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.

We have asked all left wing candidates four questions and will publish the answers as and when we receive them. We also have running list with CLP nominations for Jo Bird and Mehmood Mirza here.

Political statements:

NEC and leadership elections: guidelines for CLP meetings:
https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/LE20-Guidelines-for-CLP-Nomination-Meetings.pdf

NEC elections: timetable and procedures
https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/NECCLP20-Procedures-and-timetable..pdf

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

All motions received on the agenda item ‘Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities’

We have received nine motions on this subject:

A) Labour Party NEC elections
(Lee Rock et al)- download PDF here
B) Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities
(Rotherham Left Momentum) – download PDF here
C) An action-based strategy for the LLA
(Tim Argument et al)- download PDF here
D) Green New Deal (Lincolnshire LLA)
– download PDF here
E) Campaign against Scottish independence (Glasgow LLA)
– download PDF here
F) Launching outwards (Medway/North Kent LLA) – download PDF here
G) Campaign against IHRA definition of antisemitism – download PDF here
H) Accept the UK is leaving the European Union (Cheltenham LL) – download PDF here
I) Housing (Merseyside LLA) – download PDF here

A) Labour Party National Executive Committee (NEC) Elections

Download in PDF version or Word file. Please also read this background information in Word and PDF.

The LLA agrees to:

1. Hold an election of all LLA signatories for the nine NEC positions reserved for CLPs, and for the one BAME position.

The election to be held electronically using a transferable voting system.

The nine people selected in the CLP section are listed in the order of position they are elected in.

2. Approach the following groups seeking a joint slate:

Labour Representation Committee (LRC)

Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)

Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD)

Agree a mechanism to determine a joint slate, e.g. a joint ballot.

Where a joint slate with any or all of the above is agreed, the LLA candidates will be determined according to where they were placed in the internal LLA elections.

3. If none of the other above groups agree to a joint list of candidates with the LLA we ballot LLA signatories between the following four options:

i. Support the CLGA list of candidates;

ii. Support the CLGA list of candidates except for Jon Lansman;

iii. Apply to join the CLGA and take part in their process; and

iv. Stand our own candidate or candidates under the LLA banner.

4. Any LLA member selected to stand for an NEC position is expected to cooperate fully with the EC and/or Organising Group of the LLA in order to promote the LLA and to build the LLA database of potential supporters. LLA will design a GDPR and Data Protection Act-compliant process where Labour members contacted about the NEC elections can opt-in to the LLA database. The data will be retained during and after the NEC elections for the purposes of promoting and building the LLA.

Background: Present decision making process for NEC ‘left’ list

At the moment the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance determines the ‘left/centre’ candidates for the NEC elections (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centre-Left_Grassroots_Alliance).

The CLGA has the agreeing of the NEC slates as its only purpose.

Affiliated groups to the CLGA are:

  • Momentum (aka Lansman)
  • Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD)
  • Labour Representation Committee (LRC)
  • Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL)
  • Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
  • Labour Briefing Co-op
  • Left Futures (Lansmans blog)
  • Labour Assembly Against Austerity
  • Red Labour
  • Grassroot Black Left (GBL)

The above groups meet and haggle over the acceptable names for the CLGA slate.

As can be seen above, some of the affiliated groups are real and carry some weight in the Labour Party

  • Momentum has the numbers, the finances, the database, the full time staff etc.
  • The CLPD has a name that is well recognised.
  • The LRC has a small but loyal following.
  • JVL has a well-respected name.
  • The other groups are either hardly known or mere shells.

In very recent times Momentum has attempted to choose the candidates alone, but have had to back down when others have threatened to stand as well.

Submitted by Lee Rock, Philip Adams, Alan Bellchambers, Pam Bromley, Jeff Conibear, Liam Daniel, Dom Crinson, Alan Donovan, David Edwards, Helen Glazier, Angie Graham, Jim Hignett, Diane Jenkinson, Leon Jevons, Lara Johnson, Mike Kennard, Diane Langford, Kay Lawrence, Vicky Leverett, Gill Mccall, Terry Mccormick, Steve McKenzie, Antoinette Mangion, Tony Mercer, Hannah Moynehan, Jill Narin, William Owen, Mel Poole, Phil Pope, Alex Potter, Amanda Reed, Liv Singh, Ken Syme, Karen Wilson, Nev Wright,

B) Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities

Submitted by Rotherham Left Momentum Motion. Download as PDF here and Word file here.

In line with the purpose and principles of our constitution:

Political Priorities and Goals:

  • Radically improve the democratisation of the Labour Party and trade unions to empower the membership, especially at grassroots level, to grow the membership, increase its activism and improve its effectiveness;
  • Implement open selection (mandatory reselection) in the Labour Party so the membership can democratically assess candidates and select those that will best represent in the Parliamentary Labour Party the socialist interests of local communities and wider society;
  • Re-instate clause 4 part 4 of the Labour Party rule book with its original wording or similar, with a clear commitment to socialism based on the principle of “from each according to their ability to each according to their need”
  • Publicly dismantle the baseless claims of a widespread or institutional problem of antisemitism in the Labour Party, or indeed of a higher prevalence than other parties, using all available evidence and research which disproves it; and also dismantle the illogical accusation that this in any way equates to a refusal to acknowledge or handle seriously any antisemitic incidents.
  • Reverse the Labour Party’s adoption of the examples in the IHRA definition of antisemitism which conflate anti-Zionism or criticism of Israel with antisemitism, and which restrict freedom of speech regarding legitimate concerns and political debate;
  • Reverse the unjust suspensions and expulsions of Labour Party members that were the victims of the witch hunt of left wing and socialist members by unfairly and without adequate evidence being accused of antisemitism or bringing the party into disrepute relating to the matter.
  • Prevent the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ 10 pledges from being incorporated into the Labour Party rule book or procedures, for reasons laid out clearly in the LAW and SLL letter that the LLA signed up to.
  • Maintain a consistent, internationalist policy within the Labour Party (and beyond), condemning unjust wars, imperialist interventions, colonial subjugation, displacement or persecution of any peoples, defending the democratic and national rights of all, protecting refugees and supporting the free movement of people;
  • Play a leading role in the public debate in convincing the electorate of the merits of the Labour Party’s socialist credentials and recent radical manifestos, to elect a socialist Labour government that will reverse austerity and other regressive attacks on the working class and implement a progressive transformation of society, based on the green industrial revolution, creating massive decent employment, building infrastructure, funding public services, creating public banks, with rapid increase in public ownership and democratic control.

Methods:

  • Be organised and active within the Labour Party, trade unions and other political organisations at grassroots level to influence policy and organisation by democratic means
  • Develop networks, alliances, collaboration and contacts throughout the labour movement, particularly with activists and groups with influence in key roles or functions in the Labour Party, trade unions and other organisations.
  • Develop a national network of potential candidates for all influential roles such as leaders, general secretaries and deputies, MPs, representatives on the NEC, NCC, and CAC, CLP and BLP executives, Labour councillors, TULOs, shop stewards, etc.
  • Provide independent, democratically determined, public political support and criticism to persons in key leadership positions in the Labour Party, trade unions and beyond;
  • Robustly and publicly resist political attacks against the socialist membership of the Labour Party, including against elected representatives and especially the leader, inflicted by the right of the Labour Party, the mainstream media, or indeed any other political opponents.

C) An action-based strategy for LLA

Submitted by Tim Argument et al

Download as a Word file here and PDF file here.

Conference believes that:

  • the LLA objectives set out a clear framework for creating a fairer and more democratic Labour Party more capable of pursuing a socialist programme, if it’s members wish this.
  • the Labour Party needs democratic reform before it can be capable of securing and MAINTAINING social justice in the wider society.
  • to achieve this ALL members of the Party should be treated equally and fairly and be fully accountable to the membership as a whole. Beyond obvious long running issues like MPs reselection this must include all members (MPs included) being subject to a fair and impartial Complaints Process.

Conference notes that many of the issues facing the LLA are historic and have not been resolved despite the efforts of preceding groups.

Conference believes that

  • in order to tackle these the LLA must be more than just another forum for righteous indignation.
  • a failure or inability to produce an action-based strategy will indicate that we can be no more successful than our predecessors.

Conference proposes that the LLA

  • must remain focused on INTERNAL Party reform 
  • should secure a fair and impartial Complaints Process and the role of Labour Complaints, the NEC and Regional Offices in failing to deliver this to date should be fully investigated.
  • should produce a measurable, action based strategy that clearly sets out what we need to do by when, in order to secure all the levers of power within the Party for its members. ‘

Supported by:
Tim Argument, Eric Barnes, Sheila Argument, Andy Coles, Angela Duerden, Denise Addison, Pat Campbell, Siobhan Pearce, Susan Fairweather, Alison Herrington, Jill Navin, Jenny Almedia.

