New to the Labour party? Keep hearing terms like 'CLP', 'GC' and 'Local Campaign Forum' - and have no idea what people are talking about?
Labour Party jargon buster
CLP – Constituency Labour Parties
This is your local Labour Party, which is matched to the parliamentary constituency you live in.
BLP – Wards & Branches – Branch Labour Parties
Wards are electoral areas for local elections, branch is the collective term for all party members in a ward (or wards), who usually hold branch meetings once a month.
GC or GMC – General (Management) Committee
This is the General Committee of your local party; branches can elect members to be delegates who attend then report to and from each body. The GC can also be made up of delegates from local trade union groups or affiliates to the Labour Party (see affiliates). If you are lucky enough to have elected Labour politicians they will usually report on their work to the GC, and the GC can then ask questions and hold them to account.
EC or Exec – Executive Committee
This is the Executive Committee, a sub-group of the GC, whose aim is to deal with the business matters (money etc) so that the GC can concentrate on political and campaigning issues.
LCF– Local Campaign Forums (formally Local Government Committee or County Party)
This is the committee of all the CLPs within a local government area, which branches and affiliates can also send delegates to. Of late many discussions in branches and CLPs have been about the number of people on the LCF. They have the final say on who stands for council seats and campaigning plans for local elections.
This is made up of all the Labour Councillors in the local government authority.
The person who will sit at the front and guide the meeting and discussion. A good Chair should not get involved in the politics of the meeting, but help all members get involved and make the meeting a comfortable place to be. CLP Chairs will also work closely with elected politicians to make sure the CLP is always kept informed and involved.
In the Labour Party’s structures the CLP Secretary has the most important job in the CLP, making sure that the democracy of the Labour Party is carried out correctly in each constituency. They will often also take minutes of CLP meetings and deal with correspondence.
The Treasurer in the CLP is often the one who will inform the meeting of the CLP’s financial situation. They may also be the one passing round the traditional ‘bowler hat’, ‘pint glass’ or ‘mug’ for the raffle.
CLP Officers/ Co-ordinators
These are the people who perform different roles in your local party. Some sit on the Executive committee, others co-ordinate campaigns, fundraising or socials. These are fluid positions and depend on each local constituency party.
National Executive Committee (NEC)/ Regional Board
These are the people that help to keep the democracy, politics and finances of the Labour Party in order. The NEC is the Committee of the National Labour Party, in Wales there is the WEC (Welsh Executive Committee), Scotland has SEC (Scottish Executive Committee) and each region has a ‘Regional Board’. There are different representatives on these committees from all sections of the Labour Party including a Youth delegate, and representatives from Trade Unions and affiliates. They also decide on candidates in by-elections and which seats will select candidates from All Women Shortlists (AWS).
NPF – National Policy Forum
This is the committee of the Labour Party that gets together to discuss the policies that the Labour Party should have, as well as creating the general election manifesto. It is made up of representatives from the regions, including a youth rep for each region, as well as delegates from affiliates and trade unions.
These are the wider part of the Labour Movement, they can be trade unions other groups such as the Society for Labour Lawyers, Labour Students or Chinese for Labour who pay a fee to ‘affiliate’ to the Labour Party. They have a say in internal elections normally through a college system and can also affiliate to local constituency parties.
GOTV – Get out the Vote
This is the process that happens on election day to get Labour Party supporters and voters to go and cast their ballots.