It’s all kicking off

1 Aug

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (pic via @NewhamLabourWTF on Twitter)

The Newham Recorder reports that 30 local Labour members are threatening to take the party to court over the conduct of last year’s ‘trigger ballot’.

Letters sent by Irvine Thanivi Natas (ITN) solicitors to GRM Law, the firm acting on Labour’s behalf, [allege that] procedural rules were “breached” as they were applied differently to different affiliated organisations without their full understanding of what the rules were.

This meant some trade unions with several branches voted more than once, while others with more than one branch believed they only had one vote.

Claimant David Gilles said: “Reluctantly we’re having to resort to legal action to get this vote re-run.”

There’s a lot more information, including full access to the letters exchanged by the two sides’ solicitors here.

The grounds for the complaint are:

  1. The rules were inconsistently applied in respect of which Affiliated Organisations (AOs) could take part
  2. The rules were inconsistently explained; those running the trigger ballot process failed to ensure (a) that AOs were properly informed of voting rights and (b) that the process was fairly run
  3. Labour’s NEC failed to carry out a proper investigation, despite prima facie evidence of impropriety
  4. The NEC endorsed Sir Robin when there was strong evidence that process was flawed
  5. The rules wrongly applied: some AOs were allowed to vote more than once

The result of the trigger ballot was never really in doubt. Sir Robin was always going to find enough votes from among the affiliates to over-turn the results from ward parties. The fact that no agreed list of affiliated organisations was ever published, or even shared with the officers of the two constituency parties, meant the whole process was wide open to abuse.

Despite the protestations from Newham Labour and the national party that everything is fine and that rules were followed, this is not going away. Local members have had enough of trickery and deceit. To borrow a phrase, they want “straight-talking, honest politics.” 

Sir Robin should be worried. His name is not yet certain to be on the ballot paper next May.

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5 Responses to “It’s all kicking off”

  1. Birdman August 1, 2017 at 16:10 #

    I’ve made a similar comment before but ‘Newham Labour’ has no official role in Labour Party structure. The official structure recognises East Ham CLP and West Ham CLP. I really do wish that the local media would stop quoting Newham Labour as it is a SRW construct funded by council tax payers through a compulsory precept on allowances.

  2. urriti August 1, 2017 at 16:41 #

    Will they be crowd funding?, l’m sure many people would give a hand.

  3. Auntie Joy August 1, 2017 at 20:01 #

    Yes it is going to be crowd-funded l believe they are close to raising the money needed.

    • urriti August 1, 2017 at 21:26 #

      Perhaps Auntie Joy you might share where people contribute?.

  4. Andy Smith August 1, 2017 at 22:16 #

    Labour Party members have been cheated from having a proper choice on who should be their candidate. Wales is a liability and already underperforms the Labour vote. He needs to go for the good of the Party and Newham.

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