D) Green New Deal

Motion to LLA Conference from Lincolnshire Labour Left Alliance – download in PDF here and Word here.

Adoption of the principles of the Green New Deal as a central part of our organising and campaigning

 Conference notes we are already witnessing the devastating impacts of climate breakdown, alongside the rise of a hard-right nationalism drenched in rampant inequality.

Conference believes that the Labour Left Alliance should campaign to usher in a Green New Deal that revitalises our social and economic bonds – breathing life and energy to ambitious visions of our collective liberation and global solidarity. The Green New Deal can be the winning vision which takes Labour back to power.

Therefore, we commit to the following ten objectives:

1) Building a grassroots movement with climate justice at its heart

2) Bringing the Green New Deal to every town and village in partnership with grassroots community activists and organisers, workers, councillors, and Mayors

3) Campaigning for green jobs and working with trade unions to foster a just transition

4) Promoting public ownership across water, rail, mail, energy (including supply), public transport and broadband

5) Campaigning for Rapid decarbonisation that ensures those most responsible make the greatest changes and pay the greatest price

6) Campaigning for Internationalism that recognises Britain’s unique responsibility and capacity to support mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage action and support globally

7) Support for migrants who are displaced for a confluence of factors, increasingly including climate change

8) Campaign for universal services (across education, housing, health, social care, childcare, youth services, emergency services and more)

9) Campaign for Ecological restoration which repairs losses in ocean and biodiversity, promotes reforestation, and supports a just transition in land use through supporting farmers and local communities to move towards sustainable organic agroecology

10) Communicating the Green New Deal to a variety of audiences

E) Campaign against Scottish independence

Submitted by Glasgow LLA – download PDF here and Word file here

The decline of capitalism as a system produces the tendency for the system to disintegrate. The danger of the current situation is the campaign for independence for Scotland – this would be a disaster for the working class in Scotland. The resulting split in the British working class would weaken the workers movement and the left on both sides of the border. Nationalism and division would be promoted by the doubtless very fractious negotiations surrounding the independence process.

The SNP’s own Growth Commission and one of its former MPs George Kerevan both pointed out that any independent Scotland would have to implement a savage austerity regime for at least some years after independence – in essence the working class will pay with a substantial and probably permanent reduction in living standards.

There is, however, a straightforward matter of democracy – the Scottish Parliament should be able to call a referendum on independence without a Westminster veto.

Therefore the LLA will campaign against Scottish independence and work towards a socialist campaign for the unity of the British working class.

F) Launching outwards

Submitted by Medway/North Kent LLA – download PDF here and Word here

After conference the LLA and all associated groups have to launch outwards. To help achieve that we need to have materials, training, briefings so that affiliated groups can organise campaigns, public meetings, recruit.

In order to recruit and influence within the Labour movement and Union movement, we need a clear LLA strategy.

To be able implement the strategy the practical points for the development of our political level outward facing approach are:

*LLA to provide educational materials for distribution; materials could be printed matter, social media bulletins, emails, YouTube videos

*LLA to provide educational workshops; these could be held in person, via webinars or via videos

*LLA to provide campaign materials so that affiliated groups can run co-ordinated campaigns across the organisation 

*LLA to provide a co-ordinated steer & strategy for influencing the Labour movement and Union movement (this is a big subject dealt with in other motions) but does clarify the LLA’s method and role.

This is a ‘starter’ and not an exclusive list.

There will be many talents, ideas and materials across various local and national groups. The role of the LLA is to harness and co-ordinate these initiatives in line with a common, principled socialist strategy so they have the widest possible effect.

G) Campaign against IHRA definition on antisemitism

Submitted by Leicester Labour Left – download PDF here and Word here

The Labour Left Alliance opposes all forms of racism including antisemitism (ie. hatred of and/or discrimination against Jewish people, for the sole reason of their being Jewish).

LLA notes the adoption in 2018 by the Labour Party of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, together with its accompanying examples.

LLA further notes that the definition has been widely criticised including by Jewish individuals and organisations. According to the originator of the definition, US attorney Kenneth S. Stern, it had never been intended that it be used as a legal or regulatory device to curb academic or political free speech.

LLA believes that the definition, and more precisely the examples attached to the definition, conflate anti-semitism with criticism of Israel and thus have the potential for limiting legitimate debate and freedom of expression on the nature and actions of the Israeli state.

LLA asserts that the adoption of the IHRA definition by the Labour Party is not useful in either combatting anti-semitism or in enabling free and open discussion on issues concerning the situation in the Middle East, including Israel.

For these reasons, we believe it is important for CLPs to call on the Labour Party Conference to withdraw its support for the IHRA definition and its accompanying examples with immediate effect and to submit motions to conference similar to this.

H) Motion for Labour Left Alliance to accept the UK is leaving the European Union

Submitted by Cheltenham Labour Left – download in Word and PDF format

This conference notes:

  • a high majority of Labour marginal seats voted leave in the 2016 EU referendum compared to a few Labour marginal seats that voted remain.
  • the 2017 general election Labour manifesto committed to respect the outcome of the 2016 EU referendum which resulted in a net gain of 30 seats in the subsequent general election.
  • in the 2019 general election of the 60 seats Labour lost, six were lost to the SNP. Of the 54 seats lost in the rest of the UK, 52 of them voted to leave in 2016 (including many Labour have held for generations, including Blyth Valley, Leigh, Rother Valley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Ashfield, Don Valley, Sedgefield, West Bromwich [East and West], Bishop Auckland, Stoke-on-Trent [Central and North], Wakefield and Wrexham): Two voted to remain – Stroud and Kensington which were both unexpected victories in 2017 along with Canterbury (which also voted remain) which we retained.
  • that we have a first-past-the-post voting system therefore elections are won and lost based on swing votes in Labour-Conservative marginals, not winning or losing votes in safe seats.

    We believe that a future Labour government could outside the European Union:
  • fully renationalise mail, rail and utilities under the monopoly of state without the restrictions of competition law.
  • use public spending to provide for our national investment bank and regeneration of ex-industrial and provincial towns without the restrictions on state aid.
  • develop science, technology and green industries.

    This conference resolves:
  • that Labour Left Alliance accepts the UK is leaving the European Union.
  • to build a socialist vision of the UK outside of the European Union.

I) Housing

submitted by Merseyside Labour Left Alliance – download PDF here and Word document here.

We recognize that Labour Councils across the country have been disproportionately disadvantaged under Tory policies of austerity. For example, Liverpool City Council has lost 64% of its local authority budget. Tory cuts to local government have forced Labour Councils to choose where cuts are to be made and will inevitably mean robbing Peter to pay Paul.

Conference reaffirms our total support for the Labour Party manifesto 2019.We congratulate the Labour leadership and believe that the policies we campaigned for were the right policies and would have transformed the lives of millions.

We are particularly concerned at the increasing numbers of homeless people and the number of repossessions of homes, forcing families with young children into bed and breakfast accommodation. The numbers of children pushed into poverty under the Tories has increased year on year and the inability to deal with the housing crisis means this situation will worsen in the next five years.

We recognize the basic right of everyone to have a secure permanent home and believe that a massive house building programme, which was part of the Labour Party Manifesto, is the starting point. We call upon Labour Councils across the country to work together to organize a planned fight back against Tory austerity policies and to draw up a plan of action to establish a National Housing Plan based on building Real Council Houses to rent.

We recognize the need for a National Campaign on this issue and call upon LLA groups across the UK to demand that local councils campaign to end homelessness and commit to taking the message to local people through public meetings, campaigns and publicity in the localities such as local radio and newspapers.

Agendas for LLA pre-conference events could contain:

  1. Agreeing a chair and welcome
  2. Deciding on minute taker
  3. A political opening, perhaps on leadership elections, followed by a short debate
  4. Where a new group is being set up:       
    1.  discussion of what kind of (leadership) structures and officers are needed (plus any campaigns to get involved in)
    1.  affiliation to LLA
    1. if successful: electing a representative to the LLA organising committee
    1. how will affiliation payment to LLA be made (currently £10 for local groups)
  5. LLA conference
    1. motions and amendments for conference (everything will be published here, as and when it is received: https://labourleft.org/lla-launch-conference/)
    1. election of delegates (only LLA signatories can be elected, ratio of 1 delegate per 3 LLA signatories in the area)
  6. Summing up and deciding who will inform LLA OG of outcome of meeting, names of delegates etc.

URGENT ACTION! Help to get Richard Burgon onto the ballot paper!

