13 Days Remaining

Thursday 15th
posted by Conrad Landin in Britain

by Conrad Landin in Southport

LABOUR MPs should face a full reselection process before the next general election, the bakers’ union BFAWU conference heard yesterday.

Delegates voted in favour of introducing the “power of recall, reselection and if necessary sacking of MPs.”

Currently sitting Labour MPs are automatically reselected to run in an election if a majority of branches in their constituency approves their candidacy.

The system has been criticised because local trade union affiliate branches have the same voting strength as party branches, regardless of their size.

Party bosses circumvented even this limited system ahead of the snap general election, saying there was no time for such “trigger ballots.”

Bakers voiced their anger at Labour MPs who had “gone out of their way to damage the party” by criticising Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

They argued that MPs should be held accountable by members in their constituencies.

Bristol delegate Adam Brown said: “We have to account for our actions every day, I don’t see why it should be any different for them?”

BFAWU president Ian Hodson stressed unity in the union, telling delegates that “one of the most important things is that we all come together as a movement and when the next election is called we’re all fighting for one cause.

“That is Jeremy Corbyn and a Labour government,” he said.

And BFAWU general secretary Ronnie Draper warned that unions must “keep a careful eye” to ensure there is not “another coup” against Mr Corbyn.

He told the Star that members need “the opportunity of reselecting people who don’t support our leader,” adding that “this is what democracy is about. You can’t create democracy to suit yourself.”

Unite, Labour’s largest affiliate, voted in favour of mandatory reselection contests at its policy conference last year. But a similar motion was lost at the shopworkers’ union Usdaw last month.

Under mandatory reselection, MPs would have to face an open contest before each general election — in which other candidates could put themselves forward as alternative choices.

Delegates at BFAWU conference also voted for motions calling for a ban on MPs having “second jobs,” and in favour of replacing MPs’ expenses with giving them accommodation directly.