Organisation committee report

March 14, 2012 11:45 am

Author:

Tags:

Share this Article

The Organisation Committee of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee met on 13 March and considered a number of important reports about internal Party democracy.

The key item was an early heads-up from Peter Hain about the direction in which the review of Labour’s policy-making structures initiated as part of “Refounding Labour” is headed.

Key features of the proposals sketched out by Peter were:

• Moving to a 5 year policy-making cycle from the current 3 year one, and away from the “Warwick” style climax to the process.
• More readable, shorter, accessible policy documents for members to comment on.
• These would be circulated each year for party units to make submissions in reaction to, and then each Policy Commission would draft a report with options and recommendations. These reports would be debated at a National Policy Forum (NPF) meeting each summer. The NPF would then send the revised documents to Annual Conference for agreement.
• Party units will be able to submit a limited number of amendments. There will be a “duty to consult” i.e. party units submitting amendments will need to show they have sounded out stakeholders before raising an issue. Issues raised which show clear evidence of community support may be given more weight.
• In the final year of the cycle, Policy Commissions would draw up an overarching document based on the policy documents agreed in previous years. Again this would be shorter than the current style of document.
• Labour’s Policy Programme would consist of the final year documents agreed by the policy commissions, NPF, Joint Policy Committee (JPC) and Annual Conference. This would form the basis of the manifesto signed off by the Clause V meeting between NEC and Shadow Cabinet.
• The role of the JPC will be strengthened. It will commission and agree policy documents, work to increase participation in policy debate, oversee the amendments process and agree options papers to go to Annual Conference.
• Policy Commissions will consider submissions from party units and come to a consensus view on whether to incorporate them into policy documents.
• NPF members not elected to a Policy Commission will now be able to attend one as an observer.
• Annual Conference will get to consider alternative positions, not just one take-it-or-leave it document.
• There will be greater use of technology to facilitate discussion and to feedback to party units about their submissions. NPF members will also be involved in giving feedback. All NPF members will get greater information about the work of the JPC and the Policy Commissions.
• There will be an online audit trail to track what has happened to amendments.
• Greater communication of NPF activity and support for party units to get involved.
• Policy Commissions to look more at current issues via conference calls and online debate.

This all seemed fairly sensible and consistent with members’ calls for a more transparent process.

This was just an initial discussion – further discussion will happen at the NEC, leading to rule changes going to Annual Conference this year.

The Committee also agreed:
• To trigger a further 14 early parliamentary selections (all 3 seats in Brighton & Hove based on the anticipated new boundaries, Carlisle, Redcar, Crewe & Nantwich, Gillingham & Rainham, Milton Keynes N, Reading E, Bristol S, Gloucester, Cannock Chase, Stafford, Tamworth & Staffs).
• A timetable for selecting mayoral candidates where referendums result in a “yes” vote (freeze date for being a member with voting rights of 5 May, short-listing by panels of a mixture of Regional Board and CLP reps on 16 May, OMOV ballot goes out on 25 May, hustings meetings by 10 June, ballot closes on 13 June and results declared on 15 June). The same ballot dates will apply to the NEC and NPF elections and the Police Commissioner selections.
• Labour MPs selected as Mayoral or Police Commissioner candidates will have to resign from the Commons and trigger by-elections.
• Guidelines for reorganising CLPs in January 2013 on the new boundaries.
• Model candidate contracts which involve a commitment to a lot of campaigning!
• Labour Movement for Europe and Labour Finance & Industry Group are to become formal affiliates of the Party.

  • Johndclare

    VERY well-campaigned, Luke.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Parma/578831001 Andrea Parma

    Interesting that Bristol South (where Dawn Primarolo is retiring) is given an early selection. So it can’t be used for sitting MPs left without a seat after boundary reviews (as Labour have few MPs in the South, there won’t be MPs in need in neighbouring areas  anyway).

  • http://twitter.com/RDStalker Rachel Danae Stalker

    Odd that Carlisle is selecting when there is cross-party opposition to the Boundary Commission proposals. If Labour were to get their way, there might be a spare Cumbrian Labour MP looking for a seat!

    Boundary Commission proposals make all Cumbrian seats marginal and set Rory Stewart against Tim Farron. Labour’s proposal makes one ultra-safe Labour seat (the Labour bits of Workington and Copeland), two Labour-leaning marginals (Barrow and Carlisle) and leave Rory and Tim with safe seats.

  • Tony Labour

    What happened to the feedback on Labour Party in Northern Ireland ?

Latest

  • Featured The Top 100 UKIP leaning Labour seats

    The Top 100 UKIP leaning Labour seats

    By Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin In our recent book, Revolt on the Right, we compiled a list of the most demographically receptive seats in the country for Ukip. This allowed us to rank all seats in the country according to how favourable their populations are for Ukip, using the most recent census data. The ideal seats for Ukip share key characteristics: they have lots of ‘left behind’ voters who we also know from our research are the most receptive to Ukip and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Polling Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    The date for the by-election in Clacton was confirmed this morning as Thursday, October 9th – not only the day after the Lib Dem conference finishes but also David Cameron’s birthday. The two polls so far in the constituency do not point to many happy returns for the Prime Minister, as the result appears to be a foregone conclusion. At the weekend, a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday gave UKIP a 44% lead over the second place Tories. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Now that may seem a strange question for a Party that has both Chuka Umunna and Sadiq Khan in its Shadow Cabinet but something troubling is emerging from the current round of Parliamentary selections. Of the 100 constituencies where Labour hopes to make gains or when Labour MPs have announced their retirement/parliamentary by-elections since 2010 so far just three have selected a BME male candidate. And this is from a section of society which is immensely loyal to the Labour […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Why are you Labour?

    Why are you Labour?

    Why are you a member of the Labour Party? I’d been a member for years when someone first asked me that question. On some level I guess I knew the answer, but no-one at any Constituency Labour Party meeting, canvassing session, conference – or even in the pub  –  had ever outright asked me the question. It was Arnie Graf – an American, rather than someone steeped in the party their whole life – who asked me. It was an obvious […]

    Read more →
  • News Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Comic and actor Eddie Izzard has reaffirmed his longstanding commitment to entering electoral politics by 2020, by going for a Labour parliamentary selection or London Mayor. Izzard is a lifelong Labour supporter (and Londoner) and has spoken in the past of his desire to become London Mayor. However, the recent announcement that Boris Johnson does not intend to stand for a third term has raised the chances of Labour winning the mayoralty in 2016, and thus there being a Labour incumbent in […]

    Read more →