The Labour Party has cancelled the special conference that was supposed to held on April 4th to announce the results of the party’s leadership and deputy leadership contests.
The decision was taken to cancel the conference, replacing it with a “scaled back event” on the same day, after it was confirmed that the UK had decided to move to the ‘delay’ stage of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
General secretary Jennie Formby contacted all Labour MPs this afternoon, saying:
“In the light of the spread of coronavirus, the Labour party has taken the decision to cancel the leadership elections special conference arranged for April 4 in order to safeguard our members and staff and to protect public health. Welsh Labour Conference and Scottish Labour Women’s Conference will also be cancelled.
“The results of the Labour leadership and deputy leadership elections will be announced at a scaled back event on the same date and we are now considering options for what form that event will take.
“The Welsh Labour conference and Scottish Labour Women’s conference will be reorganised for a later date.
“We will also be cancelling further hustings for the leadership and deputy leadership elections.
“We are still taking advice on whether upcoming CLP meetings should go ahead and will update once decisions have been taken.”
Earlier today, John McDonnell told an ITV journalist that the party event in April would likely be cancelled and the results would be announced instead “through a TV event or social media”.
The next official party hustings for leader and deputy leader candidates was the BAME event set to take place in London on Saturday, March 14th. It will not go ahead.
Welsh Labour conference, which was going to be held from March 27th to 29th in Llandudno, North Wales, is postponed. Welsh Labour leader and First Minister Mark Drakeford has said it will be rescheduled.
The Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and Scottish Greens have all called off their spring conferences in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Nicola Sturgeon, has announced a ban on gatherings of over 500 people in Scotland.
A total of 590 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK as of 9am today, which is up from 456 on Wednesday morning. The daily increase of 134 is the biggest so far.
Voting in Labour’s leadership and national executive committee elections will close on April 2nd. Emails reminding party members, affiliates and supporters to vote are set to be sent out by the party on Monday.