Standing Recruitment Committee
Standing Recruitment Committee Members
A Standing Recruitment Committee (SRC) will start work in November 2021 to appoint members to the Independent Review Board (IRB) and the Independent Complaints Board (ICB).
The Standing Recruitment Committee will be co-chaired by Crossbench peer Lord Bob Kerslake and Labour peer, Baroness Margaret Prosser.
They will be supported by committee members: Councillor Farah Hussain (London Borough of Redbridge), Dame Louise Ellman (President of the Jewish Labour Movement), Councillor Asher Craig (Deputy Mayor of Bristol) and Councillor Bev Craig (leader designate, Manchester City Council). Full biographies are below.
The Independent Review Board and the Independent Complaints Board are new bodies being set up following the Equality and Human Rights Commission report into Antisemitism in the Labour Party in October 2020. Their purpose is to ensure complaints are heard by experts from outside the Party and to restore trust and confidence in the way grievances are handled.
The Independent Review Board will be made up of six lawyers who will review all protected characteristic complaint decisions taken by the Disputes Panel of the NEC, and the Independent Complaints Board that will have a dozen members including lawyers, HR, regulatory experts and lay members from the Labour Party who will hear appeals and sit for in-person disciplinary hearings.
The new bodies will be established in December 2021 and be fully up and running early in 2022.
Appointments to the Standing Recruitment Committee were made by the General Secretary David Evans. This was agreed by the NEC and the rule change was passed at Conference in September this year. To ensure independence and transparency the Standing Recruitment Committee, working with a recruitment agency, will make all decisions on recruitment to both Boards.
Baroness Margaret Prosser
Baroness Margaret Prosser of Battersea is currently: Vice Chair of the APPG for Women and Work, Vice Chair for the APPG for Women in Transport, and also Vice Chair for the APPG Women, Peace and Security. She was a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission in 1985-1992, and a member of the low pay commission in 2000- 2005. She went on to Chair the Women’s National Commission from 2002 – 2005, and became Deputy Chair of the EHRC – 2006-2012. She was also a Non-Executive Director of Royal Mail in 2004-2010.
She chaired the Commission of Inquiry and continuing reasons for the Gender and Pay opportunities gap, and in 2020 she brought a House of Lords private member’s bill for equal pay in the workplace, supported by The Fawcett Society.
Lord Bob Kerslake
Lord Kerslake is a crossbench peer. He is Chair of Peabody, Be First, Sheffield Hallam University, New Economics Foundation, UK2070 Commission and Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation. Prior to these roles, Lord Kerslake was Head of the Civil Service, Permanent Secretary of DCLG, Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency and served as Chief Executive for Sheffield City Council and Hounslow Council.
Councillor Farah Hussain
Farah Hussain is a Labour local councillor in the London Borough of Redbridge, where she was elected in 2014. She held positions of responsibility in the Cabinet covering issues such as homelessness, council house building and Violence Against Women and Girls. Previously, she worked in Parliament and at the Greater London Authority. Farah is currently a doctoral researcher, examining the experience of Muslim women in the Labour Party. She is co-chair of the Local Government Association’s Labour Women’s Taskforce. She is a trustee of a feminist not-for-profit organisation and school governor of a local comprehensive school.
Louise Ellman is the granddaughter of Jewish refugees from Czarist Russia and Eastern Europe. As Leader of Lancashire County Council (1981-1997) she worked closely with the Muslim community. She introduced Halal meat into Lancashire schools and helped set up the Lancashire Council of Mosques (1989). She was elected Lab/Co-op MP for Liverpool Riverside (1997-2019) and campaigned strongly for the rights of refugees. She chaired the Transport Select Committee 2008-2017. Louise resigned from the Labour Party in October 2019 after 55 years membership, forced out by its antisemitism. She re-joined in October 2021 expressing confidence in Keir Starmer to address the issue. She is President of the Jewish Labour Movement and a member of the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Councillor Asher Craig
Asher Craig is Deputy Mayor & Cabinet Member of Bristol Council. She has spent over 30 years as a community activist, leader, management consultant and now local politician. She has been an advocate for voiceless and marginalised communities with a particular emphasis on tackling inequalities and fighting for social and racial justice. In her role as Equalities lead, Asher has been the driving force behind the City Council and wider city partners addressing both structural and institutional racism and wider discrimination – fast forwarding a range of actions and award winning initiatives in the areas of equality, diversity, inclusion & leadership.
Councillor Bev Craig
From 1 December 2021 Councillor Bev Craig will become Leader of Manchester City Council, having served as Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Adults, Health and Wellbeing. She was first elected in 2011. Bev has held a range of responsibilities on the council including as a lead member for equality. She is an active equality campaigner for over two decades, and has held Labour Party roles locally and nationally, chairing LGBT Labour 2014-16 and supporting sister parties on equality and LGBT issues across Europe on behalf of UK Labour. Outside of elected roles, Bev began her career working on equality issues in local government, community engagement in Higher Education and as a national organiser for UNISON.