Please get in touch with your local Labour MP, urging them to give their nomination to Richard Burgon for the position of deputy leader of the Labour Party. Regardless of which candidate you are thinking of voting for, it is important for the left that Richard Burgon is at least on the ballot paper – this will help shape the discussions over the next couple of months about the future direction of the party. Of course, you can also email other Labour MPs. All MPs’ contact details can be found here.

Example letter/email:

Dear [MP]I am emailing you as a matter of some importance, in that I would like you to nominate Richard Burgon for the Deputy Leader.

I am, like many other grassroots members, concerned that Richard might not get sufficient nominations to be on the ballot paper.

I hope you would agree that it important for the democracy of our party that Richard, with the support he has at grassroots level, is at least on the ballot paper to ensure the widest choice as possible.

I look forward to a positive reply.

Solidarity,

Signed

All motions received on the subject ‘Our structures/constitution’

We have received four full draft constitutions, plus a shorter text – they are sorted by date of receipt. The full text is below.

To allow a clear and well-informed debate at conference, the LLA Conference arrangement committee has worked hard to produce a constitutional composite that

a) draws out what we believe are the common ideas in all four drafts, while

b) presenting the main differences as clearly distinct ‘Options’ that conference can vote on.

Click here to read the CAC’s procedural motion which will be taken first in the discussion on ‘Our Structures/constitution’ – if it is agreed, all four original draft constitutions will be superseded and we will continue to discuss the details of the CAC draft composite. If a majority votes against the CAC motion, we will debate the four original draft constitutions featured below.

O) CAC composite draft constitution – download PDF here

A) Labour Against the Witchhunt & Sheffield Labour Left – download PDF here
B) London Labour Left Alliance –
download PDF here
C) Tees Labour Left Alliance –
download PDF here
D) Dulwich LL –
download PDF here
E) Merseyside LLA – download PDF here

O) CAC composite constitution

Download as Word file or PDF document

Note: “Common ground” is that regarded to be reasonably similar or compatible from all four main constitutional drafts submitted by Labour Against the Witchhunt/Sheffield Labour Left, Dulwich Labour Left, Tees Valley Labour Left, and London LLA, and also the smaller motion from Merseyside LLA. It is not possible to be exactly common, so some compromise has been necessary for practicality.

1) Aims

1.1 Common ground:

The Labour Left Alliance was set in July 2019 to bring together groups and individuals on the Labour Left in order to build a democratic, principled and effective alliance that: 

  • organises democratically and transparently;
  • both supports a left leadership against attacks by the right, and is independent and able to criticise our left wing leaders when necessary;
  • opposes racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination and is consistently internationalist, a stance which by definition includes support for the democratic and national rights of the Palestinians;
  • opposes attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism and opposes the witch-hunt against the left;
  • campaigns to radically transform and democratise the Labour Party and the trade unions;
  • campaigns for open selection so that the Parliamentary Labour Party better reflects the views of the vast majority of members;
  • supports and encourages struggles against austerity and all forms of oppression.

Amendment from Rotherham Left Momentum

The constitution should avoid referring to specific strategic aims or tactics that will keep changing, but should instead contain general fixed principles.

Therefore, amend section 1 as follows:

Delete “Aims” and replace with “Principles”

Delete:

  • opposes racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination and is consistently internationalist, a stance which by definition includes support for the democratic and national rights of the Palestinians;
  • opposes attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism and opposes the witch-hunt against the left;
  • campaigns to radically transform and democratise the Labour Party and the trade unions;
  • campaigns for open selection so that the Parliamentary Labour Party better reflects the views of the vast majority of members;

Replace with

  • opposes all forms of persecution and discrimination, including racism and prejudice of all kinds;
  • promotes internationalism, peace, and solidarity, and the democratic rights of all peoples, especially those suffering persecution;
  • is an inclusive organisation that rejects unjust treatment or judgement of people, respecting natural justice and freedom of speech;
  • promotes complete democracy and fully accountable working-class representation within and throughout the Labour Party and trade unions;

Procedural note: Vote for or against

1.2 Differences:

Option A:

The aims in our constitution should be expanded to include other political issues from the following options:

  1. “Free movement of people” [LAW/Sheffield LL]  

Procedural note: Vote for or against

  • “Campaigns for a disciplinary process in the Labour Party which is wholly based on natural justice and due process” [Dulwich LL]

Procedural note: Vote for or against

Option B:

Our aims should also spell out our vision of socialism:

Opposition to capitalism, imperialism, racism, militarism and the ecological degradation of the planet through the ruinous cycle of production for the sake of production.

We envisage a democratically planned economy and moving towards a stateless, classless, moneyless society that embodies the principle “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”.

Commitment to achieving a democratic republic. The standing army, the monarchy, the House of Lords and the state sponsorship of the Church of England must go. We support a single-chamber parliament, proportional representation and annual elections. 

We seek to achieve the full democratisation of the Labour Party. All MPs, MEPs and MSPs should be subject to automatic reselection. All elected Labour Party members should be expected to take no more than the average skilled worker’s wage. The Parliamentary Labour Party should be subordinated to the National Executive Committee.

We seek the replacement of Labour’s existing clause four with a commitment to socialism as the rule of the working class.

We support Labour as the federal party of the working class. All trade unions, cooperatives, socialist societies and leftwing groups and parties should be brought together in the Labour Party.

We shall work with others internationally in pursuit of the aim of replacing capitalism with working class rule and socialism. [London LLA]

Procedural note: Vote for or against

2) Structures

2.1 Common ground:

We encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up. Our aim is to organise every single supporter in an active local or regional Labour Left group.

We welcome, on all levels of the organisation, those who have been unfairly or unjustly suspended or expelled from the Labour Party.

Individual supporters are requested to pay a minimum subscription to help secure the funding of LLA. Affiliation fees for individuals and groups to be set by the organising group.

Decisions on all levels are made by consensus where possible and by simple majority where necessary (not counting abstentions). Decisions should be reached as quickly as possible, allowing the discussion to be as thorough as possible. 

LLA branches and affiliated groups are encouraged to communicate and form any collaborative ventures they wish.

We welcome national, regional and local groups, unions and individuals to become signatories of our appeal.

2.2 Difference: Political orientation/eligibility

Option A:

We want to organise within and also beyond the Labour Party to establish a broad-based socialist movement. [Merseyside LL]

Option B:

We expect all individual LLA supporters to be members of the Labour Party, and organisations to be politically oriented towards the Labour Party and actively engage with it. Other political parties and their members/supporters are not eligible to become signatories to the LLA. [LAW/SLL, Tees Valley LL, London LLA]

Option C:
LLA shall be a broad left organisation composed of the those groups and individuals who subscribe to its principles and who are:

a. Bona-fide Constituency Left Labour Party / Momentum groups

b. Labour Party branches or Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs)

c. Broad Left Labour Party organisations

d. Trade unions

e. Labour Party organisations representing special interests or particular groups of members, (eg BAME, Women’s groups, etc)

f. Individual Labour Party members [Dulwich]

Procedural note: They will be taken against each other as they are incompatible, with an additional option of ‘Neither’.

3) Organising group and steering group

3.1 Common ground:

The organising group meets at least quarterly. Meetings should be scheduled well in advance (at least one month). It publishes agendas, minutes, reports and financial overviews and may set up working groups. It discusses all motions and requests made by at least 10 LLA signatories.

The organising group comprises officers who are accountable to the OG. As a minimum, the following officers shall work together as a steering group:

  • Secretary
  • Chair
  • national organizer
  • treasurer
  • social media and website coordinator.

Additional officers that may be included as the organisation grows, to be determined by the OG:

  • Vice-Chair (or two co-chairs)
  • Assistant Secretary
  • Campaigns Officer
  • Trade Union Organiser
  • Membership and Affiliations secretary
  • Media and Communications Officer
  • Information Officer
  • Campaigns Officer
  • National Organiser

Where an officer position cannot be filled, the OG may co-opt a supporter of the LLA to the steering group – they will have speaking, but no voting rights.

The steering group produces regular minutes and work reports for the OG.

If there is a serious disagreement on the SG, the issue should be brought to the OG to be resolved.

The SG is in ‘permanent session’ and will discuss motions or proposals that have been submitted by any affiliate or a suitable number of individual supporters. Should the movers disagree with the decision by the SC, they can submit their proposals to the Organising Group, which will have to discuss it at the earliest opportunity.

