On Friday 18 January 2018, an emergency meeting of the General Council of South Thanet Constituency Labour Party was convened. On a cold night at three days’ notice, more delegates than usual came to the meeting and several ordinary members joined in the discussion. The meeting considered the facts surrounding the NEC panel’s decision not to endorse me and discussed a resolution to send to the NEC in advance of meetings of its Disputes Panel and Organisation Committee on 22 January. The result was: 43 in favour, one against, no abstentions. The resolution was as follows.
South Thanet Constituency Labour Party (STCLP) notes the democratic decision taken by the membership in April 2018 to elect Rebecca Gordon Nesbitt as our Parliamentary Candidate. The selection process was carried out in accordance with the democratic principles of the Labour Party. The process was deemed fair and transparent at the time by paid officials of the Party and by a representative of the NEC.
The CLP further notes that, for the last eight months, Rebecca has shown herself to be an exemplary candidate and has been fully supported in funds and training by both the regional office and the national party despite party rules stating that the candidate should not be announced as such before being endorsed.
The CLP believes that the failure of a three-person panel of the NEC to endorse Rebecca without recourse to an appeal process is a contravention of the principles of natural justice which grant the right to a fair hearing. The CLP further believes that the manner in which the decision was taken by the three person panel and the subsequent lack of NEC communication with the membership in South Thanet risks being viewed by STCLP members as an act of contempt.
The CLP resolves to call upon the Labour Party National Executive Committee to endorse our democratically elected candidate immediately.