Posts Tagged ‘Labour NEC elections’

Johanna Baxter is changing how the NEC engages with members – but there’s more to be done

06/06/2012, 06:41:57 PM

by Jim Knight

Let’s be honest, two years ago how many of us could name more than about three members of the Labour Party’s most important body?  Since the reforms that limited MPs from standing, the National Executive Committee has become somewhat anonymous.  CLPs nominated according to adherence to the Grassroots Alliance or Progress slates and votes followed the same trend – our CLP representatives became a mixture of the two wings of the party, candidates hand-picked by the unelected leaders of these well resources groups.

But what if you wanted something between the devil and the deep blue sea?

Then Johanna Baxter stood as an independent candidate promising to put members first – a slogan now adopted by others.  Everyone told her that she would lose because she wasn’t part of a slate.  That didn’t put her off – Johanna has been an activist for 16 years, growing up in a Scottish CLP, a London CLP Secretary for 9 years and a national officer for a trade union.  At that point she had also never met anyone on the NEC.  She fundamentally felt that members simply weren’t being listened to at the heart of our party and wanted to do something about it.

And lose she did, but only by 172 votes in an election that had 10,000 spoilt ballots. For the first time an independent candidate running up against the money-rich machine politics of the slates almost made it – that was nothing short of extraordinary.  A few weeks later Johanna then got on to the NEC, as the ‘highest placed loser’, when Oona King was elevated to the Lords.

Since then she has not only lived up to her promise to put members first but, in doing so, is fundamentally changing the way the NEC works.


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NEC elections: shenanigans in the grassroots alliance

30/06/2010, 02:51:52 PM

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. (more…)

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