Labour CND condemns ban on CLP affiliations

In a further attack on the rights of members, local Labour Parties are being banned from affiliating to Labour CND and a number of other progressive peace and justice campaigns. Labour CND campaigns within the party for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, including Britain’s Trident system, and for peaceful foreign policies. These ideas merit discussion, these principles deserve support, and we believe the overwhelming majority of party members agree.

Labour CND committee unanimously agreed the following statement in response to the ban. The basis on which the Labour Party has introduced this ban is outlined below.

2023 is the centenary of the birth of Walter Wolfgang. Walter was a childhood refugee from Nazi Germany and later became a member of the party’s National Executive Committee. Walter devoted his life to nuclear disarmament, particularly campaigning in the Labour Party against nuclear weapons as a founding member of Labour CND which works within the party for the global abolition of nuclear weapons, including Britain’s Trident system, and a peaceful foreign policy.

Walter campaigned for a progressive foreign policy and spoke out against the Iraq war. New Labour quickly expressed its regret at the ejection of Walter Wolfgang from the Labour Party Conference in 2005, and the event cemented Walter’s place as a figure in the party.
In 2018 the Labour Party awarded Walter a merit award which was presented by then leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Walter died in 2019, but Labour CND’s work continues. For many years Labour CND has campaigned, held fringe meetings, drafted motions, and gained affiliations from Constituency Labour Parties, Branch Labour Parties, and affiliated trade unions.

Labour CND regrets the decision of National Executive Committee to end CLPs’ right to affiliate to Labour Party orientated campaigning groups like Labour CND. We thank all the local parties and affiliates which have supported us over the years. Our work for peace and justice will continue.

A few hours before one London CLP was due to hold its 2023 AGM, a message was received from Labour’s Head of Internal Governance that the CLP could not renew its affiliations without approval from the NEC. To do so would breach party rules.’ The following organisations were listed:

    • Labour Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
    • Palestine Solidarity Campaign
    • Stop the War Coalition
    • Republic
    • London Irish
    • Abortion Rights Campaign
    • Jewish Voice for Labour
    • Somalis for Labour
    • Sikhs for Labour
    • All African Women’s Group
    • Health Campaigns Together
    • Campaign Against Climate Change Trades Union Group
    • Peace & Justice Project

The email also warned that organisations which are nationally affiliated to the party are eligible to affiliate to any CLP provided they pay the appropriate fee and the CLP cannot debate or decide on their affiliations.

This is yet another attack on the rights of local parties. The basis was laid at 2021 Labour Party conference which passed a series of rule changes promoted by the General Secretary. They included a catch-all rule change which bans local parties from affiliating or donating to organisations without the approval of the National Executive Committee.

Chapter 7, Clause XI .5 of Labour’s 2023 Rule Book now reads: ‘This CLP and units of this CLP shall not enter into affiliation with or give support, financially or otherwise, to any political party or organisation (or ancillary or subsidiary body thereto) without the prior permission of the NEC. Nor shall they give any such support to individuals ineligible for membership of the Party.’

Under CND’s constitution, only members of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament who are also members of the Labour Party are eligible to participate in Labour CND. We have operated under the same rules and constitution for four decades without experiencing any objections, which provide for affiliations from CLPs, Labour Branches, and Labour affiliates.

Remembering Walter Wolfgang

On 29 May, the first anniversary of Walter Wolfgang’s death, Labour CND hosted a commemoration of his life with Jeremy Corbyn and friends. The live zoom meeting was over-subscribed. If you were one of those unlucky few who didnt get access, or if you’re hearing about it for the first time, you can watch the celebration of Walter’s long and active life below.


who died peacefully in Kingston Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 29 May, was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, the only child of Erna Karoline (née Simon) and Hermann Wolfgang. Walter came to Britain as a teenager in 1937. He became a British citizen in 1948 and made his home here, joining the Labour Party the same year and remaining an active member till his death – standing as a parliamentary candidate in the 1959 election and serving on Labour’s National Executive Committee, 2006-8. An organiser of the first Aldermaston march, Walter was a CND and Labour CND stalwart throughout his life, and a Vice President of both and of Stop the War Coalition at the time of his death.

His burial takes place:

The Liberal Jewish Cemetery
Pound Lane, Willesden, NW10 2HG


The cemetery is situated off the south-west end of Pound Lane, Willesden, London, NW10 2HG. At the south-east end of Pound Lane is a fire station, next to the fire station is a block of flats and by the side of the flats is a small road that leads to the cemetery.

Bus: Routes 6 and 226 stop outside the fire station. Bus numbers 52 and 98 stop in Willesden High Road, at the corner of Hawthorn Road; walk down Hawthorn Road to the cemetery (about five minutes). Underground: The nearest stations are Dollis Hill or Willesden Green, both of which are 10- 15 minutes walk from the cemetery. There is a taxi service available from Willesden Green Station.

There is no tradition of flowers at a Jewish funeral and there will be one wreath only at Walter’s, from Carol Turner and Marjorie Thompson, his de facto family for the last decades of his life. You can pay tribute to his life if you wish by donating to one of two causes close to his heart.

