Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Extract from Ann Black's NEC report of 24th June 2007

This is an extract from a personal report from Ann Black, LP NEC member, it is not an official report. Further of her reports are available online, you can google for them.

"Gordon Brown assured us that despite the rumours, conversations
with Paddy Ashdown had been limited to issues around security and
investment in Northern Ireland, given his role as Chair of the parades
commission and his longstanding experience. There was no
question of him joining the cabinet, and though we needed to draw in
everyone who shared our values, Gordon intended to lead a Labour
cabinet and a Labour government.

Moving on to the main event, Labour proved that it can prevent leaks
when it tries, to the extreme annoyance of the media. At half past
one the six candidates for deputy were locked in a room, deprived of
their BlackBerrys, told the results, and given a brief time to compose
themselves. The audience waited in ever-increasing impatience
while the NEC Chair Mike Griffiths and general secretary Peter Watt
welcomed us to Manchester, still a Tory-free zone, emphasised the
inclusiveness of the process, praised the conduct of the candidates
and the quality of debate and thanked all those involved, especially
the party staff who have worked without a break virtually since

At last the suspense was ended, with less than one per cent
separating the winner and the runner-up in the final round, and
individual party members proving decisive. (The full breakdown was
published in Monday’s Guardian.) Turnout was 99% among MPs
and MEPs, 53% for individual members, but only 8% in the affiliate
section, maybe depressed by some ballot papers arriving just days
before the deadline. The hustings showed that all the candidates
had much to contribute, and I am sure that Gordon Brown can find a
use for all their talents without resorting to the LibDems. After warm
applause Harriet Harman made a polished speech, Tony Blair took a
final curtain call and graciously introduced his successor, who sent
members away with renewed hope, enthusiasm and determination."

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