power circle using the system to bring up preferred candidates and now we have a different power circle tempted to do the same. Much as my policy preferences are left wing I have to say that I believe constituency members are perfectly able to judge for themselves who they want to represent them. Our memberships in constituencies like Redcar, Sedgefield, Darlington, Stockton South and Bishop Auckland had something to tell us about our direction in 2016 to 2019 but we didn’t always listen, that connection between members and the rest of the Party must be strengthened. Not only will I campaign for open selections, I will also campaign to ensure that constituency members always do the choosing and that there is a fair playing field for applicants.

2) Board of Deputies’ 10 pledges: My understanding of BOD is that their President in 2015 actually campaigned against Labour in the election, then their President in 2019 took a similar position. I cannot believe that our Labour rule book would allow a Conservative supporting institution to have an executive role in any of our processes. If we are to rebuild relationships then it must be one of equals and of transparency.

However I am also very disappointed in my own Party in the time it appears to have taken to deal strictly with antisemitism, racism and other issues among members. I believe that the new system under Jennie Formby is effective but I would like to see regular anonymised data reports to members on the complaints system to demonstrate that there are no unnecessary delays. A bit of sunlight would go a long way to helping us heal.

3) National Policy Forum: I spent 3 years on the NPF and admit to enjoying every minute! However, while I felt that I had a modest impact in several areas of the economy policies, I had no real doubt that it was really the leadership circle (including NEC and Shadow Cabinet) that made the decisions. I tried very hard to engage CLPs in policy development but the unwieldy nature and scattergun effect of the NPF website and locally held policy forums was a marathon challenge. Something does need to change but simply sweeping away the NPF is not enough on it’s own. Other democratic mechanisms to feed into conference are needed. The new system needs to be streamlined and clarified so that constituencies can genuinely engage and find it easy to input. Both my public service professional experience and that of my voluntary experience on the NPF would be useful in developing an improved system that would culminate at conference.

4) Complaints and disciplinary procedures: We undoubtedly need a clear and rigorous process in this area that can be measured through carefully considered anonymised data. It is equally important that principles of natural justice are upheld and that the data is sufficiently anonymised so that those principles are not undermined. We did not act swiftly enough to stop antisemitism when it emerged as a problem in the Party and we have also fallen down in other areas such as sexism and abuse of procedures. The Chakrabarti Inquiry report gave us a way forward and I believe it was a mistake not to fully embrace it in 2016. All organisations face having to deal with difficult issues like this but we are uniquely placed to lead by example if we can face our faults and overcome them. The Chakrabarti report is part of that and I don’t hesitate to support it.

Trish Williams

1) Open Selection: Everyone elected to public office should be fully aware that they are always accountable to their electorate and never believe they have a ‘job for life’. I fully support Open Selections for every elected position, whether Parish, Town, District, Borough or County Councillors, MPs, Police and Crime Commissioners or elected Mayors. Open Selection is, in reality, just ‘selection’ and I consider it the democratic right of every member to have the opportunity to choose who represents them on a Council or in Parliament. Apart from which, such ‘selection’ processes are completely normal for most business and other organisations; indeed it is the trigger ballot that is odd, being a device that breeds division and adds complexity to what is a very simple process, that of choosing the best person for the job. I very definitely support consigning the trigger ballot to history.

2) BoD 10 pledges: Anti-semitism, indeed any form of racism or prejudice, has no place in the Labour Party, or in wider Society. I was dismayed at the readiness of all leadership candidates to ‘sign-up’ to the BoD 10 Pledges and would have preferred them to wait for the findings of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission investigation and to consult with Labour Party members, prior to making any statements. Given the BoD has no official role in Party governance or policy making processes, cannot purport to speak for all people of the Jewish faith and, having read the Jewish Voice for Labour statement, issued on 15th January, I am comfortable in campaigning against the Labour Party adopting the BoD demands. Regarding the BDS campaign, I was a delegate to Conference in 2018 and was awestruck by the heartfelt support for the Palestinian cause expressed by comrades present. I find it hard to comprehend why anyone would not agree with the simple truth that Palestinians, as with all of us, deserve the same rights as any other group of human beings and will proudly campaign for Labour to support the BDS campaign.

