Lobby challenges Labour leaders

Over a hundred and fifty activists lobbied Labour Party conference today, Sunday 30 September, under the banner of the NHS Liaison Network.

Inside the conference, constituency Labour Party delegates voted to put the NHS top of the four issues they can get onto the agenda.

After the conference session, the compositing session for NHS motions – with fifteen motions roughly on the lines of the motion supported by the NHS Liaison Network, and one “spoiler” – took two and a half hours of wrangling, because of heavy pressure from Labour Party officials for a bland composite.

Delegates stood firm, and agreed a clear composite. The next ploy by Labour Party officials may be to dash out a National Executive statement which they can claim overrides the motion, or to propose it be remitted.

However, conference is a bit more feisty than in recent years over procedural matters. A clear majority, including the delegation of the giant Unite union, supported a challenge to the ruling by Conference Arrangements Committee that Bridgend CLP’s proposed rule change, to let conference amend National Policy Forum documents, was out of order.

The platform then declared that the challenge had been defeated – although anyone could see it hadn’t – and managed to steamroller on to the next item. Later in the conference, however, delegates may not be so willing to be cheated in that way.

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