Left-wingers enjoy near clean sweep in Hampstead and Kilburn

IT was so late it was early when counting finally finished for Labour Party members in Hampstead and Kilburn. The final results of voting for positions like constituency chair and so on were only finally known at some stage in the early hours of this morning. Some suggested a general election count would’ve been speedier.

This, by all accounts, followed a lengthy session attended by more than 100 at the Kingsgate Community Centre in which disputes were raised about everything from the possible lateness of the meeting – ‘we’re paying for babysitters’ – to delegates who thought they were allowed to vote being turned away, and the voting system: members were told, for gender balance, that they had to support a certain number of female candidates.

Rewind a few months for a bit more context, and you’ll remember the resignation of Leao Neto from role of chair, a bloody fallout and the accusation and counter-accusation that followed. Some complaints, fired from both sides, relating to different incidents remain outstanding; this is the Labour Party after all.

The end result of this to and fro is that Katherine Bligh, by a handful of votes, has been named the new chair, edging Marc Harris to secure the position; a win for the left slate. Similarly, Rebecca Shirazi will serve as vice-chair (campaigns) having won by a slightly larger margin from James Slater,  the former council election candidate in Hampstead Town. Cathie Hammond is the other vice-chair. Further down the list, there was another close win for the left as Richard Chadwick and Connor Borrett were named secretaries ahead of Tom Happold and Alistair McLaughlin. Sara Callaway pipped Nazma Rahman for BAME officer, Peter Firmin polled ahead of Mike Katz for trade union liaison officer and so on.

Interesting scorelines for anybody who has been following the often acrimonious relations inside Tulip Siddiq’s constituency. Also of interest, however, was news that membership levels have fallen a fair wodge. Numbers were reportedly hovering around 2,500 when Ms Siddiq was re-elected to parliament two years ago, but the number of paid up Labour card-carriers in Hampstead and Kilburn is now just under 2,000.


13 Comments on Left-wingers enjoy near clean sweep in Hampstead and Kilburn

  1. Chaos and incompetence rule as usual nothing changes in the H&K constituency last years chair was absolutely pathetic and this years will prove to be equally incompetent at Chairing meetings [though politically she is good]

    Loss of members maybe they attended the ridiculous farce that passed as GC meetings where the chairing of the meetings reduced the meetings to a FARCE even denying a call for a re count on a vote on one occasion on the grounds it might change the result! ! never mind being an accurate count of the vote.

    I predict more incompetence and chaos for the coming year in chairing meetings

    General election in June resulting in a CORBYN government …………..its nailed on


  2. Congratulations to Katherine Bligh, Rebecca Shirazi, Richard Chadwick and Pete Firmin. All excellent candidates and deservedly elected! Not often I feel elated that the right people got in but this result is superb! All worked really hard to support Jeremy Corbyn, as all candidates should have and at last their devotion has produced winning votes. High hopes for all!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks largely to Mr Osley’s reporting of this meeting, the whole thing has been traduced into yet another fake antisemitism issue that is encouraging REAL antisemites, purportedly Labour Party members, to post objectionable remarks on Twitter to lend weight to the idea that there is antisemitism in the Labour Party. It’s very obvious what’s going on and what its purpose is.


      • Richard Osley // March 3, 2019 at 9:15 pm // Reply

        Hi Tom, it would be amazing if a niche blog like this had more readers and influence than the Guardian, but sadly it hasn’t. This post makes no mention of JLM or anti-semitism. As I wrote in a separate piece, the issues you mention blew up after Sarah Hayward’s tweet – although she did not accuse anybody of anti-semitism – and further after the Guardian reported it in the context of the recent controversies.

        My second piece shows the difference of opinion of what happened, including the chair’s explanation of why delegates from more than one group were told they could not participate. So I think your opinion is a little off-key but happy for it to be published here.

        While you may not like my work, the CNJ’s letters pages and these comments sections are open to all, as long as there are no legal ramifications to what is submitted. Long may that continue. You for example have had the freedom to post anonymously several times about the Labour Party and local politics due to this site’s existence.

        As an aside, you may not believe it, but both people in both ‘sides’ of the internal arguments in H&K and the wider Labour Party often claim some sort of bias or prejudice in the reporting. If you saw my inbox, you’d be as confused as me, as one day I’m supposedly a slavish Blairite, the next a diehard Corbynista. What a puzzle.


  3. The exclusive and wealthy home owning clique that rule West Hampstead branch with an iron fist or the competing gangs of self interest squabbling in the CLP – these people are not only destroying Labour but any sense of community in Camden as well.


  4. Certain lawyers from West Branch are already preparing a challenge under rule against last nights farce i am reliably informed ………next step constituency suspended its odds on! ……………………………….Tulip will be delighted!!


  5. Very accurate reporting, Mr. Osley. Clearly you had someone planted in the meeting who was feeding you all the details in real time. Why not cut out the middle man/woman and come along yourself next time? It seems there is no confidentiality.


  6. Terence Flanagan // March 2, 2019 at 6:32 pm // Reply

    Patience Richard its inevitable!


  7. alan watson // March 3, 2019 at 8:23 am // Reply

    There is very little that is representative of the electorate or democratically transparent about Camden Labour Party or council. Especially concerning those on a low income.


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