A regional branch of a large postal union has withdrawn its financial support for the Northampton Labour party after its leadership nomination of Jeremy Corbyn was not sent to the national headquarters.
Des Arthur, branch secretary of the South Midlands branch of the Communications Workers Union, has written an open letter noting members’ “deep concern” their voting preference was ignored.
The letter, which was sent to the Northampton Labour Executive and Councillor Danielle Stone, leader of the Northampton group on Northampton Borough Council, “formally asks” for an explanation as to how this ‘error’ occurred and why the nomination was not sent off.
It states: “Our branch and our members note with deep concern that the Northampton Labour CLP admitted it failed to submit its leadership nomination to the national party headquarters - because ‘nobody was asked’ to do it.
“Members of the party met early in August to nominate who they want to be the next leader of the national party, this meeting was attended by a significant number of CWU members, who are very passionate about getting further involved with the party. Jeremy Corbyn received the most votes 72 compared to Owen Smith’s 13, and these details were supposed to be sent to HQ - but it is claimed ‘no one was told’ to do so.”
The union also criticised Councillor Stone for publicly backing Owen Smith.
The letter states: “Your (Councillor Stone) inconsistent and in part hypocritical comments to the press give a disturbing indicator of contempt for grassroot party members (many of whom are CWU members) and the concept of democracy, as such the CWU as a current local party affiliate must act, not only in the name of our members that took the time to take part in the process in early August, but for decencies sake.
“Therefore, on behalf of South Midlands Postal Branch of the Communication Workers Union (CWU), we formally ask that you retract your extremely unhelpful and disrespectful public comments and perhaps even consider apologising for this awful error of judgement.”
Mr Byrne said, due to the “long standing continuous acts that subvert democracy within the local party”, the CWU’s South Midlands Postal Branch will not be financially supporting the party or renewing/paying its annual affiliation fee “until such time as things change in Northampton Labour Party.”
Councillor Danielle Stone and has been approached for a comment.