3) Sovereign conference: Our thousands of members are close to community issues and the concerns of ‘ordinary’ people, so I believe it is vital that their input be taken into account when formulating the next manifesto. I will campaign for the NPF to be abolished as I do not feel it meets the needs of a Party that will be in opposition for the next five years. Furthermore I believe the vast majority of policies established in the 2019 manifesto, were popular and will remain viable up to 2024. I feel what we need is for Shadow ministers and portfolio holders to spend their time in conversation with local Constituency Parties, Labour Groups, Trade Unions and Affiliates, to ensure that amendments to the 2019 manifesto are developed from the ground up, so we all learn together how to explain the benefits of these policies to voters. The emphasis must be not on ‘focus groups’ or putting out ‘consultation’ documents, but actively listening to the views and ideas of our own grass-roots members, and by ultimately debating and adopting CLP and Affiliate resolutions at National Conference, which is, and should always be, the Party’s sovereign body.

4) Disciplinary Process: As a CLP Secretary it is part of our role to deal with members complaints. Within the wider group of CLP Secretaries, I have been instrumental in drawing attention to a number of outstanding complaints, meeting with senior Party officials in an attempt to get these resolved. We agreed that preventing poor behaviour, through provision of information, education and training, followed by an informal mediation process for ‘minor’ infractions, is preferable to getting involved in a full disciplinary process. Myself, a number of other CLP Secretaries and senior HQ staff have discussed development of a programme to support CLPs in handling bullying and difficult subjects that arise in meetings and online, such as anti-semitism, racism and other behaviour that breaks Party rules. We have also suggested dedicated HR support staff to be employed by Regional Offices, to provide advice and guidance at the early intervention stage, especially in respect of potentially malicious complaints.

Of course once a formal complaint is raised there is no question that “principles of fairness and natural justice” must apply at all times and these are basic rules I live my life by. I believe the Chakrabarti Report was a sterling piece of work, and am disappointed that all the recommendations have not yet been implemented. I trust the new Leader, Party officials, the NEC, members and other interested parties will return to this report and engage in respectful dialogue to continue addressing ongoing issues, including unacceptably long timescales to resolve complaints, under current disciplinary procedures.

BAME section:

Mehmood Mirza (supported by Labour Left Alliance)

Thank you for your questionnaire.

I can confirm that my answer to all four questions put by Labour Left Alliance to all the candidates standing for the NEC by-elections is YES.

Also please find below the motion that I proposed and passed in my CLP West Ham in support of Chakrabarti’s report.

Motion on Right to appeal on NCC Decision 

This branch notes that the NEC’s meeting on 18th September it was agreed to put to Conference a rule change that brought in a Charter of Members’ Rights and more than double the size of the NCC to speed up the handling of the backlog of disciplinary cases.  But proposals for this long-overdue reform to the process did not include the right to appeal against NCC decisions.

This omission harms Labour’s proud record of being Britain’s party of social justice. 

Shami Chakrabarti’s 2016 Labour report into antisemitism and other forms of racism recommended:

“In cases where the NCC has ordered that a member be subject to suspension (for up to two years) or expulsion from the party, there should be a right to seek a review of the decision on procedural or proportionality grounds to the Legal Panel, three of whom (excluding any member with previous involvement in the case) will consider whether the NCC made any procedural errors or breached proportionality in its prior determination.  If this is found to be the case, the Legal Panel will refer the matter back to the NCC for a fresh determination as the case requires.  In this way, the ultimate decision remains that of the NCC, albeit that greater protection will be afforded if necessary – both to those subject to the most serious disciplinary sanctions and to the elected Party body who will have a final opportunity to address any deficiencies in its decision-making.  I recommend that the NCC make provision for this right of review in new procedural rules which I recommend are adopted”. 

