Local members on the Labour left in Enfield North have been left off the longlist drawn up by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), in what is being called another parliamentary selection “stitch up”.
LabourList understands that Ed Poole, Maria Kyriacou, Mark French, Tolga Aramaz and Delia Mattis – all on the local left slate – have not been longlisted. Haringey councillor Khaled Moyeed and Momentum’s Laura Parker were not included either.
24-year-old councillor Tolga Aramaz, who received two ward nominations, said the party had “shown great disdain” towards local members. His statement concludes: “Sorry to all the members of the Enfield North Labour Party and the Turkish/Kurdish/Alevi community that had high hopes for such an election to get their first MP, unfortunately the party has shown it cares not for us.”
Ed Poole, the local party vice-chair who received one ward nomination, told LabourList: “I’m very disappointed that after Enfield North members twice elected the left slate for the selection committee and voted for mostly left slate supported candidates at ward nominations the NEC have taken control of the process and seen fit not to include a single local left candidate on their long list.
The Enfield activist supportive of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership added: “This doesn’t represent the wishes of local members. The NEC should restore power to the local selection committee immediately and let local democracy take its course.”
A Labour source commented: “The purpose of longlists is to narrow the field so clearly not everyone can be on that list. This is a hotly contested seat with many high-quality applications and of course unsuccessful candidates will be disappointed. Obviously if we didn’t narrow them down, we would never pick a single candidate.”
It is not yet known who has been longlisted in Enfield North, but it was rumoured that Harrow councillor and GMB member Dean Gilligan would be favoured by the NEC for the seat. There will also be a focus on whether Margaret Greer, nominated by UNISON and CWU, is included.
LabourList understands that Enfield North selection has also been delayed, with interviews now taking place on October 22nd. They will be undertaken by a panel including Maria McCaul, the CLP secretary and selection procedure secretary. The hustings will take place on October 26th.
Corbynites in the City of Durham have also been disappointed by their NEC-created longlist, as the local left-favoured applicant Hannah Walter was left off. In Coventry South, members across factions are calling on the NEC to revise their longlist, which apparently excludes several applicants with strong support.
Local members are usually in charge of the process of selecting parliamentary candidates, but the NEC decided last week to take control of longlisting. Shortlists will be drawn up by mixed panels consisting of NEC, regional board and local party representatives.
This reformed and truncated approach was agreed in order to speed up the process ahead of a likely early general election. It overruled the member-led plan favoured by Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “These fast-tracked selection processes are the only way to ensure democratic selections in such a short space of time. Members will democratically select their candidates with local members on the shortlisting panels.
“An election could be round the corner, so we are moving quickly to make sure we have candidates and campaigns ready to go to defeat the Tories so we can end austerity and transform society.”