Labour to Win unveils slate of five candidates for Labour NEC elections

Sienna Rodgers

Labour to Win – the umbrella group that brings together Labour First and Progressive Britain in support of Keir Starmer – has unveiled a slate of five candidates for Labour’s national ruling body elections taking place this year.

For the local party section of the national executive committee (NEC) elections, the pro-Starmer group is supporting:

  • Luke Akehurst – a current NEC member who topped the ballot in 2020, Labour to Win co-director, Labour First secretary, former Hackney Council chief whip, former parliamentary candidate, lives in Oxford
  • Johanna Baxter – a current NEC member and NEC vice-chair, member of the Scottish executive committee (SEC) since 2016, former MSP candidate, trade union official, lives in Scotland
  • Abdi Duale – a current Labour activist and former Labour organiser, works in housing for a local authority, member of the GMB young workers committee, lives in London
  • Gurinder Singh Josan – a current NEC member, chair of Labour’s disputes panel, HOPE not Hate director, Sikhs for Labour founder and vice-chair, based in the West Midlands
  • Jane Thomas – a director of South Yorkshire Women’s Development Trust, former parliamentary candidate in Keighley, former Sheffield Hallam Labour chair, based in Yorkshire

Nathan Yeowell, co-director of Labour to Win, said: “We are really proud to announce a strong list of candidates for this year’s NEC elections – all of whom are committed to working with Keir Starmer, Angela Rayner and David Evans as the turn Labour back into a national, election-winning machine.

“Our sitting Labour to Win NEC members, Luke Akehurst, Johanna Baxter and Gurinder Singh Josan have worked hard to help turn the party round since their election in 2020, and it is a pleasure to run them again this year.

“They’re being joined by Abdi Duale and Jane Thomas, experienced campaigners with significant personal networks at all levels – and across all regions – of the party.

“Your Labour to Win NEC candidates will always have members’ best interests in mind – and have their eyes focused on delivering an accountable, effective and election-winning party, one that will keep Labour on the path to power.”

Labour to Win put forward a slate of six candidates in 2020, when the NEC places were last up for grabs. Those who were not elected – Terry Paul, Michael Payne and Shama Tatler – have been replaced on the slate by Duale and Thomas.

The group also endorsed an extra three candidates: Ann Black, the ‘soft left’ activist who was elected to the NEC, plus former MEP Theresa Griffin and former MP Paula Sherriff, who were both backed by the Tribune group of MPs.

There are nine local party rep places on the NEC to elect. But since the voting system for the elections changed from first-past-the-post to single transferable vote, it has been considered wise for factions to put up fewer candidates.

LabourList understands that the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) will meet over the coming weeks to finalise a slate of five candidates backed by Momentum and other groups. They hope to announce theirs in early February.

Nominations have now opened for the 2022 set of internal contests, which will see party members elect new local party representatives on Labour’s national executive committee (NEC) and national policy forum (NPF).

Individual young and student members of the party will also be able to nominate candidates for the national committees of Young Labour, to which all Labour members under 27 belong, and for the new Labour Students organisation.

The nominations deadline for the Labour NEC, Labour NPF, Young Labour and Labour Students deadline is noon on Friday 17th June 2021. Local parties must also elect and register delegates for Labour conference by then.

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