We call on the NCC to formulate a change to the National Constitutional Committee’s procedures to include the Chakrabarti “right of review”.  

Aram Rawf

1 . Yes. I want MPs to be more accountable to the members.

2. Yes. Yes. Neither the Board of Deputies nor any other body should dictate to our party how it should conduct its internal affairs. We should support BDS like in the past we supported the anti-apartheid movement.

3. Yes. The NEC should be the party’s ruling body and the NPF should be scrapped. More power should be in the hands of the grassroots members.

4. Yes. The current system has let to unfairness, injustice and many mistakes. 

Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal

1) Open Selection: This is something I have been campaigning  for very long time since I become a party member 12 years ago. I am member of a CLP which was deprived off the democratic right to choose who could represent us in Parliament. Before last election, our CLP was one of four CLPs which triggered against sitting MP and yet sitting MP was endorsed without seeking reselection from grassroots  members. As a secretary of this CLP, I felt cheated and dejected like all other members  as result of triggered ballot was not respected and members were not given any opportunity to select their PPC. What’s point having trigger ballot in place when members are not given a chance to select their PPC. I cant say enough to support Open Selection for all elected representatives for greater democracy.

A recent tweet: As a BAME rep I will also call for #OpenSelection , #NoWar, and no

suspension of members due to political views. Vote #Chaudhry4BAMENEC if you agree. A strong voice for BAME community on NEC who will fight for rights of grassroots  members.

2) Bod 10 pledges: I strongly oppose the 10 pledges of BODs and will not sign them. I also made it clear in one of my messages to Lee Rock  =( of LLA) on this: if I will ever be given an opportunity to support or sign this, I will strongly refuse it. 

3) Sovereign conference: I believe that deciding party policies at conference by thousands of delegates from every CLP is an effective and a democratic way . Having an honour to address the conference in Brighton last year as a CLP delegate has given me confidence and belief  that Conference is a way forward to decide party policies. We seen what came out of these party conferences where great initiatives like Democracy Review voted by delegates.  Therefore I fully support the idea of Conference being s strong and sovereign body of our party. 

4) Disciplinary process: I have been calling for the full implementation of Chakrabati’s report to tackle any challenges  our party has been presented with while dealing with allegations of antisemitism and other forms of discrimination. While complaints against party members should be dealt effectively and fairly, it is equally important to have a complaint system which is fair, transparent and serving justice rather than scapegoating of members and hanging them to dry for indefinite period of time. 

I welcome the latest report by Jennie Formby in regard to how our party has made significant  progress in regard to deal with complaints of antisemitism. I believe that Labour party is keen and tackling these complaints seriously and effectively, however improvements need to be made to make sure principles of fairness and natural justice are not compromised. 

I also supported Jo Bird against her suspension and signed a letter written to Jennie Formy demanding the reinstatement  of Jo Bird and Mo Azam. I also sent a Whatsapp message to Jennie Formby voicing my concerns on this and demanded to have both suspesnions being lifted. Both letter and Whatsapp message are on the LLA Facebook page.

I also made it one of pledges for my NEC campaign:

“Fight for the rights of every GRASSROOTS member to make sure a fair & transparent disciplinary process is in place so anyone suspended gets fair chance to get justice”.

I also recently twittered expressing my desire to have a fair system with in our party where no one should be suspended due to their political views. 

Jermaine Jackman

1) Open Selection: I believe It’s very important that candidates and holders of public office are accountable to local members and this ensures complacency doesn’t set in. We should be using open selections to promote better representation i.e. BAME Only shortlist. 

2) BoD 10 pledges: It is important that our movement is united, a movement where everyone feels welcome and every voice, even the most marginalised are heard. If elected NEC BAME Rep, I will facilitate a roundtable with all Labour affiliated Jewish groups to listen and coordinate a joint response that our party and senior representatives can sign up to.

