A row has broken out at Labour’s National Policy Forum (NPF) gathering after a vote to elect a new chair was cancelled.
The winner of the election, expected to have been Ann Black, would have joined Labour’s National Executive Committee.
Despite being a left-winger, Ann Black does not enjoy the support of the pro-Corbyn Momentum group.
There are claims pro-Corbyn members stopped the vote to keep control of Labour’s NEC.
The eight-strong group of “core officers” within the National Executive Committee (NEC) is considered to have six pro-Corbyn members.
The last minute decision to cancel the election is therefore being seen by critics, as an attempt by Jeremy Corbyn’s office to block a non-Corbynista from becoming one of the NEC Officers.
The official line is that insufficient notice had been given for the vote – but those angered by the decision says the rulebook doesn’t specify how much there should be.
Jeremy Corbyn’s office says it should be seven days.
There were angry scenes in the conference hall as the NEC Chair Andy Hall took control of the podium to inform the gathering they would not get a vote.
Shouts of “shame” could clearly be heard – though there was some applause too.
There is now likely to be a postal vote in around a month’s time – but the episode is indicative of the ongoing row within Labour about which faction has control.
Jeremy Corbyn’s office rejects any suggestion that this is about anything other than due process taking place.
A spokesman stressed it would be wrong to suggest that the vote was blocked to prevent anyone obtaining a position amongst the NEC officers.