Scottish and Welsh Labour leaders angry at delay of NEC vote at conference
Jeremy Corbyn’s fight to prevent the appointment of delegates from Wales and Scotland to Labour’s NEC has failed after efforts by his supporters to delay a key vote.
At its meeting last week the National Executive Committee agreed that the Scottish and Welsh leaders should be able to appoint a member each to the ruling body.
Those around Corbyn sought, at this morning’s meeting of the NEC in Liverpool, to halt a vote at conference on the proposal, arguing that the representatives should be elected. The fear in the Corbyn camp is that without election it would tilt the balance of the NEC away from supporting him.
The NEC however agreed to proceed with a vote on the plans by delegates tomorrow.
It comes amid reports on the PoliticsHome website of extraordinary exchanges between the Scottish and Welsh Leaders and Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking during a meeting of the NEC on Saturday evening, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale attacked Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to delay a vote on the plans just hours after his own re-election. She is quoted as having declared:
‘How dare you preach unity and then try to undermine me as Scottish leader.’
PoliticsHome has also reported one Labour source as having said of Labour’s leader in Wales, following this morning’s meeting of the NEC, that ‘Carwyn Jones spoke out and told Jeremy in no uncertain terms that the vote must happen tomorrow.’
The Welsh First Minister told PoliticsHome afterwards that
‘we have devolution in Wales and Scotland. We’ve waited years for these changes. They need to go through this week.’
The meeting came just hours after Carwyn Jones yesterday delivered his speech to the party conference. In a sobering segment, he reminded delegates that Labour was only able to publish a programme for government last week because it had won power.
He went on to provide what in hindsight is an obvious but also critical point for Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters to remember:
‘Conference we need to constantly remind ourselves what Labour being in government actually means.
That is our historic mission – that is the journey that Hardie started and every Labour leader since must try and advance.
How was it that Bevan finished his great quote, ‘the language of priorities is the religion of socialism’?
It was with these words: ‘only by the possession of power can you get the priorities correct.’
Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot ForwardSign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.