How it all works
The structures of the various different committees of the Labour Party are sometimes difficult to navigate. Here we will explain some of the structures that you are most likely to come across.
There is a Branch Labour Party (BLP) for each ward. There are 11 wards in Holborn & St. Pancras and the branches are named after them. Bloomsbury and King’s Cross wards merge to form one branch, so while there are 11 wards, there are actually 10 branches across the constituency. Other wards may also hold joint meetings or hold social events where they have fewer Labour Party members.
Every member of the Labour Party will automatically be a member of their own local branch.
Each BLP will have an elected committee who are responsible for running their local branch. The main positions that make-up the branch are the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer. There is flexibility about other positions, such as a Campaigns Officer.
These positions will be elected (or in some cases appointed) at the Annual General Meeting (AGM), and all members of the Labour Party in that branch area can stand for election and take part in them. Every effort must be made to ensure that women are represented at every level in the party.
The other positions which are elected by Branch Labour Parties are their ‘delegates’ to the General Committee (GC) of their Constituency Labour Party (CLP). They are elected at the Branch AGM. The number of delegates each ward gets will depend on the number of members they have, and each branch delegation must be gender-balanced. The Secretary of the BLP is also automatically a member of the General Committee, to make sure they are aware of decisions made there. The branch secretary is usually a member of the Executive Committee (EC). GC delegates are not bound by the views of their fellow branch members in how they vote, but they will normally take account of them.
The BLP and its committee members will often be the main point of contact for members, and how they become actively involved in the Party. Each BLP makes its own decisions as to what activities it will undertake, but it will normally involve a mixture of meetings, campaigning sessions, social events and fundraising.
Every member of the Labour Party is automatically a member of their Constituency Labour Party (CLP).
The structure of the CLP is in many ways similar to that of the BLP, except covering a wider area and with more members. The General Committee (GC) of this CLP has a Chair, two Vice-Chairs, Secretary, Treasurer, Women’s Officer, Youth Officer and BAME Officer – of which at least three must be women. There are a number of other officers to assist with key functions, and often more than you would find at the BLP level.
These positions are also elected, with the election happening at the CLP Annual General Meeting (AGM) among the delegates sent by branches, but also those delegates sent by unions and socialist societies and the Co-operative Party. You have to be a delegate to the GC to stand for a position as a CLP officer.
While many day-to-day operation and administrative decisions are made by an Executive Committee (EC), major decisions and positions as to policy would normally be made by the GC – the primary decision-making body of the CLP.
In Holborn & St. Pancras, and in most other constituencies, all members can attend meetings and participate in discussions, but only GC delegates can take part in votes.
Camden Council covers both Holborn & St. Pancras and Hampstead & Kilburn constituencies.
Each Camden ward is represented by three councillors. Currently, 32 out of the 33 councillors in Holborn & St. Pancras are Labour and Labour hold 43 out of the 54 seats across the whole borough.
The Camden Labour Group is made up of all Labour party councillors and is the forum for discussing council issues and developing local council policy.
Local Campaign Forum:
The Local Campaign Forum (LCF) is made up of delegates from CLPs, Constituency Campaign Officers and other elected positions. The LCF’s primary aim is to organise for local elections in Camden. It co-ordinates the campaign activities of Camden branches to secure the election of local Labour candidates, recruits party members to stand for local elections and compiles the panel of candidates for those elections. It also works with the local Labour Group to encourage a role for branches, members and affiliates in local government policy and to feed ideas into the Party’s local manifesto and policy-making process.