ITN secures re-run of Labour Mayoral trigger ballot
In December 2016 the National Executive Committee (“NEC”) of the Labour Party confirmed the result of the reselection process in the London Borough of Newham to choose the Labour Party candidate for the 2018 mayoral elections, following a local ballot. The sitting directly-elected Mayor of Newham - Sir Robin Wales - secured 20 of the 37 nominations from local party branches and affiliated organisations. The NEC affirmed him as the Party’s candidate.
A significant number of local Labour party members considered that the nomination process had been unfair, because the Local Campaign Forum had failed to follow the relevant internal party rules governing such procedures. Those members sent the NEC a detailed letter in January 2017, setting out their concerns and asking for an inquiry into the process.
A number of those members instructed Ravi Naik of our firm to act for them in the process.
Following extensive pre-action correspondence, the local party members crowdfunded sufficient support to bring a claim against the Labour Party for breach of contract (the contract in question being the rules of the Party as an unincorporated association). On the day proceedings were to be issued, alongside an application seeking expedition from the High Court, ITN Solicitors entered into negotiations with lawyers for the NEC. Following that negotiation, the NEC withdrew its recognition of Sir Robin Wales’ nomination. The selection process will now be re-run early in 2018. During the negotiations, the NEC agreed to re-run the ballot with the original ‘freeze date’ of October 2016.
ITN Solicitors' Partner, Ravi Naik, said “Our clients are extremely pleased that their concerns about the ballot have been vindicated. Our clients expressed those concerns as early as January 2017 and are grateful to the Labour Party to now agree to a re-run of that ballot.”
Richard Gordon QC and Tim Johnston of Brick Court Chambers were instructed as Counsel on the claim.