A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Monday, November 27, 2006

GLLP Conference

On Saturday I took time out from unpacking my 26 boxes of political biographies, Times guides to the Commons, Waller's almanacs etc to attend the Greater London Labour Party biennial regional conference.

Highlight for me was falling asleep during Ken Livingstone's speech. I woke up in time to hear that the GLA (and presumably the London precept on my council tax) are funding a festival of Cuban culture next year to celebrate 50 years of the revolution. I restrained myself from using the Q&A to ask if the festival would mention Cuban democracy and human rights (or lack thereof).

As usual the left made a lot of noise but didn't actually seem to have a majority amongst either TU or CLP delegates, which is significant given London's historic role as the thermometer of the Labour Party where political trends are evident first before they reach the rest of the country.

On the key "test vote" which was a move to reference back the Conference Arrangement Committee report (GLLP conferences are a bit '80s retro in style) and allow an emergency debate from the TSSA against private sector involvement in the East London Line, the platform won by 106 votes to 76.

Elections to the GLLP Board produced the following results (descriptions of candidates in the CLP section are my interpretation partly based on the "line" that was in the left's Campaign Briefing flyer - apologies to anyone who feels I have misrepresented their position):

Chair: Len Duvall LAM (unopposed)
Vice-Chair: Linda Perks (UNISON) - (unopposed)
National Policy Forum: Maggie Cosin (moderate, GMB) and Pat O'Keefe (left, TGWU) (both unopposed)
Ethnic Minorities Officer: Raj Jethwa (left, GMB) 85% beat Munir Malik (moderate, Co-Op) 13%, Abdul Aziz Toki (Lewisham W) 1%, Nagus Narenthira (Hendon) 1%
CLPs London NW
Woman: Lisa Homan (moderate, Chelsea & Fulham) 82%, beating Claire Farrier (Hendon, don't know her politics) 18%
Man: Chris Payne (moderate, Ealing Southall) 53%, beating Colin Bastin (left, Ealing Acton & SB) 18%, Alex Brodin (Hendon) 18%, William Hunter (Hammersmith) 12%.
CLPs London S & SE
Woman: Joanne Milligan (moderate, Croydon C) unopposed
Man: Charlie Mansell (moderate, Sutton & Cheam) 93% beat Chris Purnell (left, Orpington) 7%
CLPs London N & NE
Woman: Sally Mulready (moderate, Hackney N) 69% beat Laura Bruni (left, Walthamstow) 31%
Man: Aktar Beg (left, Chingford) 51% beat Alan Griffiths (moderate, W Ham) 49% - largely because the East Ham delegate went home early having forgotten to vote!
CLPs London Central
Woman: Lucy Anderson (left, Holborn) unopposed
Man: Francis Prideaux (left, Westminster N) 64% beat Sam Townend (moderate, Vauxhall) 36%
Trade Unions
Jenny Bremner (Amicus) unopposed
Hilary Hosking (TSSA) unopposed
Sheila Thomas (USDAW) unopposed
Rachel Voller (UNISON) unopposed
Ed Blissett (GMB) 303,000
Steve Hart (TGWU) 303,000
Alan Tate (CWU) 303,000
Stuart King (Amicus) 200,000
Not elected: Amarjit Singh (TSSA) 103,000
Co-Op: Joe Simpson & Dora Dixon Fyle - both uncontested
Socialist Societies: Huw Davies, uncontested
Young Labour: Alun Or-Bach, uncontested
MEP: Mary Honeyball, uncontested
MPs: Jon Cruddas and Andrew Dismore, both uncontested
London Councils: Chris Roberts & Tony Newman, both uncontested


Anonymous Andrea said...

"Man: Aktar Beg (left, Chingford) 51% beat Alan Griffiths (moderate, W Ham) 49% - largely because the East Ham delegate went home early having forgotten to vote!"

was the 51/49 split the result of just 1 vote difference?

3:14 pm, November 27, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

Glad to see Stuart King re-elected!

3:36 pm, November 27, 2006

Anonymous Adelski said...

Luke, I'm glad Ken's speech was that interesting! I've always found him wuite charismatic but I think I'd feel enclined to tell him to fuck off if he was spending the tax payers money on a festival celebrating Cuba.

9:42 pm, November 27, 2006

Blogger daggi said...

"I restrained myself from using the Q&A to ask if the festival would mention Cuban democracy and human rights (or lack thereof)."

Why did you restrain yourself? Did you fear they might call you a "Trot"?

11:38 pm, November 27, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Andrea - each CLP gets 4 delegates but they vote collectively using a card vote roughly the size of their membership (rounded up to nearest 500 I think) - Alan lost by 500 and East Ham would have had either 500 or 1000 votes.

Daggi - I restrained myself because he's not worth the effort.

7:57 am, November 28, 2006

Anonymous Andrea said...

Thanks for the info

8:56 am, November 28, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Raj Jethwa on the left this week then? Or does it just depend on who he's talking to/what he's running for?

1:31 pm, November 28, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

He was on their slate as published in Campaign Briefing.

1:54 pm, November 28, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's one thing for someone to back someone else in absence of their own candidate and another for them to actively seek their endorsement.

2:01 pm, November 28, 2006

Blogger daggi said...

Come on Luke - whether Livingstone's (and I refuse to call him "Ken", just as much as I can't stand this "Tony" nonsense, though I have just called you "Luke") "worth it" is irrelevant. He's at an - internal - Labour Party event, talking a lot of shite, and no doubt more than a few people were thinking the same as you.