The pursuit of human rights should not be a contested one and I will call out racist and oppressive policies wherever I see them as is clearly shown by the impact of particular policies the Palestinian people. I will campaign for peace through a two-state solution.

3) Sovereign conference: The role of the National Policy Forum needs to be reviewed in line with democratisation of the party and conference should be a space where we debate, prioritise and vote on policies. If we were to make our conference the sovereign body, we should also explore ways of making conference more diverse and inclusive  

 4) Disciplinary procedure: Our complaints and disciplinary procedures could be improved and I think by adopting the key recommendations of the Chakrabarti Report is making steps in the right direction but we can do more for greater fairness and natural justice.

All motions received on the agenda item ‘Recruitment, networking, social media’

A) Other Labour Left organisations (Kent LLA) – download PDF here
B) Regional organisers (York LRC)- download PDF here

C) Social media guidelines – download PDF here

A) Other Labour Left organisations

Submitted by Kent Labour Left Alliance – download PDF here and Word here

This LLA meeting notes that a number of Labour left organisations/networks are developing to the left of the leadership of Momentum.

These include Labour Transformed, Beyond the Cities and Labour Socialist Network.

We welcome these developments and call on the incoming LLA steering committee to make contact with these formations with a view to liaising with them and exploring the possibility of creating a single umbrella grassroots formation of the Labour left to achieve strategic aims on a principled socialist basis.

B) Regional organisers

Submitted by York LRC – download PDF here and Word here

Conference notes:

The lack of contact, and therefore lack of co-operation and mutual support, between CLPs and Left-leaning groups within them.

Conference believes:

That such contact is essential to building the movement and its campaigning strategies.

Conference proposes:

  • To appoint Regional Organisers, following the existing Labour Party Regions.
  • That these Organisers will collect and circulate contact details for every affiliated group within their Region.
  • That, in consultation with such groups, Organisers will arrange a quarterly Regional Symposium at a suitable venue, such as a university campus.

C) Social media guidelines

Download PDF file here and Word file here

Submitted by Daniel Platts, Rotherham Left Momentum, 31st January 2020 (revised 8th Feb)

Conference believes:

  • For the LLA to have an effective political impact, to successfully communicate its principles and goals, and to encourage growth in support, it is essential to have an active, good quality social media (SM) presence.
  • To do this requires an organised team that is overseen and coordinated properly and has a consistent approach.

Therefore, Conference resolves:

  • To create a role (e.g. Social Media Manager) within the executive / steering / organising group, elected or appointed according to the constitution, with responsibility for overseeing a team that manages the social media presence
  • That the size of the social media team is determined by the scale of the reach needed depending on the political circumstances
  • That the social media team adopt and develop a set of guidelines (see example in appendix) for the team to follow to maintain:
    • a consistent and engaging public output that properly communicates the organisation’s political principles and strategy in relation to the current political landscape
    • effective communications forums to facilitate member/affiliate/signatory internal organisation and political discussion
  • That guidelines should also include, where practical:
    • Ensuring integrity and accuracy
    • Avoidance of libellous or offensive content
    • Interaction with the public, and complaints
    • Utilising functionality of platforms effectively

Appendix

The following guidelines are offered as an example or a draft that the social media team may adopt, adapt and develop over time as it deems appropriate.

Public Pages – Official Output

Minimum 1 post per day, maximum 5, aim for 2-3. Too little loses engagement, too much dilutes impact.

Output must reflect the official position of the LLA, so regular consultation is required among members of the SM team and with the leadership committee, to ensure the output is consistent with the constitution and current political priorities/positions.

Non-LLA articles or posts should only be shared after fully reading them, and after some basic research about the source to ensure they are reliable and do not conflict with LLA principles. This also applies to liking other pages. Liking pages is useful in FB to develop a public page’s separate newsfeed so is encouraged.

There should also be some consideration about whether posts may reflect badly on LLA unnecessarily such as with controversial subjects – an intelligent approach to addressing such subjects should be taken (choose your battles), however LLA should also avoid self-censorship or shying away from controversy when the LLA principles and strategy demand it.

