Published On: Thu, Nov 12th, 2020

Labour claims SOME members who resigned will have NEC votes counted – but explanation raises more concerns about untoward access to ballot system

The Labour Party has emailed candidates in its ongoing National Executive Committee (NEC) elections in response to a SKWAWKBOX exclusive that the party was trying to annul the ballots of members who resigned – to say that some of them will be counted.

But others will not:

We are aware that there has been speculation as to the eligibility of those who have recently resigned from the Labour Party to participate in the current ballot.  We hope the information below will reassure you as to the integrity of the process:

·       Those who voted when they were members, but resigned subsequently, remain eligible.  Their votes will therefore be counted.

·       Those who resigned from the Labour Party, but voted subsequently, are not eligible.  Their votes will therefore be cancelled prior to the votes being counted.     Thanks,   Ballots Team

NEC members have confirmed to the SKWAWKBOX that there is nothing in the election’s rules to require continued membership throughout the voting period – only that members must have been members at the ‘freeze date’, the past date decided by the NEC as the cut-off for eligibility. Initially, general secretary David Evans had reportedly told NEC members that the reports of annulment were completely false.

Labour’s admission that it will be intervening in the process to weed out votes that have already been cast raises serious questions:

  • how – and how accurately – will the votes of people resigning before casting their vote be identified?
  • how does the party justify interference in a process that is run by an external election company for a reason – especially when the contest’s rules do not require membership to continue until after votes are cast?
  • is it even legal for Labour to do so?
  • why has the external voting company given party employees access to its voting system or information about how or when members voted?

Voting closed at midday today and Labour’ HQ has been scrambling to process resignations. Results are expected tomorrow, but any successes for the right should be regarded with suspicion until Labour gives a full account of its actions.

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