National executive committee report March 4th to 9th
The NEC women sub-committee discusses the 2021 women’s conference. Plans are continuing for a democratic women’s conference in June. This event will be run on online and could be used as a model for national Labour Party conference if it needs to take place online or in a hybrid format. Delegates can submit policy motions. We discussed whether local parties could also submit rule changes. I asked how motion compositing would work for online.
Ann Black asked a question at the equalities committee about the party’s work to tackle transphobia. This is an important issue, and work to tackle transphobia will take place alongside Labour’s Equality and Human Rights Commission action plan and the ongoing work to tackle prejudice and hate. This will also include a code of conduct for members.
Support for candidates with disabilities
The NEC equalities committee discussed support available for people with disabilities standing to be candidates in local or national elections. It is important that people with disabilities are able to fully access democracy and stand for election. The issue of the impact of long Covid on members and candidates prompted a discussion about medical exemptions and/or reasonable adjustments for candidates.
I raised the importance of offering pregnant candidates the opportunity to do telephone canvassing in place of doorstep canvassing. There are a variety of medical conditions that impact people’s ability to campaign in the traditional way, and adjustments and extra support sometimes needs to be put in place. Labour will issue guidance on this top local parties and local campaign forums (LCFs).
The NEC reconfirmed Labour’s commitment to all-women shortlists (AWS). There will also be a renewed focus on phasing out all-male council wards and recruiting, selecting and supporting diverse candidates.
I attended the parliamentary boundaries working group. The next general election will be conducted on the new boundaries. The Boundary Commission for England will publish proposals in early summer, with consultations running throughout the summer. In Wales and Scotland, the Boundary Commission proposals are due in early Autumn.
The terms of reference of the group are as follows:
- To implement the Labour Party’s political and organisational strategy for the 2023 boundary review as agreed by the NEC.
- To direct the staff team to appropriately respond to the consultations, including putting together alternative proposals.
- To lead on stakeholder management to ensure so far as is possible all parts of the Labour Party are acting in line with the NEC’s agreed strategy.
- To consult as appropriate with internal groups within the party, in particular the PLP, Scottish Labour, and Welsh Labour.
- To agree a process for a formal consultation of internal stakeholders to feed into the Labour Party’s final representations, and to implement that consultation.
- To consult as appropriate with external expertise with prior experience of parliamentary boundary reviews.
- To undertake preliminary work on any required procedural guidance, including on parliamentary trigger ballots and selections, and CLP reorganisation.
- To report back to the NEC and its sub-committees as necessary.
Upcoming NEC meetings
The disputes committee and organisational committee are due to meet on Thursday this week. I will report back after these meetings.