JVL Introduction

Since our post yesterday with the JVL-supported CLPD slate for the NCC elections, a whole series of articles have appeared on Skwawkbox chronicling the almost minute-by-minute attempts to reach agreement on a unified slate in the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance. As things stand now, the Labour Representation Committee has thrown its weight behind the CLPD slate but Momentum has chosen to promote a different – but overlapping – one.

We carry a Campaign for Labour Party Democracy account of the problems encountered and, below that, extracts from some of the Skwawkbox posts.

Exclusive: left-slate impasse as one group refuses to back JVL member for NCC

10 October 2018


The right-wing ‘slate’ for the important elections to fill additional positions on Labour’s NCC (National Constitutional Committee), the party’s supreme disciplinary body, was issued last week – and serves as a useful guide for which candidates to avoid.

But the left slate has not yet been published. A meeting took place on Monday night that was supposed to finalise the slate, but nothing has yet been announced.

The SKWAWKBOX can reveal that the decision-making process is at an impasse, with the stalemate centred on the presence of a member of Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) on the slate.

The CLGA (Centre-left Grassroots Alliance), the body consisting of Momentum, CLPD (Campaign for Labour Party Democracy), the LRC (Labour Representation Committee), Left Futures, JVL and others is currently deadlocked, with CLPD determined to see the JVL candidate on a balanced slate that will – if constituted as they propose – consist of three women and three men, with three BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) candidates and one Jewish candidate.

A senior Momentum figure has reportedly objected to the JVL member – one highly regarded by the Labour leadership – on the supposed grounds that ‘the Jewish community’ will not tolerate a JVL representative. This raises a number of questions, not least that there isn’t just one Jewish community – as recent events revealed by the SKWAWKBOX have underlined.

Breaking: LRC endorses CLPD slate for NCC


There was talk earlier today that the LRC (Labour Representation Committee) might also propose a slate, but in breaking news the SKWAWKBOX can confirm that LRC has decided to endorse the CLPD slate in full.

Announcing its endorsement, the LRC also said:

In doing so, the LRC is agreeing with Jewish Voice for Labour, Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and Labour CND. We are disappointed that Momentum refuses to support Stephen Marks as a candidate because of his JVL membership.  

The LRC continues to have serious concerns about how left slates are constructed, whether by the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance, or parts of it, particularly the way in which Black candidates are hand-picked by predominantly white organisations with no reference to organisations of Black members. We will persist in our promotion of discussion of a better, more inclusive and democratic procedure in future, something not possible in the short time span given in which to nominate and elect candidates for this election only decided at conference.

It’s hard to argue – the process for the construction of left slates has been problematic ever since the left has been ascendant in the Labour Party and it urgently needs genuine democracy and inclusion – but the endorsement of yet another group for the CLPD-backed slate is a significant boost for the prospect of the candidates on it.

Corbyn’s positive comments re two candidates excluded from Momentum NCC slate

12 October 2018


Momentum’s slate contains three candidates who also appear on the CLPD version – but omits a highly-regarded JVL member and two others, in favour of three other candidates.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is, of course, not backing any candidates publicly. But the SKWAWKBOX understands that he has talked positively about at least two out of the three candidates omitted from the Momentum slate.

Momentum founder Jon Lansman had objected to the inclusion of JVL member Stephen Marks during Wednesday’s discussions with CLPD and other organisations about the proposed left slate. However, he subsequently told the SKWAWKBOX that this was a personal view and that Momentum as an organisation was set to back Marks before talks broke down.