In the Bennite Civil War of the 1980s there were determined attempts to put Council Labour Groups under the control of District Labour Parties, and in the case of Militant-dominated Liverpool they succeeded, with disastrous consequences for the City and for the Party which lost control of Liverpool to the Liberals. True to form, last week one of the first acts of the new Momentum crowd on the NEC was to intervene in the decision-making process of the London Borough of Haringey. Even those who think their Development Plan is flawed or unwise are appalled at the implications for the principle of local government and local democracy, the right of councillors' to determine their own policies locally without backseat drivers interfering, and possible voter reaction. Furthermore, the NEC has inextricably tied itself with the vagaries of the Haringey Labour Group policy post-May when it will be Momentum-dominated. The decision is both wrong and sets a dangerous precedent.
In open letter to the NEC, published in The Sunday Times, over 70 Labour Council and Group Leaders have protested against this unwise and unconstitutional decision. However, they cannot be allowed to fight this battle alone. All sensible Party members should raise this in their local parties and give backing and solidarity to the bedrock of our Party organisation and local profile, our excellent local Labour Councillors.
If you too agree with the principles set out in the letter, please sign this petition, which we will send to the NEC:
"We the undersigned support the open letter from over 70 Labour Council and Group Leaders protesting against the NEC's interference in the democratic right of Labour Councillors in Haringey to determine their own local policies. Whatever our views on the merits of the HDV regeneration plan it can only properly be decided by elected local councillors, not by interference from external bodies."