Labour’s next General Secretary: Time for transparency

7th July, 2011 2:26 pm

Labour Party structureBy Mark Ferguson / @markfergusonuk

Update: We’re extending the deadline for getting your questions in to the candidates for Labour’s next general secretary. You’ve got until Wednesday at noon to get your questions in.

Ask your question here.

On Tuesday evening we revealed the shortlist for Labour’s next General Secretary. Despite significant levels of lobbying in the days before the shortlisting – and our call on LabourList for a broad shortlist that would allow the NEC to have a real choice – it seems that the party would rather have a shortlist of two.

That’s not to say that the two candidates who the NEC have to choose between – Chris Lennie and Iain McNicol – don’t constitute a choice for the party. It is clear that they have different views on Labour’s future as an organisation.

Yet it was disappointing that strong candidates such as Joe Irvin (with a wealth of campaigning experience both inside and outside of the labour movement), Paul Hilder (the founder of with vast knowledge of online campaigns) and Michael Stephenson (who has shown
an ability to turn an organisation around as Gen Sec of the Co-op Party) have not been put before the NEC for the final vote.

The contest to be Labour’s next General Secretary now moves into its final phase. The NEC must now decide which of the final two candidates is best placed to lead the Labour Party organisationally.

But at LabourList we’re more interested in demystifying these archaic party processes, and giving you an insight into what this race means for you, as party members and supporters.

That’s why over the next few days, we’ll be asking you to tell us what you’d ask the candidates. Between now and noon on Monday, we’ll be collecting your questions. We’ll then post a selection and invite the two candidates to respond.

If the party is serious about opening up – this is exactly the kind of thing our next General Secretary should be willing to do.

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