Rule change could help Labour’s sitting councilllors

THE deadline passed on Friday for Labour members to apply to be candidates at next year’s council elections, so organisers will now have a fair idea as to whether there really will be a left-wing takeover in wards where councillors have been accused of undermining Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

At the height of Corbyn’s leadership contest wins, there was much whispering about the possibility of deselections in wards where there has been open criticism of the Islington North MP. More recently though, it has been suggested backstage that Momentum members and others aligned to Corbyn do not have the manpower – or the will – to instigate an earth-shattering coup. The sharp line from centrists is that Corbynites like to talk about about revolution, but do not really see answering broken boiler queries in councillor surgeries on a Friday evening as the way to achieve it.

That all said, the membership in Camden across both constituencies backed Corbyn against Owen Smith when asked to endorse a candidate last summer, despite some high profile pressure not to from Keir Starmer, Frank Dobson, Dame Jane Roberts and several leading local councillors.

Whether this defiant streak translates into anything more, we will see in a selection process due to take three months. A change in rules has given sitting councillors a bit of cushion, however; one which might have saved Mike Katz, who was deselected in Kilburn before the last boroughwide elections, the most striking example of this kind of thing in recent times. Applicants have been told that incumbents can automatically be reselected by individual branches “at the shortlisting stage”, sparing them the potential ordeal of an open vote. Local organisers will just hope this system doesn’t lead to resentment if some incumbents received immunity, while others don’t.

17 Comments on Rule change could help Labour’s sitting councilllors

  1. Mainstream Labour // April 3, 2017 at 2:57 pm //

    Just so this is clear – because it is not in the post above: the rule changes are ones in national party procedure which have to offered locally in selections, it is up to branches to decide what route they want to take.

  2. Anonymous // April 3, 2017 at 7:11 pm //

    For sure those that take that route and deny the membership a choice will be forever tainted, no doubt the quisling section are already plotting. to do exactly that!

  3. There are not quisling here (and it would be nice if people had the courage to put their name and face to such an offensive comment!)
    It would be also nice if they knew the rules before making allegations: actually nobody will deprive the members from having a say, since the pre-selection meeting is a full branch meeting made of the same members that would decide at the selection process.

  4. Anonymous // April 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm //

    Lazzarop who are you then ?? why not put your name to your nonsense ?

    A full branch meeting where alternative candidates including NON QUISLINGS can be considered is of course denied the membership under this PROGRESS stitch up scenario! absolutely despicable but perhaps indicative of the Anti Corbyn rabble infesting the Party these days .and most certainly Camden Councillors.

    • Dear Anonymous, my name is Lazzaro Pietragnoli (Lazzarop being my Twitter name and the username I have for WordPress and many other sites); I am a Labour councillor in Camden and the picture you can see next to my name is actually of myself.
      Can we have a bit of transparency and honesty from yourself now?

      As for your comment, you show again that you do not understand the democratic process within the Labour Party: there is a pre-selection meeting where all the members of the branch can decide whether to have an open contest for the three council seats or to re-select automatically one or more of the sitting councilors. It is not a consipracy but a democratic decision of the members, the same members that can then in case decide who are the shortlisted candidates (they could decide that none of the slate you support are going to be shortlisted, and you would keep shouting at the antidemocratic rabble infesting the party…)

      And btw, it was Progress that introduced the electoral system giving members and supporters a vote for the national leader, i.e. the electoral system that successfully elected Jeremy Corbyn twice (while the left-wingers strongly opposed that innovation!). Get a grip

  5. Mr Pietragnoli talks of the democratic process and the democratic decision of the members in selecting council candidates. The local candidates are then interviewed by the Camden Local Campaign Forum (LCF) and are rejected or accepted by this body (Chair Mike Katz). Is this body elected in a democratic and transparent manner by the Camden Party? For they are the ultimate arbiters of who is selected, or not, to be a council candidate and not the branches.

