Labour Party, a Glossary

The perennial question asked by new Labour members, or old hacks pretending to be concerned, is about jargon. Here is a guide, I took it from Cheltenham Labour’s site, but that itself is informed by the Labour Party’s own page on jargon. This page below/overleaf explains some of the most commonly used Labour Party terms and acronyms. Enjoy!

Labour Party Structures and Bodies

Branch Labour Party (BLP)
Division of the Labour Party based on ward boundaries for the election of councillors. 
All members and affiliated supporters are allocated to a branch based on where they live. It is from here that members take part in choosing local council candidates.

Constituency Labour Party (CLP)
Division of the Labour Party made up of several branches and based on the electoral area for the election of MPs, comprises Labour Party branches and local affiliates. It is from here that you can help choose which members will represent you at Annual Conference.

Association of Labour Councillors (ALC)
A Labour Party affiliated organisation which represents Labour councillors of England, Wales and Scotland within the Labour Party. The work of the ALC is governed by executives who are directly elected by Labour councillors from each region.

Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC)
The committee which determines the shape of the agenda for Annual Conference, rules on the validity of contemporary and emergency motions, and acts as the steering committee for the conference. People are elected to the CAC by members periodically.

Local Campaign Forum (LCF) formerly known as Local Government Committee (LGC)
Grouping of representatives from all CLPs in the same local authority with responsibility for overseeing local election campaigning and identifying candidates for council elections. They shortlist potential local government candidates for members to vote on and work with CLPs and the national party to deliver winning campaigns.

National Executive Committee (NEC)
Governing body of the Labour Party with elected representatives from every section of the Party, comprising the Leader, Deputy Leader, PLP, EPLP, Councillors, CLPs, trade unions and socialist societies. The NEC sets the Party’s objectives and oversees the running of the Party nationally.

National Policy Forum (NPF)
Body that oversees policy development outside of conference, with representation from all sections of the Labour Party, with the largest part elected by ordinary members in each region and nation of the UK. Other members of the NPF represent Labour Councillors, MPs, affiliated trade unions, socialist societies and other groups.

National Constitutional Committee (NCC)
Body that deals with disciplinary cases involving Labour members, consisting of representives of Constituency Labour Parties, affiliated trade unions and socialist societies.

Policy Forum
Local or regional meeting of Labour Party members to discuss issues and feed views into the policy process.

Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP)
Collective body of Labour MPs in parliament.

European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP)
Grouping of British Labour MEPs in the European Parliament.

Common phrases

Affiliate
Trade union or socialist society with established formal links with the Labour Party based on common values. Affiliates pay a subscription to the Labour Party on behalf of their members.

Affiliated Supporter
Member of an affiliated trade union or socialist society who has actively chosen to be an individual supporter of the Labour Party.

All Member Meeting (AMM)
Meeting of the Constituency Labour Party open to all members.

All Women Shortlist (AWS)
Process to increase representation of women in Parliament by reserving 50% of winnable seats for women candidates.

Annual Conference
This takes place every autumn and is one of the largest and most high profile political events in Europe. Delegates at Conference vote on policy documents brought by the National Policy Forum.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)
Yearly business meeting at which the financial accounts are presented, reports of the past year’s work are given, officers are elected and standing orders are amended.

Back Bench
MP or councillor with no front bench responsibility.

Cabinet
Committee of senior government ministers/shadow ministers. Also main decision making body of a Council consisting of the Leader/elected Mayor and councillors with portfolio responsibilities.

Collective Affiliation
Formal link between affiliated trade unions and the Labour Party.

Co-operative Party
Political voice of the co-operative movement. It is a separate political party which has an electoral agreement with Labour.

Delegate
Person elected or nominated to represent a Labour Party or trade union branch at meetings or Conference.

Ethnic Minorities Forum (EMF)
Part of the Labour Party’s equality structures, a constituency-wide body open to all Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (abbreviated to either BAME or BAEM) members in the area.

Executive Committee (EC)
Sub group of the Constituency Labour Party, consisting of key officers and representatives that oversees local party business.

Front Bench
Government minister/Opposition shadow spokesperson, including Shadow Cabinet. Also a councillor with portfolio responsibilities.

General Committee (GC) or General Management Committee (GMC)
A meeting of the Constituency Labour Party formed of delegates from local branches and affiliates.

Labour Group
Grouping of all the Labour Councillors in a local authority. List System for electing candidates in London, Welsh, Scottish and European elections, where seats are allocated in proportion to the number of votes the party receives.

One Member One Vote (OMOV)
Ballot system used for Labour Party elections, such as the Leader and Deputy leadership elections, where all members receive one vote and all votes carry equal weight. Panel Pool of candidates from which branches can select who they wish to stand in their ward council elections.

Policy Commission
Subject specific body that develops detailed policy, comprising members of the NPF, NEC and Shadow Cabinet.

Portfolio responsibility
A specific council service such as housing or social care, that a front bench councillor has responsibility for overseeing.

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC)
Candidate chosen by a CLP to stand in the general election.

Quota
Policy to ensure balanced equalities representation.

Selection
Process of choosing candidates to stand in local, regional, national and European elections.

Socialist Society
Independent organisation affiliated to the Labour Party.

Standing Orders
Set of rules governing local Labour Party structures.

Trade Union Liaison Officer (TULO)
CLP officer elected to build links with local trade unions.

Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation (TULO)
Umbrella organisation that co-ordinates the national and regional activities of trade unions affiliated to the Labour Party.

Trigger Ballot
Process where Labour Party branches and local affiliates to a CLP decide whether to confirm that a sitting MP can stand for re-election or should face a full selection process.

Ward
An electoral local authority area.

Women’s Group
Part of the Labour Party’s equality structures, a constituency-wide body open to all women members in the area.

Campaign jargon

Canvassing
Refers to asking people for support at election time, but it is also used to refer to the issues-based campaigning done throughout the year, not just at election time. This can be face-to-face by going door-knocking, or over the phone through our campaign tools.

Voter ID
Refers to the process of gathering people’s voting intentions, whether face to face or over the phone.

Door knocking
A form of canvassing when a small team of volunteers will knock on people’s doors and have a conversation face to face.

Phone banking
Talking to electors over the phone, usually carried out by a group of volunteers and usually sticking closely to a Voter ID script.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV)
Campaign to identify Labour Party supporters and encourage them to turn out to cast their vote on polling day, using canvassing and mailings.

This was taken from https://www.cheltenhamlabourparty.org.uk/glossary/, which refers to https://labour.org.uk/new-members/jargon/.

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