This year the Labour Party Conference has 32 rule changes on the agenda. Nine of these have to do with the selection of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs).
Last year there were only 6 rule changes, which were taken in 40 minutes. Clearly to discuss over 5 times as many needs at least half a day.
Please sign our petition to the Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) to allocate more time than last year.
Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC)
Harry Donaldson (Chair), Fiona Wilson, Mick Murphy, Jayne Taylor, Seema Chandwani, Billy Hayes, Lynne Morris
Dear Committee Members,
As supporters of the Open Selection Rule Change being brought to Conference this year by Labour International CLP, we would like to express our concern about the scheduling of debates on this and other constitutional amendments.
Our Open Selection Rule Change seeks to reform the Party’s parliamentary selection process, giving local members a democratic vote for the best Labour candidate in their constituency, every election. It is one of eight constitutional amendments submitted on the selection of parliamentary candidates. Altogether thirty-two constitutional amendments have been submitted by CLPs from across our party. All these CLPs have devoted considerable time and energy to crafting these motions and waited for over a year for them to be debated at conference.
The provisional schedule published in the Conference App currently foresees forty minutes for all thirty-two amendments. Even if many motions are withdrawn or made irrelevant by NEC proposals, this is clearly unrealistic. We have been told that the schedule published to date is merely a placeholder that has been reused from previous Conferences, and that considerably more time will be required this year.
We understand that scheduling Conference is a Herculean task. As our party’s sovereign democratic forum, it is essential that all pending motions are heard and that debates are scheduled realistically. As such, we request that an entire morning be allocated to debate all constitutional amendments before Conference.
Most especially, Open Selection has attracted huge support throughout the membership and is unquestionably the rule change which will most affect our party’s future direction. Unfortunately, the selection of parliamentary candidates was not included in the remit of the Labour Democracy Review. As such, we respectfully request that rule changes on the selection of parliamentary candidates be given their own debate of at least 1 ½ hours.
Of behalf of our supporters, of all CLPs who have submitted constitutional amendments, and of all those who believe in the principle of democratic accountability, we would be very happy to receive a quick and positive answer.