Luton Labour parties placed in 'special measures' by ruling executive

Luton North and South constituency Labour parties have both been placed in 'special measures' by the party's national executive committee (NEC)

Monday, 19th July 2021, 11:21 am
Updated Monday, 19th July 2021, 12:50 pm

The move follows allegations of 'membership stacking' - where members sign up family and friends to the party in order to push through preferred candidates - ahead of the 2023 local election.

Similar claims arose in June 2018 (see story here), when multiple Labour councillors were deselected from wards they represented, in some cases after years of service.

In a message to party members, the regional director of Labour East said: "Luton North CLP and Luton South CLP have been placed into ‘special measures’, in line with the Labour Party rule book.

Luton North and South Labour parties' headquarters in Union Street, Luton

"The decision to place Luton in special measures has been taken in order to safeguard the integrity of our CLPs, our internal democratic procedures and our selection processes. We have a duty to ensure that our CLPs are properly run and are able to operate in an inclusive and supportive environment.

"It is of the upmost importance that CLPs have fair, open and accessible selection processes. In order to ensure this is the case in Luton, the NEC will conduct a membership audit, to verify local membership lists."

In a further message, the chairman of Luton South CLP told members of the need to ensure selection processes are "fair and democratic".

Talks between Luton North and South CLPs and the national executive committee are expected to begin today.

A Labour East spokesman said: “Our overriding priority is to ensure the integrity of CLPs so that they can operate fully, inclusively and democratically. We have a duty to ensure all our CLPs are properly run."