Report back from our launch conference

In the run up to conference, we received twelve motions (most of which were agreed) and four detailed proposals for a LLA constitution. Conference decided on what we believe is a very democratic (and unusual) way to decide our structures: The conference arrangements committee had prepared a composite constitution, which featured the ‘common ground’ of all four proposals and then presented their key differences in clearly defined ‘options’ that delegates could vote on. The many hours of work contained in preparing this CAC constitution paid off: many delegates made reference to how “democratic” this process felt and that the proposers of the original four draft constitutions got ample opportunity to present the case for their particular vision and proposals for the LLA. Our new constitution is available online here. Below is a detailed outline of how conference voted on which amendments, options and motions.

John Bridge of London LLA had raised a point of order requesting that the discussion of the constitutional options be taken first and moved to the morning session, as in his view to do otherwise would be “putting the cart before the horse”. While his point was well taken, it was felt that at such short notice the conference agenda could not be so drastically re-ordered, and the original running order, with single-issue motions from individual LLA groups taken before lunch, was retained.

Tony Greenstein of Brighton LLA raised a second point of order requesting the suspension of the proposed Standing Orders, on the grounds that conference had not had the opportunity to debate them. Although recognising that this situation was not ideal, after some discussion it was concluded that conference would operate on the basis of the Standing Orders contained in the Delegate Packs provided.

There are more pictures from our conference available here.

Steve Burgess from Manchester presented an emergency motion on Rebecca Long-Bailey’s February 16 TV interview with Andrew Marr. However, the CAC felt that this was not a real emergency and that aspects of the motion were covered by a motion on the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism, which was discussed earlier in the day. The CAC also thought that our ‘Open Letter to Rebecca Long-Bailey’ deals with much contained in the motion and asks RLB to distance herself from the Board of Deputies’ so-called 10 Pledges. This decision by the chair to disallow the motion was put to conference: 45 voted in favour of hearing the motion and 45 against, so the motion fell.

We raised £1,268.58 at conference, which means we are not just able to cover the cost of the hall (£500) and the printing of the delegates pack (£482.40) – but also some previous printing and website hosting costs!

Decisions & voting figures:                

1. Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities      

A) Labour Party NEC elections (Lee Rock et al)- download PDF here        

                                                                                    -> overwhelmingly passed

B) Political campaigning strategy, goals and priorities (Rotherham Left Momentum) – download PDF here

                                                                                    -> overwhelmingly passed

C) An action-based strategy for the LLA (Tim Argument et al)- download PDF here

                                                            -> passed after card vote (76 for, 46 against)

D) Green New Deal (Lincolnshire LLA) – download PDF here                                                        
                                                                                                       -> overwhelmingly passed

E) Campaign against Scottish independence (Glasgow LLA) – download PDF here

                        -> narrowly defeated (45 in favour, 52 against, 28 abstentions)

F) Launching outwards (Medway/North Kent LLA) – download PDF here 

-> overwhelmingly passed  

G) Campaign against IHRA definition of antisemitism – download PDF here

-> remitted to Organising Group

H) Accept the UK is leaving the European Union (Cheltenham LL) – download PDF here

                                      -> passed after card vote (63 for, 53 against, 5 abstentions)

  I) Housing (Merseyside LLA) – download PDF here

               -> passed after a challenge to take vote in parts was defeated 55 to 52

2. Our constitution                         

a) CAC procedural motion – click here

-> overwhelmingly passed after all five constitutional motions were moved, which means we went straight onto discuss the CAC composite constitution only.
-> A point of order to allow voting in parts passed, but the motion was carried in full.

b) CAC composite draft constitution – download PDF here                       

1) Aims

Amendment from Rotherham Left Momentum

               -> defeated

Option A:
Add “Free movement of people” to the Aims [Sheffield LL/LAW]

               -> overwhelmingly passed

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

               -> unanimously passed

Option B
                                                                                                                                     -> defeated

2) Structures

2.2 Difference: Political orientation/eligibility

The three options were taken against each other.

Option A:

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

                                                                                                                         -> 32 votes (falls)

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. [London, Sheffield LL/LAW, Tees Valley LL]

                                                                                                                         -> 87 votes (wins)

Option C:

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

  • Bona-fide Constituency Left Labour Party / Momentum groups
  • Labour Party branches or Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs)
  • Broad Left Labour Party organisations
  • Trade unions
  • Labour Party organisations representing special interests or particular groups of members, (eg BAME, Women’s groups, etc)
  • Individual Labour Party members [Dulwich LL]

-> 7 votes (falls)

3) Organising group and steering group

3.2 Difference: How is the leadership elected?

The five options were taken against each other, plus ‘Neither’

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

                                                                                                 -> 47 votes (in first round)

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

                                                                                                             -> 59 votes

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

                                                                                                             -> 2 votes

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

                                                                                           -> 10 votes

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.

                                                                                           -> 5 votes

Second straight vote between Option A) and Option B)

-> Option A = 46 votes (falls), Option B 74 votes (passes)

4) Conference and its composition

Amendment from Alan Pearson et al:

                                                                                           -> falls

4.2 Difference: How are delegate numbers determined

The two options were taken against each other.

Option A:
The OG decides on a number or ratio of delegates, including for those from affiliated organisations. [LAW/SLL, Tees Valley LL, London LLA]

                                                                                           -> 80 votes (passes)

Option B:
All LLA members may attend and vote (one member, one vote)
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]

                                                                                           -> 26 votes (falls)

4.3 Difference: Voting at LLA conference

The two options were taken against each other.

Option A:

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.

                                                                                           -> falls

Option B:  [London, Sheffield, Tees Valley]

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

                                                                                           -> overwhelmingly passed

4.3. Recruitment, networking, social media                                       

A) Other Labour Left organisations (Kent LLA) – download PDF here              

                                                                                           -> overwhelmingly passed

B) Regional organisers (York LRC)- download PDF here

                                                                                           -> overwhelmingly passed

C) Social media guidelines – download PDF here     

                                                                                      -> overwhelmingly passed