To maintain consistency and avoid wasting time, responding to public comments on posts should generally be avoided, but some judgement should be used – some clear rebuttals of any hostile initial comments may be useful, as these comments will be seen first. However, perhaps simply hiding/deleting hostile initial comments may be a more efficient approach.

It is encouraged to set filters on key words to avoid public comments that are offensive or overly hostile. The SM team should compile a list of such key words. Where commenting starts to become a lengthy hostile debate among the public, blocking / switching off further commenting is advised.

Monitoring direct messages is similar to responding to post comments, which generally do not require a response. For example, messages are often used by individuals to disseminate personal opinions, or links to events or political articles. Such messages don’t usually warrant a response, but where useful articles or event notifications are received, a simple thumbs up may be suitable, but still the sources need some basic vetting first.

Direct messages that are genuine requests for information about LLA should always be responded to within hours or at least the same day, especially if there is potential for recruitment.

Which Platforms?

This guidance document is largely based on Facebook as the primary platform, and will need to be interpreted appropriately for alternative platforms.

LLA should attempt to have a public presence on all the key SM platforms, approximately in this order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snap Chat.

However, it is essential that new platforms are only used when the SM team has enough people with the available time/resource. Where the team is limited, it should make decisions about reducing output on certain platforms or even suspending accounts.

Ideally any original output will be initiated on FB, and then will be duplicated but adapted as necessary for the other platforms. It could work the other way, when useful links or posts originating on other platforms warrant sharing across the different platforms.

As different platforms tend to access different audiences and have different capabilities, the SM team may identify opportunities to create original content on platforms other than FB, but this should be in a coordinated way for consistency.

Organising and Networking

LLA has several Facebook forums, and this platform does have decent functionality for threads, files, polls, etc, and should remain until the organisation has embedded with some stability for a decent period following the LLA launch conference.

Discussion forums do not require as much management and are not as essential to the organisation as “organising” SM forums.

Discussion forums are good for political debate about a wide range of issues, which signatories can use to hone their political positions, and then go on to influence the LLA or other political organisations through motions etc. However, they are not intended to be used to manage the organisation or communicate on organisational matters, so do not require the same monitoring and discipline. There is no reason that discussion forums cannot exist on various different platforms, if the SM team resources are sufficient to manage them. They still require moderation to discourage offensive or overly hostile conduct, including persistent advocacy of politics that contradict LLA principles or strategy.

An organising SM forum is essential, and one already exists on FB. It is primarily for discussing organisational matters, such as coordinating political activity at events that LLA have organised or are involved in, or could intervene at; polling signatories for preferences on candidates or requests for feedback or information about certain organisational matters and decisions; disseminating essential information about key Labour Party or trade union democratic processes; etc. It requires additional moderation than a discussion forum to maintain discipline to avoid numerous casual posts that signatories consider interesting or worthy of discussion, or people wandering into lengthy political discussions that are unlikely to conclude any organisational outcome.

The SM team should establish rules (or review existing rules) published in each forum to encourage discipline and , especially in the organising forum, produce standard response texts for those not following the rules, and have a procedure in place to deal with persistent breach of rules, including consultation among the team about courses of action, which may include consulting the leadership committee.

Size and Structure of SM Team

1 person should act as the SM team coordinator, responsible for checking the team is consulting and operating as per the guidelines, and reporting back to or consulting the leadership committee or wider organisation as required. It is recommended that this person is a public page admin producing regular output.

The team should regularly meet and consult about day to day activity and issues, but also to establish some strategy/methods and consider how to improve impact improving.

Public pages require a minimum 3 people for one platform, and at least an extra 1 for each extra platform to duplicate/adapt posts.

The organising forum requires at least 3 admins/moderators, and this may increase as forum membership increases.

A discussion forum requires at least 2 moderators, and additional numbers depending on how many discussion platforms there are (across different platforms), or the level of activity on each.