3.2 Difference: How is the leadership elected?

Option A        [London LL]

  • An Organising Group is elected at Conference
  • Conference decides on the size and functions of the OG
  • The OG elects its own officers

Option B         [Sheffield LL]

  • The Organising Group is made up of representatives from all the affiliated groups
  • The affiliated groups can change their representative/s at any time
  • The OG elects annually a Steering Committee of a size of its own determination

Option C        [Dulwich LL]

  • The Organising Group is made up of representatives from all the affiliated groups of over 10 members
  • The OG elects an Officers Group with a maximum of 15 members
  • The Officers Group will establish an executive body to oversee conduct and compliance with the constitution

Option D         [Tees Valley LL]

  • A Steering Committee is elected annually by OMOV electronic ballot
  • There shall be a non-executive Constitutional Committee to provide effective oversight to ensure compliance throughout the organization with the LLA Aims and Constitution
  • The Constitutional Committee shall comprise one representative from each region (elected by OMOV in that region) and one representative directly appointed by each of the national affiliates

Option E       [Brighton LLA]

  • The OG shall consist of 8 people elected at conference and one delegate from each affiliated organisation or branch consisting of 10 or more people.
  • Conference should elect a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer who can be recalled by a 2/3 majority of the Organising Group, which will then elect a replacement until the following AGM.

Procedural note 1: They will be taken against each other as they are incompatible, with an additional option of ‘Neither’.

Procedural note 2: If Option A or E is agreed:

Option 1: Immediate elections shall take place as per the CAC preparations.

Option 2: Call another conference in 6 months time to elect the OG and hear any amendments to the new constitution.

Option 3: Continue with the current OG until the next annual conference.

4) Conference and its composition

4.1 Common ground:

Conference takes place at least annually. A special conference will be held at the request a number individual supporters or affiliated groups or branches (to be decided by the OG).

Conference decides on political strategy, campaigning priorities, structures and the constitution.

The OG decides on a method to allow the full participation of individual members who cannot attend meetings of any affiliated groups.

The OG establishes a Conference Arrangements Committee for the purposes of deciding speakers and the agenda and publishes detailed guidelines and timetables for motions and amendments.

Amendment from Alan Pearson et al:

Add:

“The Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) shall comply with the following requirements:

  1. CAC may facilitate in the compositing of motions by stakeholders but not submit motions of its own accord
  2. Stakeholders are defined as representatives from the local groups or affiliates that have submitted the motions to be composited
  3. Stakeholders must agree the final wording of the composite and shall agree a mover and a seconder who will speak to conference during the relevant debate
  4. If the stakeholders cannot reach agreement then Conference hears all the individual motions
  5. If a limited number of stakeholders agree a composite then Conference hears that composite plus the remaining individual motions
  6. CAC may submit procedural motions to facilitate the effective functioning of Conference subject to approval by the Organising Group  
  7. Members of the CAC are ex-officio at Conference without voting rights unless they are delegates from a local group or affiliate”

Procedural note: Vote for or against

4.2 Difference: How are delegate numbers determined

Option A:

The OG decides on a number or ratio of delegates from affiliated organisations.

[LAW/SLL, Tees Valley LL, London LLA]

Option B:

Group/organisation delegate numbers are determined as follows: 

  • between 10 and 100 members – two delegates 
  • between 100 and 500 members – three delegates
  • between 500 and 2000 members – four delegates
  • over 2000 members – five delegates
  • Unions may affiliate at branch, regional or national level, but they may not have delegates from branches within regions where their Region itself is affiliated. Affiliated trade union national offices are entitled to one delegate.  [Dulwich LL]

Procedural note: They will be taken against each other as they are incompatible, with an additional option of ‘Neither’.

4.3 Difference: Voting at LLA conference

Option A: [Dulwich]

Motions must be passed by both

– a majority of individual members and

– a majority of affiliated groups

Where a motion fails to obtain majority support by both a. and b. above, but achieves a majority of one of them, then the motion will be referred to the Organising Group.

Option B:  [London, Sheffield, Tees Valley]

All decisions are made by a simple majority of those voting.

Procedural note: They will be taken against each other as they are incompatible.

A) Labour against the Witchhunt & Sheffield Labour Left

-> please send comments and proposed changes to info@labouragainstthewitchhunt.org (last update: January 31 2020). PDF version available here, Word file here.

Labour Left Alliance – our rules

  1. Our aims
  2. Individual supporters
  3. The Organising Group
  4. The Steering Committee
  5. LLA conference

1. Our aims

The Labour Left Alliance was set in July 2019 to bring together groups and individuals on the Labour Left in order to build a democratic, principled and effective alliance that: 

  • organises democratically and transparently;
  • both supports a left leadership against attacks by the right, and is independent and able to criticise our left wing leaders when necessary;
  • opposes racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination and is consistently internationalist, a stance which by definition includes support for the democratic and national rights of the Palestinians;
  • opposes attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism and opposes the witch-hunt against Jeremy Corbyn and the left;
  • campaigns to radically transform and democratise the Labour Party and the trade unions;
  • campaigns for open selection so that the Parliamentary Labour Party better reflects the views of the vast majority of members;
  • supports and encourages struggles now against austerity and all forms of oppression;
  • supports the free movement of people.

We believe in the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints. But once LLA has agreed a particular action, a campaign, a leaflet etc. we ask that supporters do not sabotage or undermine it.

2. Individual supporters

We expect all LLA supporters to be members of the Labour Party and encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up. Our aim is to organise every single supporter in an active local or regional Labour Left group. We also welcome, on all levels of the organisation, those who have been suspended or expelled as part of the witch-hunt against the left and Jeremy Corbyn.

Individual supporters are requested to pay a minimum of £10/year to help secure the funding of LLA.

3. The Organising Group

The OG is made up of representatives from all the groups whose affiliation to the LLA has been accepted by the OG. It is up to local and national groups to decide how their representatives are chosen or if and when they should be replaced.

  • All national trade unions can appoint up to three representatives once they have paid the affiliation fee of £500/annum.
  • Any local or regional trade union or Labour Party body can appoint one representative once they have paid the affiliation fee of £100/annum.
  • Every broad left national organisation or organisation representing special interests or particular groups of members with over 200 members can appoint up to two representatives once it has paid the affiliation fee of £200/annum.
  • Every broad left national organisation or organisation representing special interests or groups of members with under 200 members can appoint one representative once it has paid the affiliation fee of £100/annum.
  • Every bona fide local group (including Momentum groups) with a minimum of 10 signed up LLA supporters can appoint one representative once it has paid the affiliation fee of £20/annum.

All representatives on the Organising Group have to be signed up supporters of the Labour Left Alliance.

Groups/organisations/trade unions that are affiliated nationally may also affiliate their regional or local branches, but these cannot send representatives to the OG to avoid duplication and overrepresentation.

The OG should meet at least quarterly, in a face-to-face or an online meeting. It can also make decisions via email or other agreed communication channels by a simple majority of those voting within a given timeframe. It produces regular minutes/reports to LLA supporters. If possible, meetings should be scheduled well in advance (at least one month).

All decisions at all levels are made by a simple majority of those voting (excluding abstentions).

The OG can set up working groups and sub-committees on any particular subject. These work closely with the relevant officer on the SC.

4. The Steering Committee

The Organising Group, at its first meeting after conference and then annually, elects a Steering Committee of the size of its own determination and in order to fill at least the following positions, which have the following responsibilities:

  • Secretary and assistant secretary: Overseeing the implementation of decisions made by SC and OG; drafting email bulletins and other communications with members; compiling and distributing minutes; assisting the OG in organising its meetings etc.
  • Chair: Prepares agendas and chairs meetings of the SC and, on agreement of the OG, meetings of the OG; assists the secretary with overseeing the implementation of all decisions of the SC and OG, etc
  • National organiser: Main contact for affiliated local and national groups; helps to set up and run new local Labour Left groups etc.
  • Campaigns officer: Pulling together, sharing and publicising local experiences, motions and campaigns; seeing through any LLA campaigns agreed by the SC/OG.
  • Treasurer: self-explanatory.
  • Social media coordinator: Overseeing the social media team; making sure there is a steady flow of content produced for public FB page and Twitter etc.
  • Trade union organiser: Organising LLA supporters in different unions; works to get local, regional and national unions affiliated to the LLA etc.

The OG can elect and recall members of the SC at anytime and by a simple majority. Where a position cannot be filled, the OG can co-opt somebody from outside the OG.

The SC is in ‘permanent session’ and makes decisions via face-to-face meetings, or any other agreed ways of communication. All decisions are made by a simple majority of those voting within a given timeframe (ideally, between 24 and 72 hours).

The SC produces regular minutes and work reports for the OG. These should be produced at least monthly, but more regular at peak times.

If there is a serious disagreement on the SC, the issue should be brought to the OG to be resolved.

The SC will discuss any motions or proposals that have been submitted by affiliated, bona fide national or local groups and any motions or proposals submitted by a minimum of 25 individual members. This includes motions and proposals on national campaigns and policy. The movers of those proposals will be informed in writing of the outcome of the discussion. Should the movers disagree with the way forward/the decision by the SC, they can submit their proposals to the Organising Group, which will have to discuss it at the earliest opportunity.

