Search

Left-wing candidates uproot Labour centrists at Hackney South and Shoreditch party AGM after membership soars

PUBLISHED: 11:44 23 June 2017 | UPDATED: 17:37 23 June 2017

Heather Mendick, L, is the new secretary of Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party. Right, Dr Coral Jones is the new chair. Pictures: Heather Mendick/Save Our Surgeries

Heather Mendick, L, is the new secretary of Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party. Right, Dr Coral Jones is the new chair. Pictures: Heather Mendick/Save Our Surgeries

Archant

Left-wingers loyal to Jeremy Corbyn swept the board at last night’s Hackney South and Shoreditch Labour Party AGM, clearing aside the centrists who have dominated the party’s local top table in recent years.

Membership of the local party more than trebled from its pre-Corbyn figure of about 900 to 3,000 ahead of the election. The figure has surged again in the weeks since June 8 but a more up-to-date figure is not available.

Appointments included GP and activist Dr Coral Jones (chair), Heather Mendick (secretary) and Patrick Spence (treasurer). Every single candidate endorsed on a “slate” circulated by a group calling itself Hackney South Grassroots Left was elected.

They replaced Cllr Sem Moema (the outgoing chair, who stood for vice-chair but was defeated), Cllr Rob Chapman (vice-chair, membership, who stood and was defeated) and stalwart treasurer Samantha Lloyd (who also stood and was defeated).

Some 200 members of the party turned out to vote at the AGM at the Salvation Army building in Lower Clapton Road. A few years ago, typical turnout was less than a tenth of that figure.

A 'slate' circulated by 'Hackney South Grassroots Left' ahead of the AGM endorsing specific candidates - every single one of whom was elected.A 'slate' circulated by 'Hackney South Grassroots Left' ahead of the AGM endorsing specific candidates - every single one of whom was elected.

A source told the Gazette: “I’ve never seen a meeting so packed out.

“Since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader, the meetings have got more and more busy.

“Fifteen years ago, there were about 15 people desperately cobbling it together.”

He added: “I’m not terribly happy about one side of the party taking all of the posts – but it’s been the other [side up to now]. It’s a healthy part of democracy.”

New secretary Heather Mendick, a freelance academic with a background in maths teaching, popular culture and social justice, played down the suggestion one side had triumphed over the other.

“We have to take this party forward together,” she said. Asked whether the shift in the party could spell trouble for its centrist MP Meg Hillier, she pointed out many of the Momentum-backed candidates had been out canvassing for her. “I don’t see any desire to challenge Meg’s position,” she said. “We’re all desperate for a Labour government.

“In the General Election, there was a massive swing for Labour. It showed if you take hopeful policies to the electorate based on social justice, peace and human rights and democracy, people respond to it.

“There’s a huge energy in Labour right now.”

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 17:35

Vivianne Miedema and Jordan Nobbs both scored twice as Arsenal maintained their 100 per cent start to the Women’s Super League season by beating Chelsea 5-0 at Kingsmeadow, ending the home side’s unbeaten record.

Yesterday, 09:03

Arsenal’s academy youngsters had a fine night on international duty for their respective teams, writes Joshua Bunting.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The O’s boss revealed the club intend to appeal Joe Widdowson’s red card against Hartlepool United

Saturday, October 13, 2018

A man in his 20s was shot by two people on a moped in Amhurst Road last night.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The world’s best track cyclists are set to descend on London from December 14-16 as the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup makes its long-awaited return to Lee Valley VeloPark.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Washington Wizards point-guard Tomas Satoransky is excited to return to his European roots when his side play in the NBA 2019 UK match against New York Knicks.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

James Alabi will look to kick on after scoring last weekend at Maidenhead United

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now


Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists