Posts Tagged ‘parliamentary candidate selection’

Revealed: Party bosses open way for big money to dominate parliamentary selections with unlimited candidate mailings

22/07/2013, 07:33:22 AM

by Atul Hatwal

New guidance from party bosses has transformed the basis of Labour’s parliamentary candidate selections. Previously, candidates and their campaign teams had operated on the basis of a strict limit of three mailings to party members during a selection contest.

Now, it seems there is no limit on the number of times a candidate can mail members, as long as the mailings are supplied by endorsers. These endorsers could be unions, businesses, voluntary groups or individuals.

The Labour party’s rules governing parliamentary candidate selection were apparently water tight,

“2.4 Each candidate may produce for general distribution

  • one printed leaflet or letter no larger than A4, delivered plain or in an envelope
  • two items, each no larger than a double sided A3 page. If any item is delivered in an envelope it may consist of (at a maximum) 2 A4 sheets of paper rather than a single A3 sheet.”
  • Third party endorsers were allowed to supply mailings to the candidate for distribution to members, but these were previously thought to count as one of the three candidate mailings.

    However, a clarification from Alan Olive, regional director for the London Labour party reveals that the strict limit on mailings is not so strict after all.

    Queries were raised by candidates in a recent selection on the numbers of mailings allowed, following one candidate sending four mailings.

    Uncut has seen e-mail correspondence with the London Labour regional director which makes clear that the number of mailings is unlimited, as long as they are from an endorser. The key part of Alan Olive’s e-mail states,

    “That’s correct. A third party may produce whatever they like although they don’t have the membership details to enable delivery. Candidates cannot pass membership data on but of course a third party could give you their mailing including stamps, for you to attach membership labels and post.”

    The revelation that candidates can have de facto unlimited mailings would seem to contradict the intent of Ed Miliband’s recent speech on one nation politics. As well as announcing a reform of Labour’s relationship with the unions, Miliband dealt with fairness in the parliamentary candidate selection process, stating,


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