Proposals to change or amend the constitution should be directed to the OG, which will decide if the matter can be decided by the OG or if a special conference should be called.

The SC is accountable to the OG, which can overturn decisions made by the SC at anytime.

5. LLA conference

LLA conference meets at least once a year, but the OG or a petition by 10% of individual supporters, can call a special conference at anytime and on any subject.

Conference makes decisions on:

  1. political strategy
  2. campaigning priorities
  3. structures and constitution

The OG establishes a Conference Arrangements Committee for the purposes of deciding speakers and the agenda and to determine whether motions are within the remit of LLA etc.

The OG decides on the ratio for the election of delegates. It will allocate all members to a particular area where a democratic meeting will be held for the purpose of electing conference delegates and deciding on motions and amendments. 

All affiliated local or national groups or any 10 LLA members can submit one motion and one amendment on each separate conference heading.

B) London Labour Left Alliance

-> as PDF document here, as Word document here.

1. Our aims and principles

1.1. The Labour Left Alliance brings together organisations, groups and individuals with a view to pursuing these aims.

1.2. Opposition to capitalism, imperialism, racism, militarism and the ecological degradation of the planet through the ruinous cycle of production for the sake of production or profit.

1.3. The replacement of Labour’s existing clause four with a commitment to socialism as the rule of the working class. We envisage a democratically planned economy and moving towards a stateless, classless, moneyless society that embodies the principle, “From each according to their abilities, to each according to their needs”. Alone such benign conditions create the possibility of every individual fully realising their innate potentialities.

1.4. Towards that end Labour should commit itself to achieving a democratic republic. The standing army, the monarchy, the House of Lords and the state sponsorship of the Church of England must go. We support a single-chamber parliament, proportional representation and annual elections. Labour needs to win the active backing of the majority of people and should seek to form a government only on this basis.

1.5. We seek to achieve the full democratisation of the Labour Party. All MPs, MEPs and MSPs should be subject to automatic reselection. All elected Labour Party members should be expected to take no more than the average skilled worker’s wage. The Parliamentary Labour Party should be subordinated to the National Executive Committee.

1.6. We support Labour as the federal party of the working class. All trade unions, cooperatives, socialist societies and leftwing groups and parties should be brought together in the Labour Party. Unity brings strength.

1.7. We shall work with others internationally in pursuit of the aim of replacing capitalism with working class rule and socialism.

2. Structure

2.1. The Labour Left Alliance is a membership organisation. Members are required to accept our political aims and principles and pay an annual fee (to be set by the Organising Group).

2.2. We believe in the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints. But, once the LLA has agreed a particular action, we seek to achieve the maximum unity. That cannot be imposed – it has to be won.

2.3. We expect all LLA members to be in the Labour Party and encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up. Our aim is to organise all members in local and regional LLA groups and branches. We also welcome, on all levels of the organisation, those who have been suspended or expelled as part of the witch-hunt against the left.

2.4. LLA conference meets at least once a year. Conference will consist of either individual members or delegates (at a ratio to be decided by the Organising Group). Conference debates aims and principles, agrees political strategy, votes on motions and elects a leadership.

2.5. If 30% of affiliated groups and branches or 30% of individual members so wish, there will be a special conference.

2.6. Affiliated groups, LLA branches or any 10 LLA members can submit one motion and one amendment to conference.

3. Organising Group

3.1. The OG functions as the leadership of the LLA. The OG is elected at conference. Conference decides on the size and functions of the OG.

3.2 The OG elects its own officers on the basis of immediate recallability. The OG can coopt members, given particular needs. While coopted members shall have speaking rights, they will have no voting rights.

3.3. The OG should meet at least quarterly, in a face-to-face or an online meeting. It can also make decisions via email or other agreed communication channels by a simple majority of those voting within a given timeframe. It produces regular minutes/reports to LLA supporters. If possible, meetings should be scheduled well in advance (at least one month).

3.4. The OG decides on the level of affiliation fees for groups and organisations and needs to approve all requests for affiliation.

3.5. All decisions at all levels are made by a simple majority of those voting (excluding abstentions).

3.6. The OG can set up working groups and sub-committees on any particular subject.

Amendments

1) From London LLA and Stan Keable et al:

In point 1.2. remove the words “or profit”.

Procedural note: Vote for or against

2) From Swansea and West Wales LLA:

Delete point 2.3 and replace with:

“We encourage LLA members to be in the Labour Party so long as that member does not actively campaign, electorally, for a vote against the Labour Party. We encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up. Our aim is to enable all members in local and regional LLA groups, branches and affiliated bodies.” 

Procedural note: Vote for or against

 C) Tees Labour Left Alliance

You can download the motion in PDF Format here and read the background notes motivating the constitution here.

  1. Our aims
  2. Individual supporters and basic structure
  3. The Steering Committee
  4. The Constitutional Committee
  5. LLA conference
  6. Disputes
  7. Our aims

The Labour Left Alliance was set up in July 2019 to bring together groups and individuals on the Labour Left in order to build a democratic, principled and effective alliance that:

  • Is organised democratically and transparently
    • Supports a socialist Labour Party leader against attacks by the right, but is independent and able to criticise the leadership when necessary
    • Opposes all forms of racism and discrimination including antisemitism and Islamophobia and is consistently internationalist
    • Opposes attempts to conflate anti-Zionism with antisemitism
    • Campaigns to radically transform and democratise the Labour Party and the trade unions
    • Campaigns for Open Selection in the Labour Party
    • Supports and encourages struggles against austerity and all forms of oppression

We believe in the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints. We do not have ‘party lines’. But once LLA has agreed a particular action, a campaign, a leaflet etc. we ask that supporters do not sabotage or undermine it.

  • Individual supporters and basic structure
    • We expect all LLA supporters to be members of the Labour Party and encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up. Our aim is to organise every single supporter in an active local or regional Labour Left group. We also welcome, on all levels of the organisation, those who have been unfairly suspended or expelled from the Labour Party or unfairly refused admittance.
    • Individual supporters are requested to pay a minimum of £10/year to help secure the funding of the LLA.
    • Members of other socialist political parties are not eligible for membership of LLA although along with non-members individuals are able by invitation to attend public meetings, joint campaigns or events.
    • New members sign up to the national LLA Appeal with applications being approved by the local Labour Left Branch. The local branch may also submit to the LLA Steering Committee recommendations for the revocation of membership
    • Local branches shall be based on constituency boundaries or groups of constituencies as the basic unit of LLA.
    • There shall be cooperation between branches where other boundaries, of local authorities for instance, overlap the constituencies
    • Each local Labour Left Branch shall hold an Annual General Meeting to elect as a minimum its Chair, Secretary and Treasurer along with other officer posts as it deems necessary to ensure effective local operation and liaison with the LLA Steering Committee
    • Branches shall be able to communicate directly with their members and supporters without central control.
    • Branches shall be able to form collaborative ventures with other LLA groups, regional or functional
    • Existing local left groups (for example Momentum, Labour Representation Committee) with a minimum of 10 signed up LLA supporters may affiliate as branches to the LLA with an affiliation fee of £20/annum. There shall be discussion with the LLA Steering Committee as to how local individual signatories to the LLA Appeal may participate in the existing local left group  
    • LLA members may form equality groups with individual constitutions as agreed with the Constitutional Committee:
  • Women
  • LGBT
  • BAME
  • Disabled
  • Youth
    • Trade Unions may affiliate to the LLA at national level with the agreement of the Constitutional Committee and with an affiliation fee of £500/annum.
    • Other national broad left groups with over 200 members may affiliate to the LLA at national level with the agreement of the Constitutional Committee and with an affiliation fee of £200/annum
    • All decisions at all levels are made by a simple majority of those voting (excluding abstentions)
  • The Steering Committee

The management of the Labour Left Alliance shall be in the hands of a national Steering Committee

