Alice Perry and Johanna Baxter elected chair and vice-chair of Labour NEC

Local government representative Alice Perry was elected as the new chair of Labour’s ruling body and local party representative Johanna Baxter was chosen to replace her as the new vice-chair at the annual general meeting today.

Perry from Islington is one of two reps on the party’s national executive committee (NEC) elected by Labour councillors to their own division. LabourList understands that she was nominated to the chair role today by Angela Rayner.

Baxter – who is head of local government for UNISON Scotland – served on Labour’s NEC from 2010 to 2016, and is now a member again since last year, when she was re-elected as a pro-leadership Labour to Win candidate.

LabourList sources said the ‘Buggins’ turn’ system led to Perry being made chair, and Baxter vice-chair as the longest-serving NEC members are promoted. This applies to Baxter if service is measured cumulatively rather than on a continuous basis.

There was a row late last year when the FBU’s NEC rep Ian Murray was vice-chair but was not allowed to become chair, as the leadership wanted Margaret Beckett – the parliamentary party rep who is longest-serving – to be chair.

A Labour source also said that during the NEC meeting today the FBU raised as a talking point the disaffiliation of the small left-wing Bakers’ Union (BFAWU), which was announced this afternoon.

The FBU asked what Labour was doing to engage with affiliated trade unions in light of the decision made by the BFAWU today. But sources said Beckett, chairing, told the NEC it was not appropriate to discuss it as the meeting had a mix of old and new members.

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