‘Labour to Win’, the new joint project of Progress and Labour First, has recommended a “pluralistic” set of nine candidates standing this summer to represent members on Labour’s national executive committee.
The umbrella group, a self-described “coalition of mainstream Labour activists”, officially launched last week. It has pledged to work with other factions to “make Keir Starmer’s leadership a success”.
The six Labour to Win candidates for the party’s ruling body elections are as follows:
- Luke Akehurst – Former NEC member (2010-2012), former Hackney Council chief whip, parliamentary candidate in Aldershot (2001) and Castle Point (2005), Labour First secretary
- Johanna Baxter – Current NEC member, Cunninghame North CLP chair, Scottish executive committee (SEC) member
- Gurinder Singh Josan CBE – Current NEC member, Sikhs for Labour vice-chair, Sandwell Unite branch secretary
- Terry Paul – Newham Council cabinet member and former PLP campaigns officer
- Michael Payne – Gedling Borough Council deputy leader, Nottinghamshire County councillor, LGA Labour deputy leader
- Shama Tatler – Brent Council cabinet member
Baxter and Singh Josan were both elected in recent NEC by-elections, while Labour First’s Akehurst is a former NEC member. The other three, all councillors, have not stood for the NEC before.
In addition to these six candidates, Labour to Win is endorsing the following three:
- Ann Black – Former NEC member (2000-2018), South East regional board member, Oxford & District secretary
- Theresa Griffin, endorsed by Tribune group of MPs – Former MEP for the North West (2014-2020)
- Paula Sherriff, endorsed by Tribune group of MPs – Former MP for Dewsbury (2015-2019)
Speaking on behalf of Labour to Win, Baroness Margaret Prosser said: “We want to move on from the binary left vs right battles of the last five years and work with people from across the Labour Party who care about restoring Labour’s electoral fortunes and want to make Keir Starmer’s leadership a success.
“Therefore, we are only standing six of our own candidates for the nine positions; and have included voices from all traditions in the party in our recommendations so that if they are elected, the NEC will be genuinely pluralistic.
“This is an all-star team that will give Keir an NEC that will help him revitalise Labour and win the next general election and give party members representatives who will fight their corner and make them proud to be Labour.”
The organisation has decided to support two of the NEC candidates from the Tribune group slate, but it has swapped out Liz McInnes of the same slate and replaced her with ‘soft left’ favourite Ann Black.
Griffin was a Labour MEP until Brexit, Sherriff was MP for Dewsbury until the seat was narrowly lost to the Tories in 2019, and Black used to sit on the NEC as a representative backed by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA).
Labour to Win says it has endorsed an additional three candidates from outside its own slate to “ensure gender and regional balance” and because it hopes for a “politically pluralistic” ruling body.
LabourList understands that it was not for political reasons that Labour to Win did not endorse the full Tribune group set but for diversity reasons, as they wanted to promote at least three BAME candidates.
Commenting on the news, Tribune group chair Clive Efford MP said: “The Tribune group has three candidates for the NEC: Liz McInnes, Theresa Griffin and Paula Sherriff. We hope party members will support our three candidates.
“Keir Starmer is a member of our group, as are Lisa Nandy, Rosena Allin-Khan and Ian Murray, who performed so well in the leadership and deputy leadership contests.
“We want to work with them and all sections of our party, particularly its members, to deliver a Labour government at the next election, which will bring about the radical change we need to create a fairer, greener economy and society.”
After decisions by Labour’s NEC on Tuesday, the upcoming elections for local party representatives will be conducted under the single transferable vote (STV) system rather than first-past-the-post.
The NEC also set a timetable for the elections, which will see a July 10th deadline for submitting candidate statements, nominations open between July 11th and September 27th, and voting between October 19th and November 12th.