Labour leadership and NEC elections 2020

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

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

CLP Rep (2 seats to be filled)

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

BAME Rep (1 seat to be filled)

  1. Mehmood Mirza
  2. Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal

We encourage all Labour party members to give their votes to these candidates in the elections. This means that, in addition to our support for Jo Bird, we were encouraging votes for Graham Durham and Mehmood Mirza, but since they were very recently suspended, we don’t expect them to be on the ballot, in which case we encourage votes for Lauren Townsend and Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal. However, we recognise that these suspensions, as well as the suspension of Jo Bird (recently overturned), Mo Azam, and Keith Hussein without due process means this election is now invalid.

We urge people to support the campaign to IMMEDIATELY HALT AND DELAY the NEC elections until these summary suspensions have been properly processed. We urge people to support and share the following regarding this matter:

The procedure of suspending Labour Party members before any investigation or even publication of any reason for such a suspension is in itself a clear injustice that should cease immediately. But the use of such a procedure during an election can clearly be abused to affect the outcome of the election and makes the process invalid. Indeed, it appears highly suspicious that the suspensions are of those candidates with substantial popularity as indicated by the high number of nominations they have received. In addition, it is highly suspicious that the most recent suspensions have occurred so close to the start of the balloting process, meaning it is virtually impossible for the suspensions to be overturned to allow the candidates to remain on the ballot. This is entirely undemocratic, clearly breaches natural justice, and must be stopped. Please support the campaign to halt and delay the elections.

However, to avoid a further distortion of the election outcome, if the election is allowed to continue to a conclusion despite the lack of validity, please vote in the elections. Abstentions will not provide any advantage or justice whatsoever.

In a previous poll, LLA supporters also indicated their preference for Rebecca Long-Bailey for leader and Richard Burgon for deputy leader. We have criticisms of RLB, chiefly her inability to defend members’ rights by attempting to placate the anti-socialists demands for members’ data and the disciplinary process to be given to external non-labour movement organisations. We support the ‘Open Letter to Rebecca Long-Bailey’ which calls on her to distance herself from the Board of Deputies’ so-called ’10 pledges’ – it has been signed by almost 5,000 people. But she is the most left-wing of the candidates on the ballot paper and that matters in this period of the ongoing civil war in the party.