Christine Shawcroft

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Person.png Christine Shawcroft Facebook Twitter WebsiteRdf-icon.png
(politician)
Christine Shawcroft.jpg

Employment.png Chair,  NEC Disputes Panel

In office
16 January 2018 - Present
EmployerLabour Party

Employment.png Member,  National Executive Committee

In office
2002 - Present
EmployerLabour Party

Christine Shawcroft is an active member of the Labour Party having held office at branch, CLP and regional level for over twenty years.

Christine Shawcroft has been an elected constituency representative on Labour's National Executive Committee (NEC) since 2002, and also ex-officio on the National Policy Forum. She is supported by the Centre-Left Grassroots Alliance (CLGA) and is a senior member of the Momentum group.[1]

On 16 January 2018, the first act of the new Corbyn-dominated NEC was to remove the existing Blairite chair (Ann Black) of the party’s disputes panel – which investigates antisemitism cases, sexual harassment allegations and disciplinary breaches – and replace her with a Momentum office holder, Christine Shawcroft.[2]

Detaching from the Unions

On 7 March 2018, Christine Shawcroft was reported to have declared that union barons and their allies “stick it to the rank and file members, time after time”, saying in a Facebook post:

“It’s also time to support disaffiliation of the unions from the Labour party. The party belongs to us, the members.”

But her remarks laid bare the simmering tensions between some on the Left and the bigger unions after rows over NEC disciplinary hearings on antisemitism, sexism, racism and bullying, as well as splits over Parliamentary selections and wider policy on Trident and other areas.

They also came amid an increasingly fierce battle between Unite official Jennie Formby and Momentum founder Jon Lansman for the post of Labour’s General Secretary, replacing Iain McNicol.

Shawcroft said she was supporting Lansman because “nothing would induce me to support a candidate from a major trade union”.

Labour MP John Mann suggested on Twitter that Shawcroft should resign her seat on the NEC:

First senior figure since Roy Jenkins and the Gang of Four to call for the union link to be broken. @Christine4NEC should do the decent thing and resign from the NEC.[3]

Shawcroft won’t be seeking re-election to the NEC this Summer but following her remarks on unions there was speculation that she could be asked to step down as chair of the disputes panel. However, she told the Huffington Post that she would not be quitting:

“I’m going to serve the rest of my sentence,” she joked.[4]

Leadership nominations

On 11 July 2016, Christine Shawcroft was interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme and stated that the incumbent Leader of the Labour Party is not required to get nominations from Parliamentary Labour Party colleagues in order to stand in a leadership election. This was confirmed by the NEC on 12 July 2016 when it ruled that challengers, but not the incumbent (Jeremy Corbyn), will require nominations from at least 20% of the PLP.[5]

Tea with IS

In February 2016, at a meeting of London Labour Left, Christine Shawcroft reportedly suggested that instead of bombing Syria Britain would be safer if its defence policy was to have “cups of tea” with Islamic State terrorists. Responding to criticism, Shawcroft said:

"Clearly these are jocular comments. They weren't taken at face value at the meeting and shouldn't be read at face value now. However, behind the joke there is a serious point: bombing countries doesn't seem to be improving our national security; we should be looking at other strategies to improve our national security and resolve conflicts."[6]

Labour Conference 2009

At the 2009 Party Conference in Brighton, Christine Shawcroft presented Labour's policy document on housing, saying:

"In the past year, Alistair Darling announced £100 million for new-build council housing. In June, Gordon Brown announced a £1.5 billion package to deliver an additional 20,000 affordable, energy-efficient homes over the next two years. At least 11,000 of those are going to be social rented homes."[7]

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

Christine Shawcroft was Labour's PPC for Meriden in the West Midlands at the 2001 General Election.[8]


References