Parliamentary Candidate Selection Update
NOTICE OF PROCEDURE
Selection of Parliamentary Candidate for the Forest of Dean Constituency (all women shortlist)
We have already received some excellent applications but in order to widen the field, applications have been extended to 20th March. All other details remain the same (as below).
ALL WOMENS SHORTLIST
The next UK General Election will offer voters in the Forest of Dean a female Labour Candidate. Following a consultation exercise involving all four branches in the district and a decision by the party’s National Executive Committee it’s decided that The Forest candidate should be selected from an “All Women Shortlist” or AWS.
The problem of under representation of women in Parliament is fairly evident. Even now in 2019 only 191 out of 650 MPs are women. Labour has 99 women MPs out of 232 (42 percent) but the Conservatives only 68 out of 330 – only 20 percent.
Labour are committed to trying to increase the number of women in parliament and started the AWS policy with the 1997 General Election, which returned a record number of Women MPs (see picture). Indeed many of the current most impressive Labour MPs – eg Angela Rayner – were selected from all-women lists. The Conservatives remain opposed to an AWS, the party chairman Patrick McLoughlin said “We don’t try and impose all women shortlists because we try and give local associations as much freedom as possible in the way they go about selecting their candidates.” It’s safe to say that at 20 percent women MPs, whatever the conservatives think they might be doing is failing.
The Forest of Dean of course has only ever had one woman MP – Diana Organ. Her period of office coincided with Tony Blair and since she departed no other women have been adopted as candidates.
Cllr. Bernie O’Neill, Chair of the Forest of Dean Constituency Labour Party said, ” We shall now have to make sure that the woman we choose to stand as our Candidate at the next General Election, is the very best that we can find and the most suitable to represent the residents of the Forest. I am sure that she will have the full support and help from the members of the Labour Party in the Constituency in what is sure to be a tough campaign, whenever it comes.”
The party also wished to thank Shaun Stammers who stood as Labour Candidate at the last General Election and who will now not be able to stand as a potential candidate next time around.
Any interested women candidates should now make contact with the Forest of Dean Labour Party.
All members have been sent this procedural update via email, if you are ineligible to take part in the selection you will have already received another email clarifying why that is.
APPLICATIONS AND SHORTLISTING
Any member who wishes to be considered as a prospective parliamentary candidate must submit a completed application by 20th March 2019 using the standard form available from the procedures secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org). In accordance with Labour Party rules, to be eligible to be a candidate members must have 12 consecutive months membership of the party on 28th February 2019. Please note that the NEC has declared the Forest of Dean CLP to be an All Women Shortlist.
The Forest of Dean Labour Party has elected a Selection Committee for this procedure. The Selection Committee will consider all applications and draw up a longlist from nominations received of those people they wish to interview. Those interviews will take place on Sunday 14th April. The Selection Committee will interview potential candidates and draw up a shortlist for local members to consider. The final decision will be made by local members at a hustings meeting at which you will be able to question candidates before casting your vote.
HUSTINGS MEETING AND OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET CANDIDATES
Throughout this process, members of the Labour Party and members of Affiliated Trade Unions and Socialist Societies will have the opportunity to meet the candidates and then will be able to elect their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate at an all members hustings meeting. Voting will be undertaken using the ‘One Member, One Vote’ system.
The hustings meeting will be held on Saturday 18th May at a location to be confirmed. Please note you must be present to hear all the candidates in order to be issued with a ballot paper at this meeting.
Please look out for further emails detailing other meetings where you will be able to meet the candidates.
If you are unable to attend the hustings on 18th May to cast your vote, you may apply to the procedures secretary (email@example.com) for a postal vote. The closing date for applications is 11am on Sunday 14th
April. You must have a valid reason for applying.
Should an emergency arise following this date which would prevent you from attending the hustings, you may apply for an emergency postal vote. The closing date for emergency postal vote applications is 1pm on 4th May.