Who’s counting? Pretty much everyone, it would seem. Boris Johnson and his allies are firmly in panic mode. At least 44 Conservative MPs have publicly questioned his fitness to hold office (calling for him to resign or saying they have lost faith in his leadership) and 18 are known to have written to 1922 committee chair Graham Brady formally requesting a confidence vote.
But enough about that. While the Tories are busy deciding whether or not a Prime Minister who broke the rules he wrote is fit to continue in the job, LabourList is counting nominations for the national executive committee (NEC) elections. Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) have until June 17th to submit nominations for who they think should be on the ballot (the threshold for how many a candidate needs varies slightly across the positions going), before ballots begin to drop on July 8th. Voting will close on August 5th.
Why do these elections matter? Two reasons. First, the NEC brings together the various bits of the party – local parties, trade unions, the shadow cabinet, backbench MPs, local government, Scotland and Wales, socialist societies and the leadership – and forms the governing body of the party. The NEC sets the overall strategic direction and makes important decisions – issuing controversial guidance on the process for selecting parliamentary candidates, for example. However obscure and distant it feels from the average member or voter, this body is important. Second, the elections provide some insight as to the balance of the factions within the party. 2020 saw a swing of 10% from Momentum to Labour to Win (on the 2018 results) in a set of elections that saw the left perform better than perhaps expected. Two years on in Starmer’s leadership, the left is in a far more defensive position. LabourList is tracking the nominations, check out our handy lists here. These will keep being updated as we go.
We are also counting the names of those hoping to represent the Labour Party at the next general election. LabourList has heard that the Stretford and Urmston longlist is: journalist Paul Mason; Abisola Arobieke, who works for Clive Efford MP; Trafford Council leader Andrew Western; local councillor and cabinet member Joanne Harding; Iram Woolley; and Oxford councillor Tom Hayes. And LabourList understands the Derby North longlist is: future candidate programme alumni Dan Lalli; NHS consultant and clinical director Dr Rais Irfan Ahmed; barrister and chair of Society of Labour Lawyers Catherine Atkinson; CLP vice-chair Adam Wisdish; Greenwich Council deputy leader Denise Scott-McDonald; and Iram Woolley. Yes, Woolley is on both lists.
Also on LabourList today, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas has raised the alarm. In a letter to London region, seen by LabourList, the Labour MP warns that the party is on track to lose the key marginal (currently held by just 293 votes) amid local tensions. Read the full write-up here. Mick Whitley MP has written explaining the importance of COP15 and the climate and ecology bill. And James Meadway argues that we need a post-pandemic recalibration of the economic thinking of progressives, ahead of the first annual conference of the Progressive Economy Forum on June 11th. Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.