Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds and shadow mental health minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan have endorsed Open Labour candidates in the ongoing contests to secure seats on Labour’s governing body.
Addressing a rally held by the group this evening, Allin-Khan declared that the soft-left slate for the national executive committee (NEC) elections is “amazing” while Dodds declared her support for Ann Black as a “really strong voice” for members.
Allin-Khan told those at the event tonight: “I think you’re just amazing. I love what Open Labour stands for. I know that many of you heard about me for the first time when I ran in the deputy leadership contest…
“But you made me feel so warm and welcome when I was with you. I’m so proud to be part of the Labour family with you.”
Commenting on Jermain Jackman, who is standing to be one of the local party representatives on the party’s governing body, she added: “He wants to enable more grassroots activism and mobilise grassroots activists.
“And I think one way he will be able to do that really well is because he comes from just having incredible life experience and understanding.
“Much like I found when watching politics from a distance, you just often don’t see people that reflect you and your values, that look like you and sound like you. And so I think he will be a powerful force for energising the grassroots.”
Describing her relationship with Ann Black, who is a local party secretary in Dodds’ Oxford constituency, the Shadow Chancellor explained: “I was asked if I would be able to introduce Ann at this meeting and I was absolutely delighted to do so.
“I have known Ann for a very long time… She has consistently been a really strong voice, I think, for members – whatever ideological permutation they might come from, whatever part of the party they come from.”
The rally this evening was hosted by activists Abi Barinski and Maliha Reza. It featured all of the candidates running on the Open Labour slate in the upcoming NEC elections, as well as Dodds, Allin-Khan and Alex Sobel.
Shadow tourism and heritage minister Sobel co-founded Open Labour in 2015 before being elected to parliament as the MP for Leeds North West in the 2017 general election.
He stressed at the rally tonight the importance of voting for Jackman, who would be the first Black man elected to the NEC. He said “this historical shortfall has been pointed out to us” and added there is “no excuse” for not voting to solve it.
Both Open Labour local representative candidates Black and Jackman used the rally to criticise Keir Starmer for whipping Labour MPs to abstain in recent votes on controversial bills on policing and military misconduct.
Jackman told participants at the event today: “We see what’s happening in the world. We’re seeing oppression, we’re seeing protests, we’re seeing war, we’re seeing conflicts, we’re seeing migrants die in the English Channel.
“And me personally, I don’t feel like we have been outspoken enough, I don’t feel like we have championed enough… it makes me question what platform are we standing on when we talk about internationalism…
“We’ve seen in recent weeks a number of bills going through parliament… and I do question – I question a lot on what we’re abstaining on and what we’re voting for and what we’re voting against.”
Seen to be the soft-left grouping within the Labour Party, Open Labour describes itself as the representative of the “open left” and states that it seeks to build a “broad and diverse alliances” across the labour movement.
The organisation’s full slate is comprised of George Lindars-Hammond for disabled representative and Alice Perry for the local government position, alongside Black and Jackman for Constituency Labour Party (CLP) representatives.
NEC nominations closed on September 27th, with 42 candidates making it onto the ballot in the CLP rep race. Ballots will be sent out to members from October 19th with voting closing on November 12th. The results will be announced the next day.