Exclusive: Labour sets speedy timetable for new general secretary appointment

Sienna Rodgers

The core group of officers on Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) met virtually this afternoon to decide the timetable for the appointment of a new general secretary.

The swift timings agreed will see Jennie Formby’s successor appointed on May 19th, with the process taking place in the space of just two weeks following her resignation as the most senior party official.

NEC sources have told LabourList that the decision to appoint a replacement for Formby so quickly will likely benefit potential candidate Anneliese Midgley, who currently works at Unite the Union.

There is only a one-day gap between the shortlisting by NEC officers on May 18th and the final decision on May 19th. The appointment process will take place entirely online due to Covid-19.

The text below has been sent to NEC members as the timetable for the general secretary appointment.

  • Applications open 5th May 2020.
  • The application deadline is midnight on Thursday 14th May.
  • The NEC officers as the panel will be sent the applications and longlist matrix at 9am on Friday 15th May to review.
  • A meeting of the NEC panel will take place at 1.30pm on Friday 15th May to agree the longlist using the shortlisting criteria outlined on the longlisting matrix.
  • This will be via teleconference.
  • Candidates who are longlisted will be invited to interview on Monday 18th May via zoom.
  • Shortlisting will take place from 10.30am on Monday 18th May – via Zoom.
  • This will take the form of a five-minute presentation and 20-minute interview of each candidate. Interview packs and questions will be provided on the day one hour in advance.
  • NEC officers will then determine who goes forward on the shortlist to the NEC.
  • Final interviews will take place on the 19th May at the NEC meeting via Zoom.
  • Each candidate will have a maximum of 35 minutes for their interview. Five minutes for their presentation and 30 minutes for questions. All NEC members will need to be present on Zoom for these interviews. Interview packs and questions will be provided on the day.
  • NEC business will be conducted after the new GS has been appointed.

The appointment becomes formal once Labour’s annual conference has accepted the NEC’s recommendation.

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