What is the GC?
The GC or General Committee of the Constituency Labour Party is made up of delegates from Labour Party branches and affiliated trade unions. Its role is to provide leadership and organisation to the Labour Party in that particular constituency. The General Committee is responsible for:
• Organising local policy forums to debate policy consultation papers and submit responses.
• Receiving reports from the Labour MP and asking questions about issues and policies.
• Appointing delegates and submitting resolutions to Labour Conferences.
• Appointing officers (Chair, Secretary, two Vice-Chairs, Women’s Officer, Youth Officer, BAME Officer and Treasurer) and an Executive Committee to deal with day-to-day business.
• Appointing delegates to other Labour Party bodies such as the Local Campaign Forum and the Regional Board.
• It is also the body which decides the shortlist of candidates in the selection of the Parliamentary candidate in the General Election if the Labour MP is standing down.
Whilst it is very important, usually all this will be done at a monthly meeting lasting two hours and followed by a beverage or two.
The role of a GC delegate
A GC delegate will represent their local branch at the Constituency Labour Party. Their role is to:
• Put forward the views of local members to the CLP and MP, and to support the CLP in its wider campaigning and fundraising efforts.
• Let your local branch know what is going on in the CLP including election campaigns, policy discussions or social events that members can get involved in.
What if I cannot always make meetings?
No-one expects you to be able to make every meeting and you should not feel guilty if you cannot.
As long as you are not taking the place of someone who could do the job better (and with each branch being able to send upwards of nine delegates to each CLP that is rarely the case), whatever you can put into the role benefits the Labour Party.
If you can make every meeting, that is great. If not, try to prioritise – for instance, just go along if there will be a discussion on a relevant issue you’re interested in or if your branch has put forward a motion to the Party, or if there is a selection meeting.
Always ensure you send your apologies to the CLP Secretary if you cannot make a meeting.