Surely the anti-Stalinists in Cuba are "worth it"? And you could have asked him what he would do if Castro snuffed it by then and a celebration of the Cuban revolution would therefore be a bit passé...

Livingstone's answer to both questions would, no doubt, interest more than a few - and other people's opinion of you (including myself, and probably quite a few other people who you politically can't stand and would like out of the Party) would have improved a bit.

Raj Jethwa still about, eh? Not working for "Ken" yet then? Or still just carrying his bags (or as it used to be called, "candidate membership" in the MIG)?

10:18 pm, November 28, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

I'd imagine Raj's place on the campaign group slate owed more to his links with GMB London Region than to any specific left/moderate political position he may or may not hold. Similarly, I wouldn't class Lucy Anderson as particularly hard of left although she was on the left slate.

4:15 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Anonymous said...

CLPs actually get 1,000 votes and then an extra 1,000 if their membership exceeds a thousand (and so on: so if a CLP in London has 3,000 votes it's because it has in excess of 3,000 members).

East Ham had 1,000 votes and there are about 18 constituencies in the division.

4:36 pm, November 29, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


The GMB explanation for Raj being on the left slate doesn't stack up - otherwise Maggie Cosin would be on the campaign briefing slate.

I would describe both Raj and Lucy as close to Livingstone and somewhere on the outer fringes of the soft left. Whilst I get on OK with both neither of them are people I would consider to be from my wing of the party or ever vote for and I imagine they would not want to be defined that way.

I would have voted for Munir Malik vs Raj (because he wouldn't take the line on the NOLS NC in 1995 and is not active enough in Hackney South CLP where he lives) and abstained on Lucy's uncontested election (because she opposed John Dickie's selection in Grafton Ward in 1997, was excessively pro RMT and Ken when she stood for the GLA and because she recently resigned from Camden causing a by-election). But then I have a long memory.

Anonymous - thanks for the clarification on card votes.

5:17 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

An amusingly comprehensive answer. Having worked with them both at the TUC, I tend to be a bit more forgiving than you, but then I haven't lived in London for four years so don't really know what they have been up to recently. And Raj jas always stressed his moderation when talking to me ;-). Resigning and causing a by-election in Camden is certainly a point against Lucy, but I wouldn't like to judge without knowing more of the circumstances behind the resignation.

6:40 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

Talk of the NOLS NC of 1995 in your earlier answer has filled me with nostalgia, but I am now struggling to recall exactly who the part-time members of the NC were that year (let alone who would take a line and who wouldn't). I can think of Jo Welch (womens officer), Ruth Potter (vice-chair), Dan Neidle (publicity officer), Elspeth Johnson, Dom McElroy, Matthew Laza, Raj Jethwa, Mark Leonard, Sarah Sampson, Attractive tall blonde girl from St Andrews whose name escapes me, that's it isn't it?

6:59 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

Plus SOLS chair Bob McBean. Can't remember who the chair of WOLS was.....

7:01 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

Was the chair of WOLS Vaughn Gething?

7:11 pm, November 29, 2006

Blogger daggi said...

"girl from St. Andrews"= Catherine Taylor?

8:01 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Duncan said...

Right, I remember voting for Raj... Can't imagine I voted for anyone else out of that lot (nb: I'm talking about NOLS 1995 and not the recent London Party elections...)

8:40 pm, November 29, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...

Byelection caused by acquiring politically restricted job working for Ken.

I think the St Andrews person was Gail Murray.

Andrew Pakes was also on the NC that year.

11:27 pm, November 29, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...

Daggi, I said that the girl from St Andrews was tall, blonde and attractive. Catherine (nee) Taylor has many admirable qualities, but being tall, blonde and attractive are not 3 of them. Luke is quite right to point out that Gail Murray is the person I was thinking of. Yes, I forgot about Andrew Pakes. Regardless of who took the line, give me Raj Jethwa over Andrew Pakes any day of the week. You have to admire Raj for being prepared to stand up to Lizzi, while Pakes just said anything to further his own career regradless of what his own personal beliefs were.

12:30 am, November 30, 2006

Blogger Luke Akehurst said...


we will have to agree to differ on Mr Pakes, he is a friend of mine.

8:38 pm, December 01, 2006

Anonymous Andy said...


Your welcome to him!

1:50 am, December 02, 2006

Anonymous Ocanuk said...

Luke claims he was asleep during Ken Livingstone’s speech, which is no doubt why his report bears so little relationship to its content. By massive omission, Luke has distorted Livingstone’s speech.
The subjects covered in Ken Livingstone's remarks and in the subsequent discussion included the extension and upgrade of the East London Line (which he spent some time on, countering the arguments of the RMT), the funding package for the Olympics, free bus fares for children, low pay and the London living wage, bus drivers’ pay, climate change, emissions-based charging, and the attitude of the Tories towards the environment. His references to Cuba and Venezuela were an extremely small part of this session indeed.
One of the things that has most helped the London Labour Party meetings is that we now have a Mayor’s report and a direct discussion with the Mayor – ie the person making the decisions in London government. Until he was readmitted the discussion was mainly based on the scrutiny side(the Assembly members). Ken’s contribution has given the London-wide policy debate added focus and content.
This is something to be welcomed but unfortunately it is not reflected in Luke’s report at all.
By distorting the debate and discussion during this item Luke is doing a disservice to the biennial meeting and the London Labour Party.

2:49 pm, December 05, 2006

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