Jon Lansman, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD), previews London Labour Party Conference on 16 February.
Once the Labour Party in London was a left stronghold; in the forefront of reinvigorating local government, fighting sexism, racism and homophobia, and supporting trade union resistance to attacks on jobs, pay and rights at work. In the Blair years, London became a bastion of New Labour as constituency parties saw an influx of careerists, and disillusioned left activists dropped out of activity and of the Party. As Labour nationally returns to social democratic values and control freakery subsides, we should see the left regaining its former influence in London.
Two years ago, thanks in part to gerrymandered boundaries, we saw the left win only two out of eight CLP places on the regional board (Joy Johnson & Francis Prideaux). However, this year could see the left make gains; last time Christine Bickerstaffe lost in the South & South East by just 3% of the votes, and Judy Atkinson by 55% to 45% in North West. Kate Osamor in North and North-East also has an excellent chance, having only narrowly failed to be elected to the NEC.
With the support of left-led unions, the left has fared better for those places elected by the whole conference – winning both seats last time for the National Policy Forum, and the ethnic minorities officer.
This year Conference will be allowed to debate three subjects. As we go to press it is likely to include housing and health. Your CLP can also submit an emergency motion by 13 February (with reference to London and something that happened since 8 October 2012).
Hope to see you at the CLPD lunchtime fringe meeting.
Based on consultation with other left organisations, we urge support for the following:
- National Policy Forum Representatives: Lucy Anderson (Holborn & St Pancras) Sam Gurney (Walthamstow)
- Ethnic Minorities Officer: Raj Jethwa (Hackney South and Shoreditch)
- Disability Rep: Sean McGovern (Unite)
CLP divisional representatives:
- Division 1 North West Judy Atkinson (Brentford & Isleworth) Colin Bastin (Ealing Central and Acton)
- Division 2 South and South East Christine Bickerstaff (Wimbledon) David Gardner (Greenwich and Woolwich)
- Division 3 North and North East Kate Osamor (Tottenham) Richard Price (Leyton and Wanstead)
- Division 4 Central Joy Johnson (Holborn and St Pancras) Francis Prideaux (Westminster North)