Unions warn of “factional manoeuvring” ahead of today’s Labour NEC vote

Four unions have issued a statement warning of  “factional manoeuvring” of the Labour Party ahead of today’s NEC meeting.

The NEC is being asked to change the way CLP reps are elected to the Single Transferable Vote system, which critics fear will lead to splitting the left vote.

A statement from ASLEF, BFAWU, FBU and Unite reads: “As Labour-affiliated trade unions we throw our full support behind the ordinary Labour members who have been forced to speak out to prevent a reckless move to reshape how our party is run while most members’ backs are turned.

“There are legitimate differing views on how internal elections should be run, but our party conference is and always has been the appropriate place for these debates to be resolved openly and fully.

“Many of our Labour-supporting members have been working on the front lines of an unprecedented and deadly pandemic and the composition of the Labour Party national executive will be far from their minds. Factional manoeuvring during such an extraordinary time undermines Keir Starmer’s firm commitment to lead a plural, broad church party.

“Now more than ever we need a united Labour movement that turns its energy outward to demand a response to this crisis that puts working people first.”

Unite assistant general secretary for politics & legal Howard Becket last night tweeted: “Unions including Unite, @bfawu1 @ASLEFunion and @fbunational stand with grassroots members fighting to preserve Labour party democracy tomorrow – see joint statement.”

Unions last week rallied round sacked shadow education minister Rebecca Long-Bailey.

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