In the interests of “democracy and accountability”, local lobby group Democracy Triggered (DT) is calling on party members to write to Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to challenge the result of the recent internal ballot which failed to trigger a full reselection process for the office of Mayor of Newham. Instead, the incumbent Sir Robin Wales, is set to remain as undisputed Labour candidate in the forthcoming Mayoral election.
The group insists that the result of the ballot should be challenged on the following grounds:
Charge #1: Newham Fabians were among the Labour Party organisations whose vote counted towards the ballot which confirmed Sir Robin as candidate, without enacting a full reselection process. But it is not clear whether Newham Fabians are fully affiliated to the constituency party, or even if the meeting at which the vote took place, was quorate. The matter is currently under investigation by the Fabian Society.
Charge #2: The Christians on the Left affiliate organisation did not hold a formal vote at their meeting, which took the form of a discussion chaired by Mayoral Advisor Councillor Clive Furness.
Charge #3: The Broadcast, Entertainment, Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) affiliate organisation made up of a single member, voted to reselect the sitting Mayor. That one vote cancelled out the votes of the entire East Ham Central Labour Party branch in which 59 members voted. BECTU HQ is also investigating this matter.
Charge #4: A General Municipal and Boilermakers union (GMB) representative with no connection to Newham signed all four of the Newham GMB affiliate voting papers; but no meetings appear to have been held with local Newham GMB members.
Charge #5: The national Transport and Salaried Staff Association (TSSA) has no record of an eligible TSSA branch affiliate in Newham. TSSA HQ is currently investigating where the local TSSA vote for the Mayor came from.
Charge #6: Councillor Pat Murphy, the Procedures Secretary who oversaw the ballot that failed to trigger a full mayoral reselection process, is a paid Mayoral Advisor.
Labour’s National Executive is yet to rule on the conduct of the internal party process which confirmed Sir Robin Wales as Newham Mayoral candidate without entering into a full reselection process.