  • All members of the Steering Committee have to be signed up supporters of the Labour Left Alliance
    • There shall be11 members of the Steering Committee plus the following officers (gender balanced):
  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
    • Members and officers of the Steering Committee shall be elected on an bi-annual basis by the membership of LLA by OMOV electronic ballot
    • Nominations onto the ballot are made by the following:
  • each of the English Regions plus Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, International
  • each  of the Equality Groups
  • each of the national affiliates
    • All of the regions, groups and affiliates above are able to make 1 nomination for each of the officer positions and 2 nominations for the other 11 member places
    • Each LLA Branch is able to select candidates as regional nominees on the basis of 1 candidate for each of the officer positions and 2 candidates, gender balanced, for the other 11 member places. Regional nominees shall be selected by OMOV in that region.
    • Selection of nominees by Equality Groups and Affiliates will be by their own processes as agreed with the LLA Constitutional Committee
  • The Steering Committee shall implement a process for the selection of nominees to the NEC and other bodies that is transparent and democratic.
  • The Steering Committee may elect from its own members or (with the approval of the Constitutional Committee) from the LLA membership the following additional officer positions
  • Assistant Secretary
  • National Organiser
  • Campaigns Officer
  • Social Media Coordinator
  • Trade Union Organiser
  • The functions of the Steering Committee shall be as follows:
  • Membership and financial administration
  • Internal communications including regular bulletins and podcasts
  • External communications including national policy statements and media contact when required
  • Campaign organisation
  • Sharing of best practice in terms of local experiences, motions and campaigns
  • Provision of a main contact for affiliated local and national groups
  • Assistance with the establishment and operation of new local Labour Left groups
  • Overseeing a social media team, managing LLA internal forums and making sure there is a steady flow of content produced for a public FB page and Twitter, etc
  • Organising LLA supporters in different unions and working to get national unions affiliated to the LLA
  • The Steering Committee is in ‘permanent session’ and makes decisions via face-to-face meetings, or any other agreed ways of communication. All decisions are made by a simple majority of those voting within a given timeframe (ideally, between 24 and 72 hours).
  • The LLA Steering Committee shall operate on the basis of transparency, publishing:
  • agendas, minutes, treasurer reports and voting records
  • its internal procedures
  • a structure of the national organisation, including national organisers and administrative roles
  • The LLA Steering Committee is able to form working groups whose proceedings are equally transparent
  • The Steering Committee will discuss any motions or proposals that have been submitted by affiliated, bona fide national or local groups and any motions or proposals submitted by a minimum of 25 individual members. This includes motions and proposals on national campaigns and policy.
  • The Constitutional Committee

The Constitutional Committee provides effective oversight to ensure compliance throughout the organisation with the LLA aims and constitution

  • Members of the Constitutional Committee shall be elected on a bi-annual basis by each of the following (one representative each):
  • the English Regions plus Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, International
  • the Equality Groups
  • the national affiliates
  • Each local Labour Left Branch is able to nominate one Regional candidate. Regional nominees will then be selected by OMOV in that region.
  • Election of representatives by Equality Groups and Affiliates will be by their own processes as agreed with the LLA Constitutional Committee
  • All representatives on the Constitutional Committee have to be signed up supporters of the Labour Left Alliance
  • The Constitutional Committee should meet at least quarterly, in a face-to-face or an online meeting. It can also make decisions via email or other agreed communication channels by a simple majority of those voting within a given timeframe. It produces regular minutes/reports to LLA supporters. If possible, meetings should be scheduled well in advance (at least one month).
  •  LLA Conference

LLA Conference meets at least once a year, but the Constitutional Committee or a petition by 10% of individual supporters, can call a special conference at any time and on any subject.

Conference makes decisions on:

i) Recruitment, organising and social media.

ii) Our aims and purpose: Political strategy, campaigning priorities.

iii) Our structures and constitution

The Steering Committee establishes a Conference Arrangements Committee for the purposes of deciding speakers and the agenda and to determine whether motions are within the remit of LLA etc. 

The Steering Committee decides on the ratio for the election of delegates. It will allocate all members to a particular area where a democratic meeting will be held for the purpose of electing conference delegates and deciding on motions and amendments.  

All affiliated local or national groups or any 10 LLA members can submit one motion and one amendment on each separate conference heading (but every person can only sign one motion/amendment).

Between conferences:

  • Local Labour Left branches / Equality Groups / Affiliates and groups of a minimum of 25 individual members are able to submit motions on each of the 3 categories listed above.
  • Motions on political strategy and campaigning priorities should be submitted to the Steering Committee
  • Motions on constitutional amendments should be submitted to the Constitutional Committee subject to a limit of one such motion per year from each branch, group and affiliate
  • Dependent on the nature of the motion and its potential impact the Steering Committee may make its own decision as to whether to approve it OR consult with the wider membership OR refer it to the Constitutional Committee 
  • Where the motion is a constitutional amendment the Constitutional Committee will decide whether to refer it to the Steering Committee OR consult with the wider membership OR call a special conference
  • Again dependent on the nature of the motion and its potential impact there may be various means of wider consultation, from simply inviting comments, to on-line polls and up to full membership debate including amendments to the motion.
  • The Steering Committee will be responsible for the establishment and operation of  on-line consultation processes with members that are effective in consulting a broad base without holding back change
  • Where, short of a Special Conference, a full debate is required including amendments motions should approved or not by the votes of each LLA branch weighted according to membership numbers.
  • In all cases the movers of the proposals will be informed in writing of the outcome of the discussion. 
  • Disputes

The Steering Committee is responsible for the resolution of disputes relating to complaints, membership, motions, procedures, elections and ballots

The Constitutional Committee is responsible for the resolution of appeals relating to

  • Steering Committee decisions
  • Serious disagreement within the Steering Committee

The Constitutional Committee has the authority to overturn on appeal decisions by the Steering Committee and its decision on all disputes is final.

D) Dulwich Labour Left

download PDF here and Word file here

LABOUR LEFT ALLIANCE  (LLA)

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

The Labour Left Alliance was set in July 2019 to bring together groups and individuals on the Labour Left in order to build a democratic, principled and effective alliance that:

• organises democratically and transparently

•  believes in the free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints

•  is committed to the transformation of society to serve the interests of the many not the few across the NHS, mental health, housing, education, social care and essential services

•  supports and encourages struggles now against austerity and all forms of oppression

•  both supports the Labour leadership against attacks by the right, and is independent and able to criticise the Labour leadership when appropriate

• opposes racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and all other forms of discrimination and oppression; and is consistently internationalist, a stance which by definition includes support for the democratic and national rights of the Palestinian people

• opposes attempts to conflate anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel with antisemitism and opposes all witch hunts against the left

• does not exclude those who have been unjustly suspended or expelled from the Labour Party

• campaigns to radically transform and democratise the Labour Movement

•  campaigns for a disciplinary process in the Labour Party which is wholly based on natural justice and due process

• campaigns for the implementation of mandatory re-selection so that the Parliamentary Labour Party better reflects the views of the vast majority of members

• supports the free movement of people

OBJECTIVES

•  to focus the mass grassroots movement of the Labour Party on wholehearted support for socialist transformative, and anti-austerity policies of the Party

•  to organise every supporter to be active in local or regional Labour Left/Momentum group

 • to encourage all those not already involved in local Labour Left groups to become active in one or help set one up

• to work closely and coordinate with the trade union movement at its branch, regional and national levels

• to form alliances with similar broad left Labour Party grassroots groups (e.g. Labour Representation Committee, Jewish Voice for Labour, etc) to build a national grass roots organisation

• to engage in and coordinate practical action at community, constituency and local government levels to fight austerity and to implement the transformative policies in the 2017 and 2019 Labour Party manifestos

• to work alongside other campaigns and community groups outside the Labour Party whose principles and actions we share

ORGANISATIONAL PRINCIPLES AND STRUCTURE

1.0

LLA shall be a broad left organisation composed of the those groups and individuals who subscribe to its principles:

a.         Bona-fide Constituency Left Labour Party / Momentum groups

b.         Labour Party branches

            OR

            Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs)

c.          Broad Left Labour Party organisations

d.         Trade unions

e.         Labour Party organisations representing special interests or particular groups of members

f.          Individual Labour Party members

1.1

LLA  will be based on democratic principles, and on the principles of equality with respect to race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity and differential ability.

1.2

All voting members, whether delegates from paid up affiliated groups or individuals as (f) above, must be individual members of LLA.

1.3

Proxy voting is not permitted.

2.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM)

The AGM will determine principle policy, in line with the statement of principles.

2.1

The AGM to be composed of:

i.          Voting delegates from affiliated bona-fide Labour Left/Momentum                                                                      constituency groups,

ii           Voting delegates from affiliated Labour Party Branches

            OR

            Voting delegates from affiliated CLPs

iii.         Voting delegates from affiliated trade unions,

iv.         Voting delegates from affiliated broad left organisations,

v.         Voting members from Labour Party organisations representing special                                                                interests or particular groups of members

vi.         Individual LLA members (as 1.0.f above), one member, one vote.

2.2

Labour Left/Momentum groups must have 10 or more signed-up members to qualify to send delagete(s) to the AGM

2.3

Groups/organisation’s to be represented as follows, those with:

i.          between 10 and 100 members are entitled to TWO delegate vote

ii.          between 100 and 500 members are entitled to THREE delegate votes

iii.         between 500 and 2000 members are entitled to  FOUR delegate votes

iv.         over 2000 members are entitled to FIVE delegate votes

2.4

Unions may affiliate at branch, regional or national level, but they may not have delegates from branches within regions where their Region itself is affiliated.