The above roles may be shared depending on people’s availability. As an example, with a public page, organising forum, and discussion forum, it would be expected that approx. 8 people should form the SM team, possibly fewer if some are moderating multiple forums.

Additional forums, for example for the leadership committee, should need less moderation and the officer roles may wish to fulfil this role, or appoint somebody. 

Complaints

Complaints should be handled very carefully, especially from the public on the official page, and especially if regarding a sensitive subject or serious accusation. For each complaint, the SM team should all be consulted. For complaints of a serious nature the leadership committee should be consulted.

For the LLA to have an effective political presence, to successfully communicate its principles and goals, and to encourage growth in support, it is essential to have an active, good quality social media (SM) presence. To do this requires an organised team that have a consistent approach. These guidelines aim to help achieve that – they are not rules.

Public Pages – Official Output

Minimum 1 post per day, maximum 5, aim for 2-3. Too little loses engagement, too much dilutes impact.

Output must reflect the official position of the LLA, so regular consultation is required among members of the SM team and with the leadership committee, to ensure the output is consistent with the constitution and current political priorities/positions.

Non-LLA articles or posts should only be shared after fully reading them, and after some basic research about the source to ensure they are reliable and do not conflict with LLA principles. This also applies to liking other pages. Liking pages is useful in FB to develop a public page’s separate newsfeed so is encouraged.

There should also be some consideration about whether posts may reflect badly on LLA unnecessarily such as with controversial subjects – an intelligent approach to addressing such subjects should be taken (choose your battles), however LLA should also avoid self-censorship or shying away from controversy when the LLA principles and strategy demand it.

To maintain consistency and avoid wasting time, responding to public comments on posts should generally be avoided, but some judgement should be used here – some clear rebuttals of any hostile initial comments may be useful, as these comments will be seen first. However, perhaps simply hiding/deleting hostile initial comments may be a more efficient approach.

It is essential to set filters on key words to avoid public comments that are offensive or overly hostile. The SM team should compile a list of such key words. Where commenting starts to become a lengthy hostile debate among the public, blocking / switching off further commenting is advised.

Monitoring direct messages is similar to responding to post comments, and generally do not require a response. For example, messages are often used by individuals to disseminate personal opinions, or links to events or political articles. Such messages don’t usually warrant a response, but where useful articles or event notifications are received, a simple thumbs up may be suitable, but still the sources need some basic vetting first.

Direct messages that are genuine requests for information about LLA should always be responded to within hours or at least the same day, especially if there is potential for recruitment.

Which Platforms?

This guidance document is largely based on Facebook as the primary platform, and will need to be interpreted appropriately for alternative platforms.

LLA should attempt to have a public presence on all the key SM platforms, approximately in this order of preference: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snap Chat.

However, it is essential that new platforms are only used when the SM team has enough people with the available time/resource. Where the team is limited, it should make decisions about reducing output on certain platforms or even suspending accounts.

Ideally any original output will be initiated on FB, and then will be duplicated but adapted as necessary for the other platforms. It could work the other way, when useful links or posts originating on other platforms warrant sharing across the different platforms.

As different platforms tend to access different audiences and have different capabilities, the SM team may identify opportunities to create original content on platforms other than FB, but this should be in a coordinated way for consistency.

Organising and Networking

LLA already has several Facebook forums, and this platform does have decent functionality for threads, files, polls, etc, and should remain until the organisation has embedded with some stability for a decent period following the LLA launch conference.

Discussion forums do not require as much management and are not as essential to the organisation as “organising” SM forums.

Discussion forums are good for political debate about a wide range of issues, which signatories can use to hone their political positions, and then go on to influence the LLA or other political organisations through motions etc. However, they are not intended to be used to manage the organisation or communicate on organisational matters, so do not require the same monitoring and discipline. There is no reason that discussion forums cannot exist on various different platforms, if the SM team resources are sufficient to manage them. They still require moderation to discourage offensive or overly hostile conduct, including persistent advocacy of politics that contradict LLA principles or strategy.

