Over 170 members are standing in Labour’s NEC elections. Who are they?

More than 170 Labour Party members have put themselves forward for 18 seats in the party’s national executive committee elections, which kicked off over the weekend with the start of an 11-week nomination period.

LabourList has put together a guide to the NEC contests that outlines the key functions of Labour’s ruling body, which NEC seats are up this summer, the timetable for the elections, and the nominating and voting processes.

Labour has now published the statements submitted by all 173 candidates. These are accessible by party members. Personal details including a home address were originally released but have now been removed.

For the members’ section of the NEC, 81 candidates are vying for nine seats, while 54 activists are contesting the new disability representative post. There are also 18 for youth rep, 11 for treasurer and seven for local government.

Over the coming months, constituency parties will be expected to hold nomination meetings online and express preferences for candidates standing in the members’ section, for disabled rep and for NEC treasurer.

Who are the potential candidates for Labour’s NEC? LabourList will be publishing comment pieces by candidates from across the party. Submissions will be considered by those able to show they can secure a place on the ballot paper.

A number of candidates belong to factional ‘slates’ that signal to voters where they come from in the party and typically give them an advantage over independent candidates as they have a stronger network of activists campaigning for them.

But the new single transferable vote system for the election of local party reps may have changed that. STV boosts the importance of individuals, and the new slates now propose fewer than nine candidates for the section in order to maximise first preferences.

From the party’s right to its left factions, here’s a quick round-up of the slates in this contest…

Labour to Win

The new project by Blairite group Progress and ‘old right’ Labour First is backing six of its own candidates for CLP rep and also recommending three candidates from other slates to show unity between supporters of Keir Starmer.

CLP rep candidates:

  • 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

Plus…

  • Ann Black – Former NEC member (2000-2018), South East regional board member, Oxford & District secretary
  • Theresa Griffin – Former MEP for the North West (2014-2020)
  • Paula Sherriff – Former MP for Dewsbury (2015-2019)

Full write-up here. LabourList understands that further endorsements may be decided by Labour to Win, for posts such as youth rep and disability rep, but none have been agreed by the group yet.

Tribune group of MPs

The Tribune group of MPs, not to be confused with Tribune magazine, has endorsed three ex-parliamentarians as NEC members’ section candidates. This is the grouping in Westminster that was reformed in 2005.

The Tribune group is chaired by Clive Efford. As a whole, it was not critical of Jeremy Corbyn during his leadership, apart from the party’s handling of antisemitism at that time. It fully supports Keir Starmer.

  • Theresa Griffin – Former MEP for the North West (2014-2020)
  • Paula Sherriff – Former MP for Dewsbury (2015-2019)
  • Liz McInnes – Former MP for Heywood and Middleton (2014-2019)

Open Labour

The soft left group has taken a member-led approach to its endorsements. After balloting, it came out in support of Ann Black and Jermain Jackman for CLP reps (also backing Jackman for youth at first, but he has decided only to go for the members’ section).

CLP rep candidates:

  • Ann Black – Former NEC member (2000-2018), South East regional board member, Oxford & District secretary
  • Jermain Jackman – British singer (winner of The Voice UK), founder of the 1987 Caucus (a collective of young Black men in Labour)

Open Labour is also backing George Lindars-Hammond for disability rep and Alice Perry for local government. Lindars-Hammond is a Sheffield councillor, while Islington councillor Perry has been on the NEC since 2014.

Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA)

The CLGA comprises Momentum, which is the biggest membership organisation, the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), thought to be the second largest, plus the Labour Representation Committee (LRC), Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) and Red Labour.

The smaller groups include the Labour Briefing Co-operative, Labour Assembly Against Austerity, the Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Kashmiris for Labour, Grassroots Black Left and new joiner Labour Women Leading (an alternative to the Labour Women’s Network).

After many hours of negotiations, the coalition decided to propose a slate of six local party rep candidates, which notably did not include Momentum co-founder Jon Lansman, who had wanted to stand again.

CLP rep candidates:

  • Ann Henderson – Current NEC member and NEC officer, one of Scotland’s first female train drivers, former Scottish TUC assistant secretary
  • Gemma Bolton – CLPD activist, member of Labour’s South East regional board and Labour’s national policy forum
  • Laura Pidcock – Former Labour MP for North West Durham
  • Mish Rahman – Chair of Aldridge-Brownhills Labour, member of Momentum’s new national coordinating group
  • Nadia Jama – Sheffield activist, Orgreave Truth and Justice campaigner
  • Yasmine Dar – Current NEC member and NEC officer, Manchester councillor, member of Labour’s North West regional board

Momentum

As part of the CLGA, Momentum is backing that united slate of local party rep candidates, though some members of the new NCG say they will only campaign for those who support trans rights. There may be a statement released addressing that point.

There was some discussion of balloting members for the NEC youth rep endorsement, but ultimately Momentum’s NCG voted to back incumbent Lara McNeill as well as Ellen Morrison for NEC disability rep.

McNeill is a newly qualified NHS doctor whose youth rep campaign has the backing of trade unions including Unite, and she has written a piece for LabourList on her decision to stand again for the NEC.

(Kira Lewis is expected to be the main rival youth candidate who will get trade union backing, particularly from UNISON, but has not been formally endorsed by a slate yet.)

Morrison has secured the backing of Unite and BFAWU, as well as Disability Labour and Disabled People Against Cuts. She is the Labour left’s candidate for disability youth rep.

Independents

There are 81 candidates for the members’ section, which is far too many for LabourList to cover in precise detail unfortunately. Those independents who stand out as slightly better-known figures in the labour movement include:

  • Dave Anderson – Former Labour MP for Blaydon (2005-2017)
  • Vince Barry – Former parliamentary candidate in Torridge and West Devon
  • Alex Beverley – Former parliamentary candidate in South West Devon, co-chair of LGTB+ Labour South West
  • Fiona Dent – Former parliamentary candidate in Runnymede and Weybridge
  • Crispin Flintoff – Founder of Stand Up For Labour (relaunched as Stay Home For Labour)
  • Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal – Former NEC candidate who stood for BAME rep in the by-elections earlier this year
  • Mick Johnson – Former NEC candidate who stood for CLP rep in the by-elections earlier this year
  • Vince Maple – South East regional board chair, Labour group leader on Medway Council
  • Cameron Mitchell – Young activist from Bolsover who featured in a Labour political broadcast and wrote about campaigning there during the election
  • Dr Neeraj Patil – Former Lambeth mayor (2010-2011) and ex-councillor, NHS doctor, shortlisted last year as a potential Ilford South candidate

For Welsh rep, the battle is being fought between current NEC post holder Mick Antoniw and former First Minister Carwyn Jones. Antoniw supported both Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, and was hand-picked by Mark Drakeford to represent him and the Welsh cabinet on the NEC.

It was Drakeford who introduced the reform that will now see this position elected by a ballot of members rather than appointed. But as a former First Minister, Welsh Labour leader and Member of the Senedd, Jones will have the big advantage of name recognition.

All candidate statements, as well as guidance for holding online nomination meetings, can be accessed by Labour members here

More from LabourList