Leaks, antisemitism and democracy review – Alice Perry’s latest NEC report

Alice Perry

A special NEC meeting took place on 4 September to discuss tackling antisemitism and the democracy review.

Confidentiality of Meetings

Over the last few years, there has been increased media interest in Labour NEC meetings. This has led to a rise in (often inaccurate) “leaks” during the meetings. The meeting on 4th September saw some particularly ridiculous and untrue rumours circulating on social media. In order to try to limit this sort of thing, the NEC unanimously agreed to a number of measures. NEC members will hand over electronic devices during meetings. This is standard practice for meetings like the Clause V manifesto meeting and meetings like the selection of a new general secretary. Extending this to other NEC meetings was seen as a positive step. There are also plans to limit non-NEC member attendance at meetings and plans to review the format and timings of meetings. Personally I would like to see meetings take place on weekends, which would be easier for us NEC members who work full time.

Tackling antisemitism

A special disputes committee meeting took place on 4th September, which cleared the backlog of outstanding cases. Where necessary, cases have been referred to the NCC for hearings. Plans are being considered to improve the disciplinary process once cases reach the NCC.

The NEC reconfirmed its support for the IHRA definition of antisemitism, as originally agreed at Jeremy Corbyn’s request at a meeting in December 2016. The NEC clarified that Labour are adopting the IHRA definition in full including all 11 examples.

Democracy review

An enormous amount of work has gone into Labour’s democracy review, which has received thousands of submissions from across the party. The meeting on 4th September aimed to identify areas where the NEC are in agreement so staff can begin drafting rule changes ahead of Labour Party conference. The NEC meeting later this month will consider areas where there are differences of option. Other sections have been deferred until 2019 for further work and consultation.

The recommendations around improving equality and diversity will be considered at an equalities committee meeting in 2019. Labour is fully committed to increasing diversity of political representation and involving people from all works of life at every level of the party.

The recommendations around local government will be considered as part of a review of local government in 2019. This review will fully involve Labour councillors, the Association of Labour Councillors (ALC) and Local Government Association (LGA).

Once the 2018 rule changes have been agreed, they will be voted on by delegates at the Labour Party conference later this month.

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