Affiliated trade union national offices are entitled to ONE delegate.

2.5

Motions to Conference may be submitted by any of the above bodies having at leats TEN members and  having been duly proposed, seconded and adopted by these bodies.

2.6

Motions must be submitted three weeks before Conference date and circulated to all constituent groups at least two weeks before Conference.

2.7

Amendments may be submitted up to 24 hours before the Conference date.

2.8

Emergency motions and amendments may be submitted during Conference at the discretion of the Chair or a vote of the Conference

2.9

i.          Motions must be passed by both

            a.         a majority of individual members

                        and

            b.         a majority of affiliated groups

ii.          Where a motion fails to obtain majority support by both a. and b. above, but achieves a majority of one of them, then the motion will be referred to the Organising Group.

2.10

The AGM may change the LLA Constitution.

Motions to change the constitution must be passed by both

            a.         a majority of individual members

                        and

            b.         a majority of the delegate votes of affiliated groups

2.11

A Conference Organising Committee (COC) shall be set up by the OG to oversee the organisation of Conference, validation of delegates, and to carry out any desirable compositing of motions

2.12

AGM meetings shall be minuted, the minutes distributed/made available to all members/affiliates. These minutes shall be approved, and amended where appropriate, by the first meeting of the OG following the AGM.

3.0

THE ORGANISING GROUP (OG)

An OG to be established composed of representatives of:

i.          Voting delegates from affiliated bona-fide Labour Left/Momentum constituency groups,

ii.          Voting delegates from Labour Party Branches

            OR

            Voting delegates from their CLPs

iii.         Voting delegates from affiliated trade unions,

iv.         Voting delegates from affiliated broad left organisations,

v.         Voting members from Labour Party organisations representing special interests or particular groups                    of members

3.1

The role of the OG is to interpret and implement policy,

3.2

The OG to meet quarterly

3.2

Groups/organisations with:

i.          up to 1000 members are entitled to ONE delegate

ii.          over 1000 members are entitled to THREE delegates

3.3

Decisions of the OG will normally be arrived at by consensus.

Where opinion is strongly divided a decision will be taken by a show of hands.

3.4

Unions are entitled to send representatives from branch, regional or national level, but they may not have representatives from branches within regions where their region itself is represented. Trade union national offices are entitled to ONE representative.

3.5

Motions to the OG may be submitted by any of the above affiliated bodies having been duly proposed, seconded and adopted by these bodies.

3.6

Motions must be submitted two weeks before the OG meeting date and circulated to all constituent groups at least one week before the meeting.

3.7

Amendments may be submitted up to 24 hours before the OG meeting date.

3.8

Emergency motions and amendments may be submitted during the OG meeting at the discretion of the Chair.

3.9

OG meetings shall be minuted, the minutes distributed/made available to all OG members. The minutes shall be approved, and amended where appropriate, at the next OG meeting.

3.10

The OG will determine an attendance figure for its meetings to be quorate.

4.0

THE OFFICERS GROUP

The OG is to elect from its membership officers to carry out the day to day functions of LLA, these officers to be:

Chair

Vice Chair (or two Co-Chairs)

Secretary

Treasurer

Membership and Affiliations secretary

Media and Communications Officer

Website Manager

Social Media Officer

Information Officer

Campaigns Officer

National Organiser

4.1

The Officers Group may add Officer posts as it sees fit, to be agreed at the next OG. Once agreed by the OG new officers will have voting rights.

4.2

The Officers Group my co-opt members for specific purposes, to act as advisors or to assist in specific pieces of work. Co-opted members may attend and contribute to the Officers group, but will not have a vote.

4.3

The Officers Group shall not exceed 15 members.

5.0

CONDUCT & COMPLIANCE

5.1

The Officers Group is tasked with establishing an executive body to oversee conduct and compliance with LLA principles and constitution, and to establish a disciplinary procedure which is completely based on the principles of natural justice and due process.

5.2

Application of the membership rules in the case of people who have been suspended or expelled from the Labour Party as part of the witch-hunt against the left shall be the responsibility of the Officers Group.

5.3

The Organising Group may recall any member of the Officers Group by a specially convened meeting of the OG, of which there shall be two months notice. Recall shall be based on violation of LLA Principles, failure to fulfil responsibilities, or a significant breakdown in trust. This process can be initiated by any two of the of affiliated bodies of the OG provided they are not from the same category.

(the categories being those in 3. i. – v. above).

Proposed: Glyn Secker,  Dulwich & West Norwood

Seconded: Jessica Pigg, Dulwich & West Norwood

E) Merseyside Labour Left Alliance

Download as Word file here and PDF file here

Merseyside LLA calls upon the national LLA to organize within and beyond the Labour Party. We now need as broad –based a socialist movement as possible, which will include those within the Labour Party willing to put up a fight, and focus towards the wider anti-austerity movement and the myriad battles against Tory policies and their repercussions.

Chris Williamson court case

Here are a number of motions currently going forward in various branches and CLPs. Feel free to chop and change.

PLEASE  NOTE THERE IS NO BAN ON MOVING MOTIONS IN SUPPORT OF CHRIS: We hear that, again, in a number of branches and CLPs, the chair has prevented the meeting from discussing motions in support of Chris because of apparent guidelines sent out by Labour HQ. Labour Against the Witchhunt have produced detailed advice to show that this is not the case – click here for more info and details on  how to move a motion.

1) Motion on Chris Williamson court case

This branch/CLP notes with concern

  1. the judgement of the High Court that the Labour Party had “acted unfairly” in retrospectively re-imposing suspension of Chris Williamson MP following the decision of a panel of the National Executive Committee to reinstate his membership; that “there was no proper reason for reopening the case against Mr Williamson”; and that this act was “unlawful”;
  2. the misuse of precious Labour Party funds to defend this unlawful procedure in the High Court;
  3. the further persecution by the Labour Party in arbitrarily imposing on Chris Williamson a second suspension.

We consider the entire report by Judge Pepperall a damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures, and declare our loss of confidence in the integrity of the current disciplinary process, rendering it unfit for purpose. We therefore call on the General Secretary to:

  1. lift the suspension of Chris Williamson MP forthwith;
  2. end the practice of instant expulsions and suspensions;
  3. reinstate the membership of all those summarily expelled or suspended without due process;
  4. conduct a comprehensive review of the party’s legal, disciplinary and disputes procedures; and
  5. ensure that all future disciplinary procedures are carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

* * * * For your information, here are some background notes… Chris Williamson MP was suspended on February 27. On June 26, a three-person antisemitism panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee voted to reinstate Williamson. This was made up of Keith Vaz MP, Huda Elmi and Gerarld Howarth MP. On June 27, following a public campaign against the decision led by Tom Watson, Keith Vaz claimed that he was undergoing medical procedures and felt that he had “not been fit” to consider any of the cases dealt with that day. On June 28, general secretary Jennie Formby informed all NEC members that the decision of the panel would be revisited by the full NEC Disputes Panel. This decided on July 9 that Williamson was suspended again and on July 19 it referred Williamson’s case to the party’s National Constitutional Committee. In his judgement of October 10 2019, judge Edward Pepperall ruled that “the party acted unfairly” in re-suspending Chris Williamson MP on July 9 and that “there was no proper reason for reopening the case against Mr Williamson and referring the original allegations to the NCC”. Judge Pepperall declared the re-suspension “unlawful” and that “the Labour Party is no longer able lawfully to pursue the original [February 27] disciplinary case against Mr Williamson”. Judge Pepperall explained that it was “not difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision [to re-suspend Chris] in this case was that [NEC] members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision.” He referenced Tom Watson organising a public letter of 90 MPs and peers and another letter by 70 Labour staffers, demanding that Jeremy Corbyn strip Williamson of the whip. He also mentioned Margaret Hodge’s claim that the decision meant the “party is turning a blind eye to Jew-hate”. The judge made scathing criticisms of Keith Vaz, who “by June 27 appears to have had seconds thoughts about the matter” by raising “issues about his health”. “It would be surprising if, as an experienced Parliamentarian, Mr Vaz, a) had taken part in an important meeting if he felt himself unfit to do so; and b) then failed to clearly make that point in his subsequent email.” Further, the judge thinks it “surprising” that neither George Howarth nor Huda Elmi “raised the issue of his fitness either at the time or subsequently”. On September 3, a week before the hearing started, the Labour Party issued Chris Williamson with a second suspension on top of his first one. These new allegations, listed in the judgement, clearly do not warrant a suspension: “sending an email to a member of the public who had complained to you about your criticism of Margaret Hodge MP that referred her to a video critical of Margaret Hodge; publicly legitimising or endorsing the misconduct of members or former members who have been found grossly detrimental or prejudicial to the Labour Party; publicly characterising the disciplinary process of the party as politically motivated and/or not genuine. However, as the party had followed its own constitutional procedures correctly, the judge could find “nothing inherently unfair in investigating these fresh allegations”. This is why Chris Williamson remains suspended from the party.