An organising SM forum is essential, and one already exists on FB. It is primarily for discussing organisational matters, such as coordinating political activity at events that LLA have organised or are involved in, or could intervene at; polling signatories for preferences on candidates or requests for feedback or information about certain organisational matters and decisions; disseminating essential information about key Labour Party or trade union democratic processes; etc. It requires additional moderation than a discussion forum to maintain discipline to avoid numerous casual posts that signatories consider interesting or worthy of discussion, or people wandering into lengthy political discussions that are unlikely to conclude any organisational outcome.

The SM team should establish rules (or review existing rules) published in each forum to encourage discipline and , especially in the organising forum, produce standard response texts for those not following the rules, and have a procedure in place to deal with persistent breach of rules, including consultation among the team about courses of action, which may include consulting the leadership committee.

Size and Structure of SM Team

1 person should act as the SM team coordinator, responsible for checking the team is consulting and operating as per the guidelines, and reporting back to or consulting the leadership committee or wider organisation as required. It is recommended that this person is a public page admin producing regular output.

The team should regularly meet and consult about day to day activity and issues, but also to establish some strategy/methods and consider how to improve impact improving.

Public pages require a minimum 3 people for one platform, and at least an extra 1 for each extra platform to duplicate/adapt posts.

The organising forum requires at least 3 admins/moderators, and this may increase as forum membership increases.

A discussion forum requires at least 2 moderators, and additional numbers depending on how many discussion platforms there are (across different platforms), or the level of activity on each.

The above roles may be shared depending on people’s availability. As an example, with a public page, organising forum, and discussion forum, it would be expected that approx. 8 people should form the SM team, possibly fewer if some are moderating multiple forums.

Additional forums, for example for the leadership committee, should need less moderation and the officer roles may wish to fulfil this role, or appoint somebody. 

Complaints

Complaints should be handled very carefully, especially from the public on the official page, and especially if regarding a sensitive subject or serious accusation. For each complaint, the SM team should all be consulted. For complaints of a serious nature the leadership committee should be consulted.

Supported by Andy Gray, Martin Hickman, Tom Donaldson, Jackie Treanor, Linda Gamston, Diann Fitzgibbons, Dianne Caster, Bob Thomson, Ian Roddison, Daniel Platts, Tina Werkmann

 

