Momentum Backed Candidates Win Young Labour NEC Slot and Scotland
Lara McNeill has secured the position of Young Labour's NEC Representative, in the first election of it’s kind to be held under the ‘One Member One Vote’ system. In Scotland, Scottish Labour Young Socialists backed candidate Lina Nass was the victor. The victorious moderate candidate for Chair of Young Labour Miriam Mirwich is understood to have beaten Leigh Drennan by around 70 votes. The left appears to have won a clear majority on the committee.
Young Labour was founded after Tom Watson proposed reforms to the party's Youth Structures at the 1993 Labour Party conference, which dissolves the Labour Party Young Socialists in favour of a youth movement that was under stronger control from the central party. It has been alleged that this level of interference and control from the party machinery had led to the dissolution and decline of local groups, outside of London and the North West.
At present, although Young Labour has over 100,000 members (roughly similar to the membership of the Liberal Democrats and Conservative parties), it still does not have a written constitution or democratically elected full time officers, in contrast to the much smaller Labour Students. This has come under increasing criticism from the left in recent years, due to the potential of the organisation after the large increase in membership after Jeremy Corbyn's victories in the two party leadership elections. Lara McNeill, had been boosted by the overwhelming backing of Trade Unions, including GMB, Unite, CWU and Unison.
Criticisms of the process have been made by current NEC representative, Jasmin Beckett, over allegations of union ‘block voting’ under the new OMOV rules, although in the overwhelming number of cases a Trade Union endorsement comes as a result of the Union’s Young Members committees, rather than the General Secretary.