Complaint to the Labour Party regarding Shaun Stammers’ social media activity | Zac Arnold

“Dear Chair and Secretary,

“I was appalled this evening to read a post published by Mr Stammers who currently holds the offices of Vice Chairman Policy, Joint IT/Media Coordinator, LGBT+ Officer and Chairman of Cinderford and Mid-Dean Branch this evening on his public Facebook page regarding the decision by the National Executive Committee, in consultation with this Constituency Labour Party, to implement an All Women’s Shortlist to select the next Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

“Whilst I understand that this is an emotional time for Mr Stammers, the wording in which he made the announcement on his “The Forest Matters” Facebook page has quite frankly done a serious amount of damage to the standing of this CLP and has now begun to spread to the CLPs official social media channels including members of the electorate stating that they will not vote Labour again and stating that they “want a list” of the 13 individuals at the consultation meeting that voted for an All Women’s Shortlist so that they can be “fined for sexism.” At no point in his exchanges with these members of the public demanding names and threatening, effectively, to bring out the pitchforks to puncture Labour’s electoral chances in the district, did Mr Stammers make them aware of the fact that it was actually HIS vote that tipped the balance in favour of an All Women’s Shortlist being the 13th vote – making a majority of 1. Yet, despite this fact, he declared that the CLP “unfortunately” voted by a small majority in favour of an All Women’s Shortlist.

“Simultaneously, after the consultation meeting when approached regarding the reason for him voting for an All Women’s Shortlist he stated that he had to because that is what he had “always stood for.” – Funny how times change now that it is confirmed he is unable to have another shot out of making a career at the membership’s and electorate’s expense.

“In this post, he stated, “I am only saddened that I will not have the opportunity to seek the support of Labour Members in an open and honest selection process this time around.” This statement clearly suggests, and in my eyes is a clear accusation, that either the consultation vote, NEC decision or upcoming selection process is corrupt or rigged. This is utterly despicable and has now led to a sentiment in the comments of his post and elsewhere of members of the public suggesting that we are not trustworthy, we are corrupt and that they will no longer give us their votes. Either Mr Stammers has just committed membership suicide, is grossly incompetent and shouldn’t be trusted with any kind of access to Labour Party social media channels, or worse still, is deliberately attempting to smear the local party as a result of him no longer being able to stand as our candidate. I remind you, the vote was won by a majority of 1 – Shaun Stammers voted in favour of All Women’s Shortlist in the consultation meeting – How is any of this process not “open and honest” thus far?

“This online activity amounts to discrediting the party on social media and could easily severely inhibit our chances of removing Mark Harper from office at the next election, whenever that may come. I have cc’d Phil Gaskin and Sonia Wright in to this email.”

Regional Liaison sends submission of CLP to Labour Party HQ regarding All Women Shortlist | Sonia Wright

“The Forest of Dean CLP held their consultation meeting on Tuesday 18th December. The meeting was attended by approximately 24 members. Before the meeting branches in the CLP had the opportunity to discuss their views on whether the CLP should be an AWS or open selection- this was fed back to the meeting Lydney Branch overwhelmingly supported AWS whilst the others supported Open selections. The GC discussed the benefits of having an AWS, and in the event of not having an AWS what actions could be undertaken to ensure women candidates come forward. There was a general agreement that having an AWS would increase female participation in the CLP by supporting and empowering women and it could encourage more electors to participate in elections. It was also noted that much more needs to be done to engage women to run for MP and get equal representation. There was a counter view, the Forest struggles to engage women to run for local elections so finding local women for an AWS could be hard and the view that an open selection process would allow a broad panel of candidates – concern was also raised that if a snap election happened, someone external to the CLP might not have the chance to build a profile in the constituency. The CLP acknowledged that representation of women locally is poor and more work needs to be done to identify and encourage women to stand for positions. More needs to be done to make meetings welcoming to women and that parliament itself can do more to encourage women by being more aware of the issues that prevent women from running for parliament. The CLP was fairly split, an indicative vote was narrowly in favour of AWS.”