Chapter 9: The undemocratic imposition, without a vote of members, of the Labour Party parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion in November 2019

  • Wednesday, September 4: An email lands at 6.40pm from Jennie Formby, McNicol’s replacement as general secretary, inviting applications. It gave would-be applicants less than 48 hours to meet a deadline of 5pm on Friday, September 6;
  • Monday, September 9: Without explanation — but understandably — a new deadline had been extended to 10am; I submitted my application at 8.24am and received an immediate confirmation of receipt;
  • Tuesday, October 8: After three weeks since all selections had been paused, the NEC Officers’ Group met to approve emergency procedures. Which, in the case of Brighton Pavilion, meant that the longlisting, shortlisting, and selection of a candidate resided almost entirely with the CLP and its members. Subsequently, CLP officers claimed they repeatedly — and unsuccessfully — sought permission to begin the selection process;
  • Friday, October 18: A generic email was sent to would-be candidates — in cluding me — from the “Labour Party Selections Team”. It stated: “The Party has received a very large number of applications and we are progressing selections as quickly as possible to prepare for a possible early election. Regional offices will be in touch in due course when longlists and shortlists are decided for the remaining vacancies. We are not able to provide feedback on individual applications.”
  • Tuesday, October 29: MPs vote for a general election on December 12; almost immediately — and with no formal notification to those who had applied more than seven weeks earlier to be the candidate in Brighton Pavilion — Labour’s NEC Officers’ Group decided to change the emergency procedures. With little publicity, it ordained that those seats that had not yet selected a Labour candidate and were not represented by a Labour MP would now have their candidate picked by panels composed of representatives from the NEC, the party’s regional board, and the CLP.



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Greg Hadfield

Greg Hadfield


Pro-Corbyn. Elected secretary of Brighton, Hove and District Labour Party; votes annulled by NEC; suspended Oct 2016; re-instated Feb 2019. Ex-Fleet Street.