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Major boost for Jeremy Corbyn as left-wingers win seats on powerful Labour committee

Emilio Casalicchio

3 min read

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have won seats on a powerful committee overseeing the Labour conference agenda in a major boost for the party leader.

Tottenham CLP secretary Seema Chandwani and ex-Communication Workers Union boss Billy Hayes overwhelmingly beat moderate MP Gloria De Piero and Labour peer Michael Cashman for seats on the Conference Arrangements Committee.

The victors - who were backed by pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum - won around 200,000 votes between them, roughly twice as many as their rivals.

The result is significant because it means the left wing of the party will now hold the upper-hand in deciding what issues are debated and voted on next year's Labour conference.

Ms Chandwani said she was “so humbled” by the result and noted her background as “a girl from a council estate in Tottenham”.

In a joint article with Mr Hayes in July she said: “Labour needs a conference that builds on Jeremy’s achievements at June’s general election. 

“Labour can form a government led by Jeremy and that should be the party’s objective.”

They added that members and affiliate supporters - many of whom flooded into the party to support Mr Corbyn in his leadership elections - should have more involvement in conference discussions.

Jeremy Corbyn supporter and Labour NEC member Rhea Wolfson said the results were “absolutely brilliant news”.

The Corbyn-supporting candidates doubled their vote share from about 33% of the vote in 2015 to 66% in 2017.

A spokesperson for Momentum told PoliticsHome: "This result reflects the overwhelming desire among the Labour Party members for a more democratic, grassroots party where they have a real say in how it’s run and what it stands for.

"To double the vote for Corbyn supporting candidates in just one election cycle shows both the strength of the movement and the support Jeremy has across the party.”

Ms De Piero meanwhile offered congratulations to the winners, adding: “You will be working with a great bunch of trade union colleagues.”

But she hit out after a critic on Twitter said: “Now get the trojan-horse tory blairites OUT of our party [sic].”

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