Keir Starmer has increased the strength of support for his leadership on the Labour Party’s core ruling body following the release of fresh internal election results giving rise to a new national executive committee.
The UK Labour leader now has a more solid majority on the NEC, as he is expected to benefit from the election of three candidates who stood on the pro-leadership ‘Labour to Win’ platform in the members’ section.
The pro-Starmer wing can also be pleased that former Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones won the Welsh rep post. While incumbent Mick Antoniw was not anti-Starmer, he did not vote for the leader’s general secretary pick earlier this year.
But the Labour left’s ‘Grassroots Voice’ slate did better than expected by securing five local party representative seats, plus both the youth and disabled representative posts, with Lara McNeill and Ellen Morrison winning.
The elections have seen Johanna Baxter, Gurinder Singh Josan, Yasmine Dar return to the NEC, while also adding ex-MP Laura Pidcock, former NEC members Luke Akehurst and Ann Black, and three new left representatives.
Results in the local party representative section of Labour’s NEC were shaped by the adoption of a new electoral system, after the body chose earlier this year to switch from first-past-the-post to single transferable vote.
The internal reform saw members rank candidates in order of preference, which organisations such as Open Labour advocated on the basis that it would prevent “hyper-factionalism” and “one-slate-takes-all” results.
The final set of Labour NEC results for the local party section have delivered a mixed factional outcome as predicted – though the Labour left was widely expected to be on course to win three or four seats rather than five.
The left faction has also surprised some by winning the new disabled rep post, which is chosen via an electoral college. Morrison had received less trade union support going into the final membership vote than her rival.
With neither Open Labour-backed Jermain Jackman nor Labour to Win’s Terry Paul elected this year, Labour’s ruling body has still never had a Black male representation – as revealed by The 1987 Caucus in July.
There has been controversy in recent days over eligibility in the elections, after Labour’s ballots team told candidates that the votes of resigned members would only count if they cast their ballots before quitting the party.
Some on the party’s left argued that the bid to discount votes – without clarifying that the process would work this way before balloting – was an effort to suppress Starmersceptic voices, though this was rejected by sources close to the leadership.
Commenting on the results, Momentum’s Andrew Scattergood said: “This major victory for the left demonstrates that a significant majority of members want Labour to back a transformative, socialist programme – and it is this majority that will shape the future direction of the party.”
Labour First secretary and Labour to Win co-founder Luke Akehurst, who served on the NEC between 2010 and 2012 for a two-year term, tweeted simply: “As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted in 2012…”
Below are the NEC and Young Labour results in full.
National Executive Committee
NEC CLP Section (in order of election)
JOSAN, Gurinder Singh
NEC Disabled Members Representative
NEC Youth Member Representative
NEC Local Governance Section
NEC Welsh Labour Representative
Young Labour National Committee
Chair of Young Labour
East of England Representative
North West Representative
South East Representative
South West Representative
West Midlands Representative
Yorkshire & Humber Representative
Under 18s Representative