Executive Committee, 13 May 2007
business was to finalise procedures for electing a new
leader and deputy, though as the principles had been fully
discussed at previous meetings, all that remained was to
fill in the dates. Key events are listed below, and full
information is available on the party website. Now is the
time to get to grips with your MpURL, to follow the progress
of candidates and to register for hustings and the climax in
Manchester on Sunday 24 June - go to labour.org.uk/membersnet,
and ring Computing for Labour on 0207-783-1291 if there are
any problems. Now is also the time to recruit new members
and bring back former members before the deadline of 1
June, so they can vote.
May to 12:30 p.m. Thursday 17 May - MPs nominate
candidates. A candidate needs 45 MPs to go through to the
May to 12:30 p.m. Friday 1 June – constituencies can, if
they wish, make supporting nominations at general committees
or all- member meetings. The draft procedure was circulated
in March, and the final version is on the website.
Nominations will be listed in the ballot booklet.
May onwards – at 6 p.m. the first list of MPs’ nominations
will be posted on the website, after which the list of MPs
and supporting nominations will be updated daily at 1 p.m.
and 6 p.m.
June – deadline for members to join or renew, to take part
in the ballot.
June to Friday 8 June – ballot booklets and magazine posted
to all members.
the party is organising hustings at the following dates and
May – Coventry
May – Bradford or Sheffield
30 May (black and ethnic minorities) – Leicester
June – Glasgow
June – Cardiff
June (youth) – Oxford
June - London
are organising the following additional hustings:
May – Bristol
June – Newcastle
June – London
June – trade union ballots close
June – individual members’ ballot closes
June, Manchester – leadership conference and announcement of
members can register online for party-organised hustings
(£10 each) and the leadership conference (£50) – first-come
first- served for all. I asked for the times of events to
be published, taking into account the state of the rail
network at weekends, and Pete Willsman pointed out that many
members would be unable to get to Manchester until the
afternoon (the first train from London is supposed to get in
at 12:30 p.m.).
requests for additional hustings in the north-west, for
women, and for other aspects of diversity. The officers
would consider these, but stressed that it would be
difficult to squeeze more into a very packed timetable.
There will be a special edition of Question Time during the
campaign, and the hustings will be open to the media, so
hopefully everyone will be able to see something of all the
candidates before deciding how to vote.
3rd May and
scheduled May NEC and subcommittee meetings have been
postponed, with any essential business, such as
parliamentary selections, conducted by telephone. But while
recognising the immense workload for staff, we do need to
capture what happened in the May elections before memories
fade. I would be interested in feedback from all parts of
England and especially from Scotland and Wales, which are
not represented on the NEC and which have increasingly
divergent electoral systems and political dynamics, so
please mail with your thoughts and experiences.
The End of
out to be Tony Blair’s and John Prescott’s last meeting, and
the Chair Mike Griffiths marked the historic occasion on
behalf of the NEC, on the day after the 13th
anniversary of the tragic early death of John Smith. He
paid tribute to John Prescott as first and foremost a Labour
party man, a key figure on the NEC since 1988, and a
moderniser in persuading conference to accept
one-member-one-vote. And he praised Tony Blair for making
Labour electable, for getting world leaders to confront
moral issues, and for bringing reasoned and thoughtful
analysis to the NEC. John Prescott thanked the party for
the privilege of allowing him to serve and emphasised that
Kyoto and much else would never have been achieved without
the prime minister. However he regretted that the position
of appointed party Chair, and its relationship to the deputy
leader, remained unresolved. Tony Blair thanked the NEC for
being understanding in difficult times, and said he valued
the range of views expressed, recognising that they
reflected currents within the party even where he didn’t
agree with them. He would be 100% loyal to the new
leadership, and wished the party well. And after a few
further contributions from individuals, it was over. We
shall miss them both.