This weekend centrist candidates have swept to victory in internal elections at both Labour Students and West Midlands conferences.
Three members thought of as ‘centrists’ were elected as full-time Labour Students officers, and the same wing of the party won 11 of 13 elections at the West Midlands Labour conference. The results disappointed activists on the Left.
Labour Students results
Joe Dharampal-Hornby @Joe_DH – elected
Aisling Musson @clementattlees
Danny Filer @DannyFiler
Sheri-Ann Bhim @brandysheri – elected
Campaigns and membership officer
Lina Nass @Liinaa_13
Jack Stacey @JackAlexStacey – elected
The chair, secretary and campaigns & membership officer are the only full-time positions at Labour Students.
— Labour Students (@LabourStudents) March 3, 2018
Richard Angell, director of Progress, said: “Members who believe in a centre-left vision for our party and our country are working together and – in the case of the West Midlands – winning together.”
But activist Lara McNeill, who is expected to win the upcoming NEC Youth Rep election, described the Labour Students election as “predetermined” and said it was “embarrassing” that there were 125 voters.
Just look at candidates’ *track record*
— Lara McNeill (@lara_eleanor) March 3, 2018
In 2016, a Labour Students conference voted in favour of adopting one-member-one-vote (OMOV). However, a delegate system is still being used.
It is claimed the change has not yet been implemented because there is no clear way of knowing how many people are in Labour Students.
The keynote speaker at the Labour Students conference was Labour MP Lucy Powell, who referred to party in-fighting in her speech.
Powell said: “At times it doesn’t feel very nice within the Labour Party, but we need to remember that we have far more in common than that which divides us.”
Severe weather warnings also led to a number of Labour students and university clubs suggesting that the conference should be called off.
The West Midlands Labour regional conference in Birmingham went ahead too, despite calls for it to be postponed. Conference delegates elected 13 positions, 11 of which were won by centrist candidates.