Unite are allegedly stitching up the election for a seat on the Labour NEC just hours after their man Steve Rotheram was booted off and replaced by Shabana Mahmood. The seat Unite are targeting is that of the Young Labour representative, currently held by Bex Bailey. How are they doing it?
Red Len is helpfully paying for activists to attend the Labour youth wing’s conference in Oxford next month. All the kids have to do in return is choose Unite’s preferred candidate when the NEC vote takes place. Activist Rhys Morgan was one of those offered the freebie:
“At some point in the meeting it was also suggested that we endorse a particular candidate for Labour’s National Executive Committee Youth Representative. We only heard the one name, and a brief summary of why we should support them. There was no mention made of other candidates standing.”
So Unite are stuffing the conference with activists who will vote for the union’s candidate. Morgan explains:
“The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes that Unite are trying to abuse this inaccessibility by providing travel and accommodation for those who have been affiliated in some way with, or have openly endorsed their candidate, ensuring they’ll be there to vote for Unite’s preferred candidate… It seems very much like Unite are trying to indirectly buy more influence in the Labour party by paying for “the right kind” of delegates to attend the conference so they can vote for Unite’s preferred candidate to be elected onto Labour’s National Executive Committee”
Unite lost key influence on the Labour NEC when Rotheram was kicked off. Now it looks like they are trying to nab another seat to make up for it. At a time when the NEC’s delicate balance of power is more significant than ever…