Labour has paused all ongoing selections for parliamentary candidates and will continue to oversee trigger ballot votes across the country, members of the party’s ruling body were told today.
At the latest meeting of Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), it was confirmed that the party had decided to press on with votes that give members the chance to either reselect their local sitting MP as a candidate or trigger a full selection process.
But every selection process in a seat where there is no incumbent Labour MP will be paused, including those local parties that were allowed to continue with their meetings last week – such as Ilford South.
The current plan is for NEC members to consider proposals for shorter selection processes on Friday, when the body will next meet at conference in Brighton. One suggestion could be NEC shortlists, then local hustings at short notice.
Some party activists are concerned that they will get no say at all in selections, which would be the case if the NEC opts to impose candidates. Before the 2017 election, this was rarely done. It would be a highly controversial move.
One NEC member told LabourList: “We were told that all selections had been paused and no one said this was ordered by the NEC (as it wasn’t). The mood in the room was keen to restart selections ASAP with a paper outlining the timetable and process requested for Friday’s NEC meeting.”
LabourList understands that Jeremy Corbyn asked for selections in retirement and defection seats to restart as soon as possible. It is thought that these need to be prioritised as many are guaranteed to return a Labour MP at the next election.
These constituencies include Poplar and Limehouse, Blyth Valley, Vauxhall, Ealing North, and many more where significant numbers of applicants have already put out videos, secured endorsements and contacted LabourList.
NEC members, many of whom were kept out of the loop over the weekend as certain selections were paused, acknowledged that the situation was “chaotic”.