Please note that the press have wrongly reported that Chris Williamson lost his appeal. That is a wilful misrepresentation. He remains suspended on the new charges, on which no ruling has been made.


2) LAW model motion (long)

A shorter version is available further below.

1) This branch/CLP notes:

a) That Chris Williamson MP was suspended on February 27. On June 26, a three-person antisemitism panel of Labour’s National Executive Committee voted to reinstate Williamson. This was made up of Keith Vaz MP, Huda Elmi and Gerald Howarth MP.

b) That on June 27, following a public campaign against the decision led by Tom Watson, Keith Vaz claimed that he was undergoing medical procedures and felt that he had “not been fit” to consider any of the cases dealt with that day.

c) That on June 28, general secretary Jennie Formby informed all NEC members that the decision of the panel would be revisited by the full NEC Disputes Panel. This decided on July 9 that Williamson was suspended again and on July 19 it referred Williamson’s case to the party’s National Constitutional Committee (as this is dominated by the right, a referral usually results in expulsion).

2) We further note:

a) That in his judgement of October 10 2019, judge Edward Pepperall ruled that, “the party acted unfairly” in re-suspending Chris Williamson MP on July 9 and that “there was no proper reason for reopening the case against Mr Williamson and referring the original allegations to the NCC”. Judge Pepperall declared the re-suspension “unlawful” and that “the Labour Party is no longer able lawfully to pursue the original [February 27] disciplinary case against Mr Williamson”.

b) That judge Pepperall explains that it was “not difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision [to re-suspend Chris] in this case was that [NEC] members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June decision.” He references Tom Watson organising a public letter of 90 MPs and peers and another letter by 70 Labour staffers, demanding that Jeremy Corbyn strip Williamson of the whip. He also mentions Margaret Hodge’s claim that the decision meant the “party is turning a blind eye to Jew-hate”.

c) That the judge makes scathing criticisms of Keith Vaz, who “by June 27 appears to have had seconds thoughts about the matter” by raising “issues about his health”. “It would be surprising if, as an experienced Parliamentarian, Mr Vaz, a) had taken part in an important meeting if he felt himself unfit to do so; and b) then failed to clearly make that point in his subsequent email.” Further, the judge thinks it “surprising” that neither George Howarth nor Huda Elmi “raised the issue of his fitness either at the time or subsequently”.

d) That Labour Party HQ repeatedly briefed against Chris Williamson in the media – including the release of private details about his case – which resulted in him being abused and smeared in public by wild and unsubstantiated allegations. Meanwhile, he was not allowed to defend himself, as he was required to sign a confidentiality statement. As opposed to Labour Party HQ, he fully complied with this requirement. In fact, the judge was so concerned about those leaks that he even asked the Party lawyers for them to discontinue.

3) We note with great concern, however:

a) That on September 3, a week before the hearing started, the Labour Party issued Chris Williamson with a second suspension on top of his first one.

b) That these new allegations, listed in the judgement, clearly do not warrant a suspension:

  • “Sending an email to a member of the public who had complained to you about your criticism of Margaret Hodge MP that referred her to a video” which was critical of Margaret Hodge.
  • “Publicly legitimising or endorsing the misconduct of members or former members” who have been found “grossly detrimental or prejudicial to the Labour Party” – ie, standing up for Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone etc.
  • “Publicly characterising the disciplinary process of the party” as “politically motivated and/or not genuine”.

c) However, as the party had followed its own constitutional procedures correctly, the judge could find “nothing inherently unfair in investigating these fresh allegations”.

d) That this is why Chris Williamson remains suspended from the party.

4) This CLP believes:

a) That the report by Judge Pepperall is a damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures. If anything, it proves that Chris Williamson was correct to criticise the disciplinary process of the party as “politically motivated” (one of the allegations leading to his September 3 suspension).

b) That Chris Williamson has said and done nothing that could be characterised as anti-Semitic or that warrants his ongoing suspension from the party. His September 3 suspension was only launched to stop him from becoming Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Derby North once again: suspended members are not allowed to stand.

c) That this shows to what length Labour HQ will go in its futile campaign to try and appease the right in the party. But they will never accept Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, let alone prime minister. They will continue their campaign of sabotage, because he remains unreliable from the ruling class’s point of view, especially given his strong support for the rights of Palestinians.

d) That there is a total loss of confidence in the competence, credibility and integrity of the current disciplinary process, rendering it unfit for purpose.

e) That this brings into serious question the veracity and the credibility of this latest suspension of Chris Williamson, as well as the disciplinary measures taken against many other members.

5) We therefore call on the General Secretary Jennie Formby to:

a) Order a comprehensive overhaul of the Labour Party legal, disciplinary and disputes body. The party must end the practice of automatic and instant expulsions and suspensions and all those summarily expelled or suspended without due process should be immediately reinstated. Disciplinary procedures should be carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

b) Order an investigation into the conduct of members of the NEC Disputes Panel and any Party members, including MPs, who have interfered with and corrupted disciplinary processes. On completion of such an investigation that the appropriate disciplinary measures be taken against anyone found to be in breach of procedural regulations, leaking confidential material to the press or guilty of any other misconduct.

c) Order the immediate lifting of the suspension of Chris Williamson MP and issue an apology to him.



3) Law model motion (short)

1) This branch/CLP notes:

a) That in his judgement of October 10 2019, judge Edward Pepperall ruled that, “the party acted unfairly” in re-suspending Chris Williamson MP on July 9 and that “the Labour Party is no longer able lawfully to pursue the original [February 27] disciplinary case against Mr Williamson”.

b) That judge Pepperall explains that it was “not difficult to infer that the true reason for the decision [to re-suspend Chris] was that [NEC] members were influenced by the ferocity of the outcry following the June [26] decision.”

c) That on September 3, a week before the hearing started, the Labour Party issued Chris Williamson with a second suspension on top of his first one. These are the allegations listed in the judgment:

  • “Sending an email to a member of the public who had complained to you about your criticism of Margaret Hodge MP that referred her to a video” which was critical of Margaret Hodge.
  • “Publicly legitimising or endorsing the misconduct of members or former members” who have been found “grossly detrimental or prejudicial to the Labour Party” – ie, standing up for Marc Wadsworth, Jackie Walker, Ken Livingstone etc.
  • “Publicly characterising the disciplinary process of the party” as “politically motivated and/or not genuine”.

d) That, as the party had followed its own constitutional procedures correctly, the judge could find “nothing inherently unfair in investigating these fresh allegations”.

e) That this is why Chris Williamson remains suspended from the party.

2) This CLP believes:

a) That the report by Judge Pepperall is a damning indictment of our party’s internal disciplinary procedures. If anything, it proves that Chris Williamson was correct to criticise the disciplinary process of the party as “politically motivated” (one of the allegations leading to his second suspension).

b) That Chris Williamson has said and done nothing that could be characterised as anti-Semitic or that warrants his ongoing suspension from the party. The September 3 suspension was only launched to stop him from becoming Labour’s parliamentary candidate in Derby North once again: suspended members are not allowed to stand.

c) That this shows to what length Labour HQ will go in its futile campaign to try and appease the right in the party. But they will never accept Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, let alone prime minister. They will continue their campaign of sabotage, because he remains unreliable from the ruling class’s point of view, especially given his strong support for the rights of Palestinians.

d) That there is a total loss of confidence in the competence, credibility and integrity of the current disciplinary process, rendering it unfit for purpose.

e) That this brings into serious question the veracity and the credibility of this latest suspension of Chris Williamson, as well as the disciplinary measures taken against many other members.

3) We therefore call on the General Secretary to:

a) Order a comprehensive overhaul of the Labour Party legal, disciplinary and disputes body. The party must end the practice of automatic and instant expulsions and suspensions and all those summarily expelled or suspended without due process should be immediately reinstated. Disciplinary procedures should be carried out in accordance with the principles of natural justice.

b) Order an investigation into the conduct of members of the NEC Disputes Panel and any Party members, including MPs, who have interfered with and corrupted disciplinary processes. On completion of such an investigation that the appropriate disciplinary measures be taken against anyone found to be in breach of procedural regulations, leaking confidential material to the press or guilty of any other misconduct.

c) Order the immediate lifting of the suspension of Chris Williamson MP and issue an apology to him.