Labour’s factional saga took its latest turn tonight as Jeremy Corbyn supporters won a string of seats on the party’s ruling body.
Candidates backed by Momentum, which was set up to support the former leader and his left-wing agenda, won seven out of 15 seats that were up for grabs on the National Executive Committee.
Among Momentum picks joining the 39-member group were ex-MP Laura Pidcock, who lost her seat to the Tories in December.
But several rival groups made it onto the ruling body due to a complex new voting system that went to 37 rounds of counting.
Of the nine constituency seats up for grabs, five were claimed by the Momentum-backed ‘Grassroots Voice’ slate while three were claimed by the ‘Labour to Win’ ticket.
Labour to Win victors included arch-Corbyn critic Luke Akehurst, who won with by far the most first-round votes of any CLP candidate.
There was also an NEC return for veteran member Ann Black, who was ousted as disputes chief in 2018.
Momentum said it had done better than expected. Co-chair Andrew Scattergood claimed Labour members had rejected “the anti-democratic crackdown implemented over the last few weeks by a factional group around the leadership.”
He added: “ Keir Starmer has shown worrying signs of breaking with the values of party unity and socialist policy on which he was elected – this result should warn against that course of action.”
But a Keir Starmer ally hit back – and said support for the “hard left” had declined overall.
They added: “For the first time Keir has a clear majority on the NEC.”
Ms Black tweeted: “I’m proud of having run a positive campaign, and to have won through.”
It comes after Mr Corbyn was suspended for his response to a report that found Labour broke equality law over anti-Semitism.
The former leader faces investigation for saying opponents had “dramatically overstated” the scale of the issue.
The balance of power on the NEC could prove crucial in forming Labour’s response to the anti-Semitism report.
A stronger left slate could also wield more influence over Keir Starmer’s bid to reform Labour’s complaints process, and any wider reforms to the party.
The elections were for nine Constituency Labour Party reps, two councillor reps, Treasurer, and Wales, youth, and disabled reps.
Long-time Treasurer Diana Holland was re-elected, while Wales’ former First Minister Carwyn Jones was narrowly named Welsh rep. Alice Perry and Nick Forbes will represent local government.
Of the Momentum slate, Mish Rahman, Gemma Bolton, Laura Pidcock, Nadia Jama and Yasmine Dar won local party posts while Ellen Morrison was named disabled member rep and Lara McNeil became youth rep.
The other local party reps elected were Luke Akehurst, Johanna Baxter, Gurinder Singh Josan and Ann Black.
The Voice singer Jermain Jackman narrowly lost out on his bid to become the first black man elected to the NEC.
He tweeted: “For a party that speaks on equality and fairness, its disappointing that we are yet to see a Black man on the NEC.
“I hope it doesn’t take another 120 years to try and achieve it.”
Source: All Football