How the party works
As a democratic, socialist party we welcome people to join the party from all walks of life, have their say and influence policy. We welcome membership applications from individuals, families, young people, students, workers, unemployed, older people – anyone with an interest in building a better Britain.
To newcomers, working out how everything fits together can seem a bit of a maze – but don’t let that put you off as there’s a common goal: ensuring the party remains open and democratic and helps maintain contact between the party, the people and the government. Our structure, with the popular policy forums, enables more people than ever before to have their say.
Where you fit in
New ideas are vital if the party is to grow and develop – and we welcome your views and experiences. From your local branch to conference, the party structure has been devised so that Labour Party members can have a say on policy and contribute to our next general election manifesto.
Your local party, based on the ward boundaries for the election of councillors. A lot of Labour Party activity takes place at branch level. Labour members can take part in choosing local council candidates.
Made up of several branches and based on the electoral area for the election of MPs. Via your CLP, you can choose the members from your area to represent you at annual conference and you can help select your parliamentary candidate.
Local and regional policy forums
As a member you will be invited to attend local and regional policy forums throughout the year. Informal, friendly gatherings, they are places where you can discuss party policy. Each policy forum makes submissions to the policy commissions. This is where you can contribute to our next manifesto.
National Policy Forum (NPF)
Your CLP delegates to conference choose people to serve on the NPF, which also has representatives from local government. The NPF meets several times a year to make sure that policy documents reflect the broad consensus in the party.
Eight policy commissions cover different aspects of policy such as welfare, health, crime and justice. They are made up of representatives from the government, the NPF and the NEC, who meet to discuss submissions from branches, CLPs, policy forums and affiliates. They prepare policy papers to be considered by members and others.
National Executive Committee (NEC)
Made up of representatives from each section of the party – government, MPs, MEPs, councillors, trade unions and CLPs. Members vote for their CLP representatives in a ballot each year. The NEC sets the party’s objectives and oversees the running of the party nationally.
The ultimate authority in the party, conference decides the policy framework from which the next manifesto will be drawn and sets party rules. Conference considers the policy papers prepared by the policy commissions after consulting local parties. Members choose delegates to conference – and those delegates could include you.