CAMDEN’S Labour group met last night and decided that next month they will have elections for the cabinet posts at the Town Hall. There was always a promise from the leadership to look at how these important positions are shared out.
A compromise idea favoured by Camden leader Nash Ali and Theo Blackwell was to have a straight poll with the nine who score the most votes getting in. Nash would then decide who gets what job, similar to the way Ed Miliband divvied up the shadow cabinet.
That was voted down 15-13 in favour of contested elections for every post – the old style system Labour employed for many years and favoured by the likes of Tulip Siddiq and Julian Fulbrook.
The pros of that: members can boot out anybody they think hasn’t done so well over the last 12 months – uh oh! – and therefore feel like they have a say in the direction the party goes. The cons: votes like this, as we’ve seen in the past, can be divisive.
One interesting thing: for a full on revolution, Labour members need to convince Nash to resign if they really were in the market for a new leader. Local government laws say they can’t have an election for that position – Nash, after all is leader of the council, as well as the Labour group. It’s hard to think of anybody within the current cabinet who would stand against Nash in a direct election, but they may come out of the woodwork should he ever decide to step down.
Nash shows no inclination in wanting to do that and his performance at full council last week was combative on a tough night. While he read his speech from a piece of paper, he seemed more at home than ever with unscripted comebacks to the opposition.
So, that’s how things stand…
Not that we’re supposed to know. Theo Blackwell, the finance chief, sent this around to all Labour members today:
Very sad new, colleagues – at least 2 of you are so concerned about jobs – or undermining others – you immediately broke the spirit of the collective agreement discussed last night not to leak to the New Journal. Richard Osley has the actual vote and the terms of what was discussed – what makes you think this will advance anything that Labour does here?? I’d like to see some of you more-leak minded people actually attack the Tories and Lib dems, but that would be asking too much I suppose!
And chief whip Roger Robinson replied with even fiercer sentiments:
I am seeking an investigation by expert advisers.
I would reiterate my email warning- if anyone is leaking to the media etc strict and effective action will be taken by the leadership of the Group including expulsion.
Stop it…whoever is doing it……..we need to be far more disciplined in the Group.