|Website||Labour’s National Executive Committee|
The National Executive Committee (NEC) is the governing body of the UK Labour Party, setting the overall strategic direction of the party and policy development. Its composition has changed over the years, and includes representatives of affiliated trade unions, the Parliamentary Labour Party, constituency Labour parties (CLP), and socialist societies, as well as ex officio members such as the Party Leader and Deputy Leader and several of their appointees.
During the 1980s, the NEC had a major role in policy-making and was often at the heart of disputes over party policy.
In 1997, under Tony Blair's new party leadership, the General Secretary Tom Sawyer enacted the Partnership in Power reforms. This rebalanced the NEC's membership, including by reducing trade union membership to a minority for the first time in its history. The reforms also introduced new seats: two for local government, three for the Parliamentary Party, three for the (Shadow) Cabinet, and one for the European Parliament party. Until these reforms, Members of Parliament could stand for CLP section seats on the NEC, but thereafter MPs and MEPs could not stand in this section. Moreover, under Blair, the committee's role declined. Its former policy development function is now largely carried out by the National Policy Forum. One of its committees has disciplinary powers including the ability to expel members of the party who have brought it into disrepute or to readmit previously expelled members. However, the NEC remains the administrative authority of the party.
In 2007, a new seat on the NEC was made for the Black Socialist Society, now known as BAME Labour.
In 2016, two new seats, one each for Scottish Labour and Welsh Labour, were added.
The 2017 Conference saw the creation of four additional NEC seats: one in the trade union section and three in the CLP section. Although the additional union seat was elected at Conference, the extra CLP seats were not elected until January 2018.
In November 2020, the single seat on the NEC for the European Parliament party was replaced by a new disability representative.
The Labour History Archive and Study Centre at the People's History Museum in Manchester has the full run of the minutes of the National Executive Committee in their collection.
As of June 2021, the Officers of the NEC are:
The Joint Policy Committee (JPC) has strategic oversight of policy development in the party through overseeing the rolling programme of Partnership in Power. The JPC acts as the steering group for the National Policy Forum. It is therefore a joint committee made up of NEC, Government and National Policy Forum representatives.
NEC Co-Convenor: Tom Warnett
The following are sub-committees of the NEC:
The Equalities Committee responsibilities and roles include:
Chair: James Asser
The Business Board is responsible for overseeing the business functions of the organisation including the management of the finances.
Chair: Diana Holland
The Audit, Risk Management and Compliance Committee has responsibility for audit and compliance oversight, and is accountable for internal audit procedures providing a systematic approach to risk management in all of the Party’s activities. The Committee ensures that the Labour Party’s financial activities are within the law, and that an effective system of internal control is maintained.
Chair: George Howarth MP
The Organisation Committee is responsible for party rules and constitution; ensuring parties are operating effectively throughout the country to the highest standards and has overall responsibility for membership, investigations, selections, Conferences, electoral law, boundaries strategy and internal elections.
Chair: Wendy Nichols
The NEC Disputes Panel is a panel of the NEC Organisation Committee which hears membership appeals; re-admission applications; party disputes and conciliation; minor investigations and local government appeals where referred to the NEC. It operates in a quasi-judicial fashion, conducting hearings and interviews around the country where necessary.
Chair: Shabana Mahmood MP
NEC members are elected by their respective constituencies and each serve a two-year term. As of November 2020, the NEC has 39 members elected from the following constituencies:
In addition, the Chief Whip of the Labour Party (currently Alan Campbell MP) and the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party (currently John Cryer MP) attend ex officio without a vote.
The General Secretary of the Labour Party acts as the non-voting secretary to the NEC.
The chair of the party is elected by the NEC from among its own members, and holds office for a calendar year, chairing both NEC meetings and national party conferences.
The name of this post has become confused since 2001 when Labour Party leader Tony Blair appointed Charles Clarke to the courtesy position of Chair of the Labour Party without the NEC or the national conference authorising such a position. The office's name remains "chair of the party" in the Labour Party Constitution, but elsewhere the party presents the position as "Chair of the NEC". Prior to 2001 the position was called "Chair of the Labour Party", and before that "Chairman of the Labour Party".
Chairmen of the Annual Conference of the Labour Representation Committee
Chairmen of the National Executive Committee of the Labour Representation Committee
Chairmen of the Annual Conference of the Labour Party