NEC Elections 2020 – additional candidate statement received by the CLP.
This candidate has received enough nominations to be included on the final ballot.
I set up Stand up for Labour in July 2012 as I believed Labour was not doing enough to engage members or to recruit new people to the party.
It was also my intention to raise morale for CLPs with comedy and political speakers while also raising funds and bringing people together in a way that business meetings could not.
In the past eight years, I have organised over 250 shows all over England, Scotland and Wales and these have been regarded as a big success by the CLPs themselves. I’ve also managed to book Arthur Smith, Shappi Khorsandi, the late Jeremy Hardy, Sara Pascoe, Alexei Sayle, Lost Voice Guy and over 140 other performers to entertain Labour crowds.
I believe no individual in the history of the Labour Party has put on as many fundraisers as I have.
However, I’m not writing to blow my own trumpet.
The experience of travelling all over the country has shown me one thing: CLPs are desperately short of money and resources.
My suspicion of this was confirmed when I put out a survey to Labour members (over 800 responded). Over 50% said their CLP had no office space. And 77% said they thought their local party did not get enough financial support from the Labour Party’s main office.
I heard of some CLPs who struggled to afford the hire of an accessible venue and some who couldn’t send delegates to conference. Many CLPs spend more time fundraising to keep afloat than they do on community outreach.
The principal reason why CLPs are underfunded is the allocation of members’ subscriptions.
I believe that CLPs should be given a fair share of their members’ subscriptions (up to 50%) and this will help local parties to put up good campaigns on the ground in seats we need to win in four years’ time.
This is especially the case during this pandemic and the oncoming depression, when our money will be best used at a local level, supporting our communities.
Such a change will provide a springboard to an earnest national campaign of recruitment as both the main HQ and CLPs will benefit substantially from each new member. With local parties being better resourced, there will also be far more ways to encourage people to join and to get active in their local party.
Standing up for CLPs and Standing up for the NEC
I’m standing for the NEC primarily because I believe CLP funding needs to be addressed urgently.
I also believe that the Labour Party accounts need to be more transparent so that a proper discussion can be made on the allocation of funding.
The party’s annual report provides the bare minimum of information that would be required of such a large organisation and members need to know more about where their money is being spent. The lack of information on expenditure seen from the national accounts would not be acceptable at CLP level.
Furthermore, several key party decisions on finance have been made without consulting the NEC. This should never happen and party governance must improve.