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Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance
Formation1998; 24 years ago (1998)
  • United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Parent organisation
Labour Party

The Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA)[1] is a centre-left group of elected members on the Labour Party's National Executive Committee, founded in 1998. They represent members from a broad spectrum of the Labour membership, ranging from the centre-left to those on the left-wing.


The Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance's founding groups were originally Labour Reform, a centre-left democratic group within the Party founded at a meeting in Birmingham in November 1995, and the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, the left wing democratic grouping, who subsequently brought in other more left-wing groupings from within the Labour Party. Private talks with trades union representatives to build a broader base had failed on union demands and this initiated the inclusion of a much broader left group from the grassroots, including Labour Left Briefing [Liz Davies] and the then-Editor of Tribune, Mark Seddon. Prominent founding members also include Ann Black and Andy Howell.[2] Successful efforts were also made to include the Scottish Left.[3]

The first Co-ordinator [one term only] was Tim Pendry who was Vice Chair of Labour Reform [4] and the Alliance originally restricted itself to issues of party democracy, resisting attempts to put in place a left policy platform in order to be inclusive of constituency feeling from the centre ground. Labour Reform was originally associated with the What's Left Group of MPs and CLPD with the Campaign Group of MPs but liaison with What's Left ended on attempts to dictate terms to the grassroots and the Co-ordinator liaised solely with the Campaign Group during the latter stages of the campaign.

The first election resulted in four of the six available constituency seats going to the Alliance despite significantly less resources being available to the Alliance [5] and was notable for getting the editorial backing of the Guardian.[6] The Alliance has moved to the left since the initial election but the slate continues to support the mainstream candidate, Ann Black, the Labour Reform candidate until 2007 and then an independent candidate within the Alliance after the latter's dissolution. Black has been committed from the beginning to reporting back to ordinary members on the business of the National Executive Committee.

Despite the popularity of Ann Black, Labour Reform itself was weakened by the refusal of the Party administration and leadership to concede any ground on democracy. It remained loyal to the original Alliance, giving much needed centre-ground support for what has become an essentially left-wing movement within the Party, until Labour Reform's amicable dissolution in 2007.[citation needed]

Since 1997, the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance has involved a wide range of groups and publications. Consequently, the Alliance's slate for the constituency Labour party sections of National Committees have been a focus for unity and success. Since its inception, the Alliance has tended to speak for around half, sometimes more, of the Party membership with a loose group of candidates supported by the Party leadership speaking for the other half. The Partnership in Power "reforms" of 1995/6, part of the "modernisation" process introduced by Tony Blair, severely limited the ability of ordinary members to influence policy-making[citation needed] so that the elections to the NEC were one of the few barometers of sentiment left about a membership which had been in decline until the resurgence of membership with Jeremy Corbyn's leadership bid.[citation needed]

Corbyn-era and the rise of the left in Labour (2014 to present)

In 2018 the CGLA put up a full slate on 9 candidates, all of which were elected.[7]

In 2020, The groups of the CLGA agreed a slate called "Grassroots Voice", which included six representative on the 9 CLP seats and a representative for the disabled and youth seats. Changes to the voting system means they had to provide a reduced slate. The six CLP representatives are Ann Henderson, Gemma Bolton, Laura Pidcock, Mish Rahman, Nadia Jama and Yasmine Dar, the disabled rep is Ella Morrison and the Young Labour rep is Lara McNeill.[8] Only Dar, McNeill and Henderson were on the NEC previously.[9] There were rumours that other candidates chosen by the CLGA included Laura Alvarez, Jeremy Corbyn's wife, and James Schneider, founder of Momentum and former member of Corbyn's staff.[10] The selection process saw 450 constituency labour parties participate, the high turnout of CLPs in Labour's history. 42% of selection nominations went to the Grassroots Voice CLP slate.[11] The result saw the 7 candidates winning; 5 of the 6 candidates in the CLP section and the disability and youth reps. The candidates in the CLP section won a combined amount of 37% of first preference votes.[12][13][14]

In 2021, all six of the CLGA's backed candidates for the newly created National Women's Committee were elected. These candidates were Solma Ahmed, Ekua Bayunu, Mandy Clare, Tricia Duncan, Pamela Fitzpatrick and Chloe Hopkins .[15]


The current policy of the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance is broadly left-wing. They want greater powers for Constituency Labour Parties and individual members in the National Policy Forum; to maintain the power of the party conference; to resist privatisation in the National Health Service; to nationalise the railways and to increase powers for local government.


Organisations associated with the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance include:

NEC elections

Main article: Momentum (organisation) § Elections to the National Executive Committee


  1. ^ Longman Companion to Britain Since 1945 -
  2. ^ Howell, Andy. "In praise of Ann Black — The mythology of the Centre Left Grassroots Alliance « Labour Uncut". Labour Uncut. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  3. ^ Davies, Liz (2001). Through the Looking Glass: A Dissenter Inside New Labour. Verso. p. 15. ISBN 9781859846094.
  4. ^ Chartist January 2008 -
  5. ^ What's Next: Marxist Discussion Journal Issue 10
  6. ^ What's Next: Marxist Discussion Journal Issue 11
  7. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (3 September 2018). "Full #JC9 slate elected to Labour's NEC". LabourList. Retrieved 4 October 2020.
  8. ^ Ismail, Sacha (15 July 2020). "Labour's NEC election: what does the left stand for? | Workers' Liberty". Workers Liberty. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  9. ^ Rodgers, Sienna. "Labour left groups agree single NEC slate of six CLP rep candidates – without Lansman". LabourList. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  10. ^ Maguire, Kevin (15 July 2020). "Commons Confidential: Westminster sobriety". Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  11. ^ McAsh, James. "What local party nominations tell us about Labour's 2020 NEC elections". LabourList. Retrieved 2 October 2020.
  12. ^ Skopeliti, Clea (14 November 2020). "Labour NEC elections return mixed results as both sides claim victory". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  13. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (14 November 2020). "What we can learn from Labour's 2020 NEC results". LabourList. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  14. ^ Stone, Jon (14 November 2020). "Labour left-wingers win elections to party's ruling body". The Independent. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  15. ^ "Clean sweep – by massive majorities – for left in elections to Labour's new national women's committee". Sqwawkbox. 26 June 2021. Retrieved 8 July 2021.