Oxford's oldest student newspaper

Independent since 1920

Cambridge Labour to follow OULC in disaffiliating from Labour Students

A statement from CULC described the elections as “deeply undemocratic” and called for a new organisation to replace Labour Students.

Cambridge University Labour Club (CULC) has voted “overwhelmingly” to disaffiliate from Labour Students, the national body which exists to link university Labour clubs to the national party.

The move followed a similar decision by Oxford University Labour Club last month, which followed a speech in which Labour Students was described as “irredeemable”.

Labour Students has been embroiled in controversy over accusations of vote-rigging in last month’s national elections, the full results of which have yet to be released.

A statement from CULC described the elections as “deeply undemocratic” and called for a new organisation to replace Labour Students.

The club stated: “The student membership of the Labour Party has reached the end of its tether with Labour Students.

“For over a decade now our club is one of the few to have remained steadfastly affiliated. It is now, regrettably, all too clear to us that participation is worth nothing when democratic engagement can do nothing.

“At our Termly General Meeting last week our membership resolved overwhelmingly to rescind affiliation, on the grounds that the elections of the incoming national chair and 2019-20 committee were deeply undemocratic.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with clubs across the country who have attested to the bad faith cronyism of these ballots, and especially to the corrupt manner in which eligibility rules were applied.

“In a movement of 20,000 Labour students, only 500 were permitted to have any say. It is blatant that attempts were made to limit the participation of members from the political mainstream of the party, in order to artificially assure the dominance of a deeply unpopular political minority.

“The consequences of this ‘e-gerrymandering’ are evident in the organisation’s support for policies diametrically opposed to the actual politics of Labour’s student membership – e.g. on questions such as tuition fees.

“We now call on those Labour clubs who remain affiliated to leave, and in doing so extend their solidarity to clubs — particularly those in the North of England and Scotland — who have, for years, been systematically disenfranchised by the national organisation.

“Our party must pass the mantle of ‘Labour Students’ on to an organisation that can finally, genuinely represent Labour students. ​This will remain the policy of our club unless and until we democratically resolve otherwise.”

A number of other clubs have chosen to disaffiliate from Labour Students in the wake of the scandal, including Queen Mary, Southampton, Aberystwyth, Royal Holloway, Kent, Imperial College London, Nottingham Trent, and Sussex.

OULC and Labour Students have been contacted for comment.

Support student journalism

Student journalism does not come cheap. Now, more than ever, we need your support.

Check out our other content

Most Popular Articles