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BLAIRITE MPs have been left devastated after Labour’s governing body decided to abolish its right-wing “rotten borough” student organisation.
Labour Students, considered to be the official student wing of the party, was disaffiliated after a vote by the national executive committee (NEC) late yesterday evening.
A motion moved by NEC member Jon Lansman said that “the organisation which currently describes itself as ‘Labour Students’ claims to be an organisation affiliated to the Labour Party.”
However, the motion said that the organisation had not paid affiliation fees and had never submitted its rules to the NEC.
The motion instructed general secretary Jennie Formby to “urgently devise a plan” to make a new organisation.
The Morning Star understands that Labour Students is effectively abolished, and staff are drafting proposals for a replacement student organisation.
Labour Students has long been considered a launchpad for the careers of Labour rightwingers.
In recent years, it has been dogged by allegations of vote-rigging and electoral stitch-ups.
In 2017, a clause on adopting a one-member one-vote (OMOV) electoral system was written into the organisation’s constitution, but successive chairs have refused to implement this.
In the organisation’s last elections, only 507 of the party’s 30,000 student members were able to vote, and 58 of 90 Labour Clubs in British universities have disaffiliated from the national body.
In a peculiar, now deleted tweet, Blairite MP Wes Streeting said: “Tell me more about the rigged, undemocratic cult … I can see the Politburo’s ‘parachute regiment’ assembling.”
Similarly, Stella Creasy added: “Our national governing body appear to be more concerned with internal machinations than winning elections.”
Young Labour national ordinary members representative Annie Maloney said the NEC decision “was a victory for the thousands of young members who have been let down over the years by Labour Students.
“They deserve a movement that works for them and with them — not just serving the interests of a small clique.”
A Labour source told the Star: “Labour Students was a rotten borough that recreated the worst of the Blair years.
“The organisation was for a tiny clique on the extreme right who thought building a student movement worked against their career prospects.
“Spend about five minutes on social media, it’ll show you that more students than not are thanking the NEC for their decision.”
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