    • Mainstream Labour // April 13, 2017 at 8:48 am //

      The LCF is a group of members from across the spectrum of the party, elected by members, and is a process which happens every selection time. It is part of Labour Party rules across the country.

  6. alan watson // April 13, 2017 at 9:47 am //

    LCF elected by members? Redundant for three years and suddenly crucial on the fourth? Are the membership ever made aware of the importance of this body? Or is the importance of it’s role kept quiet?

  7. Camdenista // April 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm //

    A Watson,

    You’re incorrect. The candidates are not “then” interviewed, they’re interviewed before they put themselves forward to make sure they understand what being a councillor entails. Once they’re on the panel branches decide who become a candidate. Branches are the ultimate arbiters.

    This process happens for Parliamentary candidates too.

    Everyone on the LCF is elected to it.

    • Mainstream Labour // April 18, 2017 at 12:06 am //

      More like you just moan for a year every four years about the process.

  8. Carol Vallance // April 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm //

    Lazzarop you aren’t seriously trying to claim the Labour party is democratic are you? You must be referring to some other Labour party I’m not familiar with.

  9. Anonymous // April 16, 2017 at 6:35 pm //


    “The candidates … they’re interviewed before they put themselves forward to make sure they understand what being a councillor entails.” The LCF, who conduct the interview, decide whether the candidate can be on the panel to contest the election. They can refuse a candidate if they so decide, not the branch who even if they want a candidate to support can be overruled by LCF if they so chose.

    “Once they’re on the panel branches decide …” If the LCF decide who is on the panel they must then be the body who decide who is to become a candidate, or not, and not the branches.

  10. Anonymous // April 17, 2017 at 3:32 am //

    Hi anonymous. Are you out of your mind? Are you totally gone? Can you give us your name? Mine’s Rupert Jones. I’ve lived in Camden for decades. I’ve also been a member of the Labour Party for the same time. The rule s about selecting candidates haven’t really changed much in the last 20 years. But not doubt if you have concerns you will be willing to say who you are.

  11. Anonymous // April 17, 2017 at 11:44 am //

    Lazzoro you know as well as i do Mike Katz was never elected to the post he holds on this Ctte there are no minutes anywhere to confirm his election, ive personally over the years been rejected by this stitch up procedure and defeated it on appeal its a set up to deny Corbyn supporters the chance of turning round this Quisling Council .

    annonymous!! why? to prevent expulsion for telling the truth. a hazard of membership these days due to the likes of you polluting the Labour Party .

  12. Alan Watson // April 18, 2017 at 12:24 pm //

    Rupert Jones,
    ‘The rules about selecting candidates haven’t really changed much in the last 20 years.’
    Just look around you and the changes for the worst that have come about in our communities in that time. Just look at the changes for the worst that have come about in the Labour Party in that time, especially in London.

  13. Camdenista // April 19, 2017 at 2:24 pm //

    Anonymous, you clearly don’t know very much, including how to spell the word anonymous. Of course Mike was elected, that’s how it works. BTW you seem slightly obsessed with Mike. We can only wonder why that is.

    The reason you are not a member of the LCF is that you tried and failed. That’s not undemocratic, it’s how democracy works. People don’t have to agree with you or elect you. And perhaps the fact that you speak in such an unpleasant and offensive manner about anyone you disagree with is reflected in the fact that no-one wants to elect you.

    And further, if wanting to be “annonymous!!” you should probably make it a little less obvious about who you are. We all know who uses that word to describe the Council and everyone you disagree with.

  14. Anonymous // April 20, 2017 at 11:20 pm //

    Camdenista wrong and wrong i was selected by a Branch and stood as a Labour candidate for Camden Council.lost to a Tory by 35 votes the year ??

    that was after being deemed too left wing by the then current LCF, turned them over by appealing, they the LCF were bollocked for misconduct FACT

    Mike Katz received NO nomination from his branch for the current LCF fact!

    Prove me wrong produce the minutes !

    I have never sought nomination to the LCF.FACT

    happy days maybe you will get something correct one day lol

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