2019 Labour Conference Report
My apologies that illness and the general election has prevented me from writing a full report to members. Here I outline the point I consider to be the most important for our party, coming out of 2019 Annual Conference – how we elect Conference Arrangements Committee (‘CAC’).
The election of members of the CAC needs to be brought into line with Labour’s other national committees. Currently CAC members serve for two year terms and are elected in two tranches. Two members are elected by OMOV of the entire party membership in one year with another six members elected by conference delegates in the alternate year. The organisation of affiliated delegates at conference means that, effectively, this results in a CAC comprised of two CLP nominees and six trade union nominees.
This was highlighted by the election of an additional member of CAC – to a new place reserved for disabled members – by delegates at 2019 annual conference. Although 2019 was a year when the two OMOV places were elected, this place was elected at conference following a rule change – and the trade unions’ nominee was duly elected. So, we now have a CAC comprised of two CLP nominees and seven trade union nominees. That results in deals between the NEC and the unions reflected in the rules of our party.
The election of CAC urgently needs reform so that there are sections representing the major parts of our membership (perhaps 50% CLPs, 50% affiliates) rather than the current composition. Until this happens, we shall see no further progress with the democratisation of conference, making this the most important rule change our party has to consider.