LABOUR democracy campaigners warned yesterday that a general election victory could fail to turn the tide on austerity unless leftwingers take key party positions.
As elections for the party’s national executive committee (NEC) draw to a close, activists have said that a strong left presence on the party’s decision-making body will be crucial in making sure Ed Miliband “stays on the straight and narrow” if he is elected Prime Minister.
Members’ fears that a Labour administration would continue to make cuts were underlined after the party’s national policy forum voted overwhelmingly against an anti-austerity amendment last month.
Campaign for Labour Party Democracy secretary Peter Willsman said: “Members are expected to raise money and knock on doors, but it’s rare that we have any power — so it’s crucial that we don’t waste our votes.
“If we elect strong, socialist candidates to the NEC, then we can make sure that a Labour government stays on the straight and narrow if we win the election.”
North London councillor Alice Perry is standing for a local government seat on the committee.
She is calling for Labour to oppose any further cuts to council budgets from central government.
“If Tory spending plans continue, that will mean council budgets are cut in half. You would expect councillors’ reps to stand up for that,” she said.
Members have until next Monday August 18 to return ballot papers and can also vote online.
Ken Livingstone, Christine Shawcroft, Kate Osamor, Darren Williams and Ann Black are standing alongside Mr Willsman on the left slate.