A response to ‘Momentum Statement on Negotiations with CLPD’
The fundamental reason why for the first time, in more than 20 years, there are multiple centre-left slates for the two vacant CLP Section NEC seats is that Momentum has blocked there being any agreement on the centre-left.
The Centre Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA), which has acted as a forum to seek and reach agreement on centre-left slates for over 20 years, makes its decisions by consensus. So any participating organisation can in effect veto an agreement being made.
The CLGA met on three separate occasions in January to discuss the two vacant CLP NEC places. Unfortunately Momentum did not engage with these discussions to help negotiate an agreed united slate of two candidates.
The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) tried to engage in direct discussions with Momentum to explore the possibility of a united centre-left slate for the two vacancies. These discussions proved to be fruitless.
On 6 February Momentum unilaterally put out its own slate of two candidates. It also that day published a misleading statement (‘Momentum Statement on Negotiations with CLPD’), in which it presented some partial facts alongside some false claims.
For the record CLPD needs to correct the following misleading claims made by Momentum:
a) Momentum never proposed to CLPD ‘a 50/50slate with one candidate nominated by each organisation’ (presumably meaning Momentum/CLPD). Momentum did make a proposal to CLPD of two candidates, both of which Momentum decided on – i.e. a 100/0 proposal.
b) Since Momentum unilaterally launched its slate of two CLP NEC candidates on 6 February there have been no attempts by Momentum to engage in any discussions. The following claim, made by Momentum in its statement, is simply untrue: ‘There will be in [sic] ongoing discussions over the next few days …’
In the course of the discussions between Momentum and CLPD, CLPD stated that it would prefer a united centre-left slate of two BAME candidates, given that two BAME NEC members had vacated the two CLP by-election seats. CLPD indicated it would only reluctantly back a slate with just one BAME candidate.
When Momentum put forward its slate for the CLP NEC by-elections on 6 February it failed, regrettably, to support a single BAME candidate to replace either of the two BAME members who had vacated these seats.
CLPD could not endorse such a Momentum slate. On 7 February CLPD put forward its own slate. The CLPD slate has one in common with the Momentum slate, whilst the other is a BAME national Vice-Chair of Momentum. Both candidates that CLPD is supporting deserve the full backing of the centre-left.
13 February 2020