This email went out to Labour staff 5 minutes ago:
Date: 1 June 2012 12:04:13 GMT+01:00
Subject: Staff and Internal Elections
Over the past week I have received a number of complaints about staff interfering with internal elections.
Although no rules have been broken, the spirit of the rules has been tested and the timings questionable. With NPF and NEC as well as Police Commissioner elections coming up, there is a lot of attention being given to these key selections.
Recently emails have gone out to members from some people seeking to gain positions in these elections. I must remind staff that helping candidates to contact members whilst they are seeking election unless it is part of your constituency responsibilities is not acceptable.
I came into this job to change the way our party operates. I want to create a party that empowers and respects its staff, but at the same time I want to create a party that is open and transparent. To this end I have asked the chair of the NEC – Michael Cashman and Executive Director for Governance and Party Service, Emilie Oldknow alongside chair of the JTUC, Ray Walker to work on a code of conduct for staff covering internal elections as I do not feel the current staff handbook deals sufficiently with the issue.
I hope that staff based in head office, across the nations and regions and those working in local offices understand the severity of the issue. Upholding our own rules and remaining fair is the role of all our staff and any failure to do so can only undermine our internal democracy which does us no favours.
After such great results in May, of which you all contributed, I hope we can have a summer where we build on these successes that lead to us being a one term opposition. Creating a fair, open and transparent party is a vital step in the right direction.
Background to this can be found over at LabourList, this article on the Labour Party’s “culture of fixing” elaborates. LabourList’s editor Mark Ferguson says “at the moment, some of the actions that go on in our supposedly democratic party would shame a low grade banana republic.” Blairite Phil Collins said the same in an article in The Times recently in an uncoded attack on Tom Watson’s machinations…