In January 2022, the Labour Party will agree changes to its Parliamentary selection procedures. This is good news, because currently, selections don't work for women.
We have had two snap General Elections with atypical fast-track NEC-led processes, which means the last time the regular official process was implemented was in 2013 ahead of the 2015 General Election. This process is 9 weeks long, with no hybrid elements, and postal votes only in exceptional circumstances. It is an analogue selection process in a digital age.
Selections which are over two months long increase not decrease the barriers presented by caring responsibilities, finance, geography, disability and employment. This is not necessary in an age when many people receive political information via social and digital medias, rather than the door to door leaflets and visits the process was designed for.
In reality, many active Party members will have decided who they want to be their new MP or candidate within days of the selection being announced, so a long, arduous selection process achieves little and presents unnecessary logistical challenges to those putting their lives on hold to stand. The requirement for the process to be 100% face to face is also outdated and exclusionary. Selections should have hybrid elements to enable as broad a range of members as possible to participate, especially women.
So, join our call to arms and add you name to our letter to key Labour figures to demand selections which work for women. You can tweet about the campaign tagging in @labourwomensnet and using the hashtag #Selections4ThisMillennium
- Keir Starmer, Leader
- Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader
- Anneliese Dodds, Party Chair Shadow Secretary of State for Women & Equalities
- David Evans, General Secretary
- Alice Perry, NEC Chair
- Wendy Nichols, Chair, NEC Organisation Sub-Committee
Dear Keir, Angela, Anneliese, David, Alice and Wendy,
Labour’s Parliamentary selection procedures are outdated. We the undersigned believe the process must be revised to work better for women. It’s time to ensure selections are fit for the future to deliver a breadth of diverse talent to help Labour win the next General Election.
We want to see:
- The timetable halved to 4 weeks
- Hybrid hustings
- Easier access to postal votes
We believe this will reduce barriers to selection and participation associated with caring responsibilities, financial hardship, geography, work and disability, and and create #Selections4ThisMillenium.
We look forward to a positive announcement in the New Year.
In sisterhood and solidarity,
Labour Women’s Network