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11 September 2017updated 08 Jul 2021 6:48am

Pro-Corbyn candidates sweep the board in Conference Arrangements Committee election

Although the result has little immediate impact, it is a useful indicator of how opinion is moving in the Labour Party. 

By Stephen Bush

Momentum-backed candidates have won election to Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee in a landslide, with Seema Chandwani and Billy Hayes, the former general secretary of the CWU, getting more than twice the votes of their opponents, shadow justice minister Gloria De Piero and Labour peer Michael Cashman, who were supported by Labour First and Progress, the two largest Corbynsceptic organisations. It attests to Jeremy Corbyn’s growing strength in the party – even in his previous landslide in 2015, Corbynsceptics retained control of the CAC. 

Although the victory is a morale boost for Corbyn and his allies and bodes well for Richard Leonard’s chances of emerging as the victor in the Scottish Labour leadership election, it will have little immediate impact, as the new CAC only takes post at the end of this year’s Labour conference, as is usual.

The CAC has little in the way of direct power but having it in the hands of diehard Corbyn loyalists gives the leadership more theoretical power to shape the structure of conference, though in reality the leadership was set to have its own way as far as the CAC’s powers go because of the narrow Corbynite majority on the ruling national executive committee.

It is, however, an important straw in the wind as far as the future direction of Labour: which, at the moment, is blowing strongly to the left. 

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