A letter from ‘Labour First’

July 28, 2015 at 9:34 am (elections, labour party, posted by JD, reformism, wankers)

Above: Martin Rowson’s Guardian cartoon

It seems that the old Labour right wingers of Labour First are a bit pissed off with the Liz Kendall-supporting, Johnny-come-lately New Labourites of Progress:

Dear ******,

This is a special edition of our Labour First email update, which usually comes out monthly. We hope this is a useful information service. If you have news for us to circulate or additional contacts who should be added to our email list please let us know. People can also join our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/Nzh75. Please feel free to forward this email.

An Open Letter to Progress

We sent the letter below today to John Woodcock MP and Richard Angell”Dear John and Richard,We are writing to you as Chair and Director of Progress.We appreciate the experience of working with you for many years now to jointly promote moderate candidates in internal Labour Party elections for the NEC and NPF etc.The current challenge for the leadership by Jeremy Corbyn represents the most serious threat of a Hard Left victory in the Labour Party since Labour First initially helped deal with this phenomenon 30 years ago.

Within Labour First we have high profile supporters of each of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. As individuals we are working hard for our preferred candidates but collectively Labour First is very publicly calling on people to use their second and third preference votes for the other two mainstream candidates to stop Corbyn winning.

We know that Progress has decided to support Liz Kendall and respect that this is the view of your Strategy Board.

However, we are concerned that you have not recommended use of second and third preferences to stop Corbyn and that some individual members of your Strategy Board are suggesting not using their second or third votes.

We are therefore writing to ask you to consider helping us demonstrate the unity of moderate and mainstream forces in the Labour Party and the strategic priority of stopping a Corbyn victory by amending your position slightly so that as well as continuing to support Liz you join us in recommending people use their second and third preference votes for the other mainstream candidates.

Best wishes,

Luke Akehurst, Secretary, Labour First
Keith Dibble, Chair, Labour First
Rt Hon John Spellar MP”

Leadership and Deputy Leadership Elections – state of the race and how you can help

There are prominent supporters of Labour First backing each of Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall. We clearly do not share Jeremy Corbyn’s politics and believe these would destroy Labour’s chances of electability. Because Labour uses a preferential voting system (usually conducted as an eliminating ballot at CLP nomination meetings) we would encourage supporters of Andy, Yvette and Liz to transfer votes to each other at CLP nomination meetings so that as few CLPs as possible make supporting nominations for Jeremy. For the Deputy Leadership, none of the candidates are problematic but Tom Watson has a particularly long-standing connection to Labour First and has spoken at our events.

There are three ways you can be helpful:

  1. If your CLP has not held its nomination meeting yet (only 313 CLPs have nominated out of 635!) please make sure you attend, nominate and vote for your preferred candidate and then transfer to other mainstream candidates if necessary. Remind other mainstream Labour members to attend too. Nominations close on Friday.
  2. Please encourage as many as possible of your mainstream Labour supporting friends, family and if you are an MP or councillor, your constituents, to register as supporters for £3 so they can vote in the ballot. Various far left groups are pushing their supporters to register so they can vote for Corbyn so it is important this is balanced out with mainstream supporters: https://supporters.labour.org.uk/leadership/1 
  3. If you are a branch or CLP Secretary or Membership Secretary please check the lists of affiliated and registered supporters as they join and report to HQ any instances of known members or supporters of other parties trying to infiltrate the ballot process, as they can be barred from participating.

Here is the remainder of the timetable for the Leadership and Deputy Leadership elections:

12 noon Wednesday 12 August Last date to join as member, affiliated supporter, or registered supporter
Friday 14 August Ballot mailing despatched
12 noon Thursday 10 September Ballot closes
Saturday 12 September Special conference to announce result

Unlike previous leadership elections, this election will be held on a one-person-one-vote basis. There are three sets of people who can vote:

1.    Labour Party members
2.    Affiliated supporters — people who’ve signed up as a Labour Party supporter through one of the affiliated organisations or unions
3.    Registered Supporters — people who’ve registered that they support the Labour Party by signing up online and paying a one-off minimum fee of £3

If you know people who want to register to vote, the links are:
https://join.labour.org.uk/ Membership
https://supporters.labour.org.uk/leadership/1 Registered Supporters

There is an unofficial list of supporting nominations, more up to date than the party website, being kept by Andrea Parma here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14fJtyTh2RTSJdobOwYcU8-GQhFIsc1TYy86y369QdXc/edit

According to this, as of today (27 July) for Leader Corbyn has 109 CLP nominations, Burnham 103, Cooper 87 and Kendall 14. For Deputy Leader Watson has 83 CLP nominations, Creasy 52, Flint 45, Bradshaw 18 and Eagle 16.

1 Comment

  1. Dear Yvette… why trash-talking Jeremy is not your best line | Left Futures said,

    […] is that you’re explicitly pitching for Liz’s second preferences. Yet, as we know from Labour First‘s open letter to Progress, it seems some Liz supporters are bent on not lending their second preferences to either you or […]

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