The panel is being arranged to select local election candidates for Sandwell borough – and two white, male representatives had been put forward. An NEC representative elected by Labour members explained how events unfolded:
‘There is going to be a joint panel to select the council candidates for Sandwell Council. The area has a sizeable BAME population. The grassroots representatives asked one of the two white male candidates to stand aside in favour of fellow NEC rep. Yasmine Dar – so the NEC’s representation would be gender balanced and there would be BAME participation.
They refused to stand down so it went to a vote. The left lost.
Angela Rayner voted in favour of keeping two white men. So did the NEC BAME representative Carol Sewell. So did Gurinder Singh Josan . So did Alice Perry, another councillor. It was absolutely disgusting.” Skwarkbox
But Dar was not the only NEC member blocked in this manner by the right, which has had a majority on the committee since Keir Starmer became Labour leader.
Mish Rahman is another left NEC member – and based in Walsall, right next to Sandwell, so with plenty of knowledge of the local communities and dynamics. Yet he was also prevented by the right from sitting on the selection panel in favour of white male councillors who refused to step aside – one from London and one from Newcastle.
Yet Yasmine Dar, who would have brought both ethnic and gender balance to the panel representation, is a councillor in Manchester, despite being a sitting councillor and a long-time NEC member, as well as the recent chair of the NEC’s important ‘Disputes Panel’, until she was voted out as part of a right-wing coup to remove all NEC subcommittee chairs from the left of the party or elected by Labour members.
It Gets Worse
One of the two white men who refused to step aside is the new chair of the NEC’s equalities subcommittee. You couldn’t make it up.
Right-wingers on the NEC have a sorry history of voting on the wrong side of issues. Rayner helped to prevent left-wingers taking key positions on important NEC subcommittees; Sewell voted against including racism in the scope of the investigation into the infamous leaked Labour report; Josan voted to block Labour members from voting online in key meetings during the first lockdown.
Party leader Keir Starmer last year appointed an all-white LOTO team to run a ‘diversity review’.
The NEC’s input on a joint panel to decide who stands for the party, in a borough where almost one in four residents are Asian or black, will now be the exclusive preserve of two white men. See Skwarkbox & Skwarkbox