Councillors elect Caliskan and Evans as NEC local government representatives

Katie Neame

Labour councillors have elected Nesil Caliskan and Tudor Evans to the two local government representative positions on the party’s national executive committee (NEC).

Voting closed in the election to determine who would sit as the local government reps to the party’s governing body on Thursday. Caliskan topped the ballot with 1,450 votes, followed by Plymouth councillor Evans, who received 1,371 votes.

Caliskan and Evans – who were endorsed by pro-Keir Starmer group Labour to Win – stood against Momentum-backed candidates Aneesa Akbar and Matt White. Akbar, a councillor in Hull, came third in the ballot with 889 votes, followed by Haringey councillor White on 699 votes.

Caliskan told LabourList: “I’m delighted to be elected onto the NEC. Having joined the Labour Party as a 14-year-old activist 20 years ago, I’m proud to now serve our party on the NEC as we prepare for a general election for Labour to win.

“I thank our hardworking Labour councillors for putting their faith in me and Tudor. We’ll work hard for the party and we’ll be a strong voice for local government.”

Akbar said: “The result has been a good showing for socialist ideas. We saw support for a clear socialist vision on the NEC and a desire from councillors to address issues of fairness and democracy within our party.”

Campaign partner White added: “It’s encouraging to see the increase in vote share compared to two years ago for candidates running on a proudly socialist platform of building council-rent homes, insourcing services and always standing in solidarity with striking workers.

“Many Labour councillors are clearly keen for the increased funding and powers they require to make the meaningful change their residents so desperately need.”

The results of elections to the other positions on the NEC were released earlier this month. Luke Akehurst, Gurinder Singh Josan and Johanna Baxter were returned to the NEC alongside Abdi Duale – increasing Labour to Win’s representation in the Constituency Labour Party (CLP) section to four.

Left-wing candidate Mish Rahman lost his seat but Momentum-backed Yasmine Dar, Gemma Bolton and Jess Barnard each secured a place in the CLP rep section. They are joined by left-candidate Naomi Wimborne-Idrissi – who was suspended by the party on Thursday – and Open Labour’s Ann Black.

Labour to Win-backed Caroll Sewell was re-elected as NEC BAME representative. Elsie Greenwood, also on the pro-Starmer slate, beat Lara McNeill to secure the youth rep position. In the Welsh rep contest, former Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones was elected over left-backed candidate Lynne Jones.

The two local government representative positions on the NEC were voted for by eligible members of the association of Labour councillors, which includes all elected Labour councillors.

Commenting on the local government representative election results, a Momentum spokesperson said: “This is a strong showing for the left, with our vote share up from the last election despite a lower turnout.

“That speaks to the growing support for a municipal socialist agenda based on community wealth-building, insourcing of services and housing justice. In the coming months, Momentum will support hundreds of our Labour councillor members across the country to build these foundations of a socialist future.”

Tudor Evans has been contacted for comment.

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