The Labour national executive’s equalities, disputes and organisation committees met on Tuesday ahead of the full NEC meeting next week. We discussed the following:
Trans women standing in all-women shortlists
Labour supports and values our trans community. Trans women are welcome to stand in all-women shortlists and to take part in schemes like the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme. The NEC will discuss this further next week and will put out a statement following the meeting clarifying the position. In the meantime, the equalities committee endorsed the recent LGBT Labour statement.
Sexual harassment policy
You can view the Labour Party sexual harassment policy online. Labour has an independent reporting hotline managed by Rape Crisis. This hotline covers all forms of sexual harassment and sexual violence. A panel of NEC members who have received specialist training will hear complaints.
I received my training this week, which covered the law, Labour’s policy and generally responding to sexual violence and the awareness of border issues like rape culture and barriers people overcome in order to make a complaint. Members of staff and members of the national constitutional committee are also going through this training.
Party democracy review
Katy Clark gave an update about the democracy review. Thousands of members have made submissions online and events have taken place across the country. The initial focus has been on topics related to engage young people, BAME communities and disabled people. Members will be able to indicate if they self-identify as BAME or disabled so Labour can collect statistics that are more accurate. I also asked for this to be extended to collected accurate statistics about elected representatives so we measure our progressive in improving diversity in national and local government.
The equalities committee discussed plans for the women’s conference 2019, which will be a stand-alone conference in the spring. The conference will have policy making powers. CLPs and affiliates will send delegates, although non-delegates will also be welcome to attend and take part in discussions.
Parliamentary boundary review
The boundary review is continuing. The government still plans to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600. The government will need the support of the DUP – and possibly other parties – in order to get the legislation through parliament. The DUP are likely to lose at least one MP in the boundary changes.
Labour is continuing our parliamentary candidate selections on existing boundaries.
Parliamentary selections update
The NEC endorsed the candidates selected in key English marginals. Selections have also begun in some of the non-target seats in England. The NEC is aware that many party members in non-target seats are keen to select their candidates as quickly as possible.
Alice Perry represents local government on Labour’s NEC.