Labour CND
Please reference your donation Walter
By electronic transfer to Labour CND
Sort Code 08-90-29, Account No 50459106
By cheque to Labour CND Treasurer, 162 Holloway Road, London N7 8DQ

Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Please reference your donation W Wolfgang
By electronic transfer to ICAHD UK
Sort Code 08-92-99, Account No 65132227
By cheque to ICAHD UK, BM ICAHD UK, London WC1N 3XX

Alan Bennett on Walter Wolfgang

In one of his diary entries in Keeping On Keeping On, Alan Bennett’s third prose collection, he writes:

2005, 29 September.
Among several things that the ejection and charging of Mr Walter Wolfgang from the Labour Party Conference demonstrates is the danger of endowing the police with any more powers than they have already. For shouting out ‘Liar’ he is charged under the Terrorism Act. The silencing of hecklers was hardly the act’s original purpose but it is just the handiest blunt instrument available. This should be remembered in the next session of Parliament, when the  police are asking for yet more powers – three months’ detention for instance – which at the same time solemnly assuring the public that they will only use such powers when the occasion demands it. This is a promise soon forgotten. If they have the powers they will use them – young Muslim or Jewish old-age pension it makes no difference. ‘You’re nicked.’

Keeping On Keeping On, Profile Books, 2016, £9.99 paperback

Walter Wolfgang honoured

Congratulations to Labour CND’s Walter Wolfgang who became one of the Stop the War Patrons at the STW’s 2018 annual meeting: ‘We can win. We shall overcome. Thank you for this huge honour.’

Statement on Pete Willsman

Walter Wolfgang statement, 31 July 2018
I came to Britain as a refugee from Nazi Germany, with a strong and continuing commitment to Judaism, and still attend my synagogue regularly.  I have been a member the Labour Party for 70 years. As a former member of Labour’s National Executive Committee myself, I have served with Pete Willsman and know him to be a committed anti-racist and a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn. I am dismayed that Pete is under attack at the very time when the ballot for the NEC is taking place, and despite his deep and public apology. Pete Willsman is a staunch champion of party democracy. I will be voting for him, and urge Labour Party members to do likewise.

Labour CND chair awarded Ron Todd Peace Prize

Veteran nuclear disarmament campaigner and Labour CND Chair Walter Wolfgang (pictured below) was awarded this year’s Ron Todd Peace Prize in a ceremony at the Marx Memorial Library in March.

Todd was General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers Union, predecessor of Unite from 1985 until his retirement in 1992. He led Britain’s biggest union in the years when nuclear disarmament was at the heart of Labour’s annual conference debates. After his death in 2005, the Rod Todd Foundation was set up and has awarded annual prizes for outstanding achievement in areas close to the former General Secretary’s heart.

Scrap Trident: Walter’s letter to Ed

walter2Dear Ed,

Many thanks for your good wishes for my 90th birthday and all you are doing to convince the people of this country that Labour can provide a socially just alternative to coalition austerity.

Many people realise that the coalition has failed but are not yet convinced that Labour has made up its own mind and that its policies are clear and credible.

One of the problems the country faces is that a replacement of the Trident weapon system is unaffordable, useless and – by encouraging proliferation – an obstacle to multilateral nuclear disarmament.

You should make sure that there is a vote at the 2013 Labour Party conference which I believe will decide to scrap Trident and not replace it.

With scrapping Trident increasingly popular amongst both Labour Party members and the public, particularly in the current economic crisis, such a principled stand will help to bring new members into the party it will also ensure that others will speak up for the Labour Party.

This is vitally necessary to build the kind of support that will secure a Labour Government. We need a Labour General Election victory.

As this is a matter of public interest I am publishing this letter of thanks on Labour CND’s website.

Yours sincerely,

Walter Wolfgang

Labour CND Discussion and AGM

A Labour Government can’t afford Trident

Labour CND discussion and AGM

11am – 4pm
Saturday 9th March
Birkbeck College, Malet St, London

Join us in discussing how we ensure Labour acts on its commitment to nuclear disarmament and secure a commitment to rejecting Trident replacement at the 2015 election.




11.30am – 11.45am
Marian Hobbs, former New Zealand Labour Disarmament Minister

11.45am – 1.15pm
A Labour Government can’t afford Trident

  • Owen Jones, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Annabelle Harle (NPF rep, Wales), Cllr Alice Perry (Islington and NPF rep, London) and Cllr Kate Taylor (Plymouth).


2pm – 3pm
A conversation with Walter Wolfgang

  • After the recent publication of a biographical pamphlet, Carol Turner interviews Walter Wolfgang on his campaigning life.
  • You can buy the pamphlet here.


3.15pm – 3.30pm
Clive Lewis, PPC for Norwich South, on the 2015 manifesto


3.30pm – 4pm
Labour CND AGM

  • Labour CND members are welcome to submit motions in an individual capacity (deadline of 22nd February).
  • We are keen to expand our executive committee. If you would like to join, please email expressions of interest.
  • Email address regarding motions and joining the executive committee is


* Discussion sessions are open to all.
* AGM open to Labour CND members. If you hold Labour Party and CND memberships you are a member of Labour CND and entitled to vote at its AGM.