Intriguing news from the east London suburbs. Uncut has learned that Erith and Thamesmead constituency Labour party has declined to nominate sitting member Pete Willsman for re-election to Labour’s ruling national executive committee.
Why does this matter? There are, after all, many hundreds of other CLPs to whom he could look for support.
It matters because Erith and Thamesmead is Willsman’s home CLP, where his personal party membership is held. And candidates must be nominated by their home CLP in order to qualify for election to the NEC’s CLP section.
A meeting of the executive of Erith and Thamesmead CLP apparently recommended that one man and one woman be nominated. Which recommendation was accepted by the CLP general committee, who duly made such nominations last Friday, neither of them going to Pete Willsman.
This leaves the veteran left-winger a month (till the deadline for nominations) to convince the CLP to overturn its decision. Overturning the formal decision of a party meeting is difficult under the rules, though, usually requiring a two thirds majority.
All this sits against a background of shenanigans within the left-wing grassroots alliance slate for the NEC. Peter Kenyon tells the first part of the story on his blog. Uncut has attempted to piece together the rest.
The grassroots alliance initially decided that this year, because they could not agree on a slate of six, they would first put forward eight names, with those who got the most nominations eventually forming the slate of six.
The four men would have been Pete Willsman, Peter Kenyon, Ken Livingstone and young Sam Tarry (as he is generally called by people over 40).
The Wilsman-Livingstone camp (CLPD, for the sect-anoraks) changed its mind, though, and sent envoys to Kenyon suggesting that those three form the male part of the slate, dropping Tarry.
Kenyon refused, arguing that this would be “a breach of faith with compass, and compass youth in particular”. He said that either Livingstone or Willsman should stand aside (though he says he knew they wouldn’t).
What they did instead (which it doesn’t say on Kenyon’s blog) was make the same offer to Tarry, this time cutting Kenyon out. Tarry apparently accepted with alacrity and the left was once again at peace with itself.
Until Willsman failed to get nominated by his own CLP.