The by-election for three places on Labour’s National Executive Committee is messy, with multiple “left” slates or partial slates in competition.
Momentum, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the rump Labour Representation Committee, and the (Chris-Williamson-ite) Labour Left Alliance are supporting different combinations of candidates.
• CLPD are backing Lauren Townsend and Cecile Wright for the two CLP places
• Momentum, Lauren Townsend and Leigh Drennan, plus Nav Mishra for the BAME place
• LRC, Jo Bird and Deborah Hobson, plus Hassan Ahmed for BAME
• LLA, Jo Bird and Mohammed Azam, plus Mehmood Mirza for BAME.
Yes, it’s a little dizzying.
Jo Bird and Mohammed Azam, who were doing well with CLP nominations, have just been suspended from the party for unknown reasons and thus disqualified. Despite our decisive disagreements with the LLA on many issues, and in particular antisemitism, this seems like an anti-democratic stitch-up.
There is only one right-wing slate, and it is clearly right-wing, organised by Labour First: Johanna Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan, plus Carol Sewell.
We don’t want the right-wing candidates to win, and for the first time in years, they may win. So?
It's difficult to see clear political contrasts between the candidates from their election statements. The rump LRC is very poor politically, the LLA even more so. The CLPD option seems better than Momentum for several reasons.
Firstly, for all its organisational and political problems, CLPD is more democratic and open to discussion, and thus more of a forum to hold NEC members to account. Secondly, both the Momentum-backed candidates are full-time unelected union officials – not what we need representing the left. Lastly, other things being equal, a black woman candidate is preferable to a white man.
Vote for Cecile Wright and Lauren Townsend.