A FIX! There is no other way to describe the NEC-imposed steering committee appointed to subvert the democratic wishes of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party (BHDLP)
The future of the biggest party unit in the country - with more than 8,000 members - lies in the hands of 19 people. Some have no connection with the city; some were overwhelmingly defeated at the Party’s annual meeting on July 9th; some were responsible for lies about ‘spitting’ that resulted in the Party being suspended and its elections annulled. The truth is the elections were ‘voided’ only because members voted by up to 65% for a new leadership team comprising supporters of Jeremy Corbyn.
In the letter of suspension, members had been promised a re-run of the annual meeting and new elections. Even that promise has been binned. When it was disclosed a steering committee was to be tasked with splitting the citywide party into three CLPs, we were assured it would comprise outgoing officers and those elected in July.
Comrades correctly calculated pro-Corbyn members would have a narrow majority. How could the anti-democrats fix it otherwise? First, they expelled Mark Sandell, the elected chair; then they suspended me - a few days before the 19 member committee was appointed. Then the extent of the fix became clear. The committee now includes: two members of Labour’s South East regional board; the regional director; Peter Kyle, MP for Hove; and - irony of ironies - councillor Warren Morgan, leader of the Labour Group on Brighton and Hove City Council, who repeatedly spread lies about the ‘spitting’.
The fear is the reorganisation will be rushed through over Christmas and New Year. There are concerns there will be no role for all-member meetings in the CLPs, nor in the local campaigns forum as it initiates the process for selecting council candidates. About 150 people attended a Stop the Purge meeting organised by Momentum Brighton & Hove. The biggest gathering of BHDLP members since July voted to accept the split into three CLPs - but with details being overseen only by officers elected in July.
We can expect huge inaugural constituency meetings soon in Hove, Brighton Kemptown, and Brighton Pavilion. Thousands of members will refuse to be defeated by the undemocratic manoeuvrings of a tiny minority of sore losers.