CLP nominations and support for Jo Bird and Mehmood Mirza

Jo Bird – CLP rep

  1. Aberconwy
  2. Arfon
  3. Ashfield
  4. Bath
  5. Bermondsey and Old Southwark
  6. Berwick on Tweed
  7. Birkenhead
  8. Bolton South East
  9. Bolton West
  10. Bootle
  11. Bournemouth East
  12. Bournemouth West
  13. Brecon and Radnorshire
  14. Brent Central
  15. Brighton Kemptown
  16. Brighton Pavillion
  17. Bristol North West
  18. Bromley and Chislehurst
  19. Cambridge
  20. Cardiff North
  21. Carmarthen East and Dinefwr
  22. Ceredigion
  23. Chelmsford
  24. Cheltenham
  25. Chingford & Wood Green
  26. Cities of London and Westminster
  27. Colne Valley
  28. Croydon Central
  29. Croydon South
  30. Dartford
  31. Daventry
  32. Dulwich and West Norwood
  33. Dwyfor Meirionnydd
  34. Ealing Southall
  35. East Ham
  36. Erith and Thamesmead
  37. Fylde
  38. Gravesham
  39. Hackney South And Shoreditch
  40. Harborough
  41. Harrow East
  42. Hastings and Rye
  43. Hemel Hemstead
  44. Hexham
  45. Heywood and Middleton
  46. Hornsey and Wood Green
  47. Huddersfield
  48. Hyndburn
  49. Isle of Wight
  50. Kenilworth and Southam
  51. Kingswood
  52. Leeds Central
  53. Leeds East
  54. Leeds North East
  55. Leeds West
  56. Leicester South
  57. Liverpool Riverside
  58. Liverpool Walton
  59. Liverpool Wavertree
  60. Liverpool West Derby
  61. Macclesfield
  62. Manchester Gorton
  63. Mid Sussex
  64. Montgomeryshire
  65. Newark
  66. Newcastle Central
  67. North East Fife
  68. North East Somerset
  69. North Herefordshire
  70. North Thanet
  71. Northampton North
  72. Northern Ireland
  73. Nuneaton
  74. Oxford East
  75. Pendle
  76. Peniston and Stockbridge
  77. Penrith and the Border
  78. Peterborough
  79. Reading East
  80. Ribble Valley
  81. Rochester and Strood
  82. Rother Valley
  83. Rotherham
  84. Ruislip Northwood Pinner
  85. Rushcliffe
  86. Sheffield Hallam
  87. Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough
  88. Sleaford and North Hykeham
  89. South East Cornwall
  90. South Northants
  91. South Thanet
  92. South Warwickshire
  93. South West Bedfordshire
  94. South West Hertfordshire
  95. South West Wiltshire
  96. South West Wolverhampton
  97. St Austell and Newquay
  98. St Helen’s South
  99. Stafford
  100. Stockton South
  101. Stratford on Avon
  102. Streatham
  103. Streford and Urmston
  104. Tewskesbury
  105. Tiverton and Honiton
  106. Tottenham
  107. Tunbridge Wells
  108. Wallasey
  109. Warwick and Leamington Spa
  110. Wells
  111. West Ham
  112. Wirral South
  113. Wirral West
  114. Worthing West
  115. Ynys Mon

Plus support from Jewish Voice for Labour, Labour Left Alliance, Labour Representation Committee and Welsh Labour Grassroots

Mehmood Mirza (BAME rep)

  1. Bognor Regis And Littlehampton (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  2. Bolton West (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  3. Boston and Skegness (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  4. Brecon and Radnorshire (Keir Starmer; Rosena Allin-Khan)
  5. Bridgwater and West Somerset (Keir Starmer; Dawn Butler)
  6. Bristol North West (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  7. Bristol West (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  8. Broxtowe (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  9. Bury South (Lisa Nandy; Angela Rayner)
  10. Chelmsford (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  11. Clwyd South (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  12. Croydon North (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  13. East Ham (Keir Starmer; Richard Burgon)
  14. Ellesmere Port And Neston (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  15. Exeter (Keir Starmer; Rosena Allin-Khan)
  16. Heywood and Middleton (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  17. High Peak (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  18. Ilford South (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  19. Isle of Wight (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  20. Kingston and Surbiton (Lisa Nandy; Angela Rayner)
  21. Lancaster and Fleetwood (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  22. Leeds East (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  23. Leeds West (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  24. Liverpool West Derby (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  25. Maidstone and The Weald (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  26. Manchester Central (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  27. Manchester Withington (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  28. New Forest East (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  29. Newark (Lisa Nandy; Dawn Butler)
  30. Nuneaton (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  31. Oxford West and Abingdon (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  32. Peterborough (Keir Starmer; Richard Burgon)
  33. Romsey and Southampton North (Keir Starmer; Rosena Allin-Khan)
  34. Rushcliffe (Emily Thornberry; Dawn Butler)
  35. Rutland and Melton (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  36. Salisbury (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  37. Sleaford and North Hykeham (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  38. Southend West (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Angela Rayner)
  39. St Austell and Newquay (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Richard Burgon)
  40. Stockton South (Lisa Nandy; Angela Rayner)
  41. Stoke-on-Trent Central (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  42. Stoke-On-Trent South (Keir Starmer; Angela Rayner)
  43. West Ham (Rebecca Long-Bailey; Dawn Butler)
  44. West Lancashire (Emily Thornberry; Angela Rayner)

Plus support from Labour Left Alliance and nominated by TSSA union