The Labour Party Annual Conference 2016 is set to be held from Sunday 25 September to Wednesday 28 September in Liverpool and it is due to be a barnstormer.
… or it might not take place because of a wranglings over security, which may yet see the Home Office taking the decision to not permit it to go ahead.
The result from the Labour leadership voting should be announced on the Saturday before conference, the 24th September, and voting commences on Monday 22nd August. I would predict that the majority of party members will cast their vote on the 22nd August (as is my intention) because minds have long since been made up over which candidate they wish to support. That will leave four further weeks to wait to resolve what has increasingly become an embarrassing blot on Labour’s reputation as a socially democratic party.
If, as is widely predicted, Jeremy Corbyn gains a second mandate from the party membership to lead Labour towards the next general election, what then? Will the annual conference be the time for recriminations? Just as we saw the staged mass resignations of MPs from the shadow cabinet at the start of the “coup”, will we see a mass resigning of the Labour Whip by MPs when Corbyn is announced the winner of the leadership election that they triggered? In the wake of the 2015 general election loss there was an inquiry, will there be a similar investigation after the leadership election into the failed “coup” and the conduct of its agitators? What lessons can Labour learn from these past couple of months?
As has been consistent over these past few months, Corbyn’s leadership has been a consolidatory voice amid the maelstrom of abuse and smears directed towards the leadership, the CLPs and the party membership. Corbyn has long advocated a broad church for Labour and has repeatedly assured all that he has always been willing to work with everyone within Labour. However, with the NEC’s ban on CLPs meeting lifted after the leadership challenge has ended there will undoubtedly be many voices raised to express a lack of confidence in some MPs and their fitness to represent Labour and its values. Will conference afford those voices the opportunity to hold MPs to account?
Or will we all be surprised by an Owen Smith victory? Will Sunday 25th September see Smith take to the stage at conference as Labour’s new leader? And if he does, what then? Will Smith make good on his promise to anoint Jeremy Corbyn Supreme Galactic Labour Commander? Will he do as Brexiteers did and ask the outgoing leadership for a plan on how to go forward (or has he already done that)?
The Labour Party Annual Conference 2016 is set to be a barnstormer but who will be there?