LABOUR leftwingers have welcomed a boost after the party’s youth section voted to back rule changes boosting democracy.
Young Labour, which is understood to carry a bloc vote of around 80,000 at the party’s conference later this month, will support the so-called McDonnell amendment among other measures.
Its national committee voted on Tuesday night to support a motion which said rule changes put forward by constituency parties would “constitute a substantial increase” in democracy.
The most high-profile motion would mean a leadership hopeful would only need the backing of 5 per cent of MPs, down from the current 15 per cent.
Some trade unions have been reluctant to support this, but it is thought they could get behind a compromise threshold of 10 per cent.
Another motion would give Young Labour, which has historically complained of control from party HQ, its own constitution and standing orders.
Further motions would bolster accountability of Labour councillors and give more powers to the women’s conference, the motion passed by Young Labour said.
All of the proposed rule changes, which are backed by the Campaign for Labour Party Democracy and Momentum, are likely to be strongly opposed by the Labour right.
Young Labour committee member Max Shanly told the Star: “I am delighted Young Labour is officially supporting efforts to democratise the party.
“For too long members have been shut out of the party’s democratic process, particularly the youth. As a national committee we are determined to unlock the creative potential of the party membership — not just to get Labour elected but to carry our programme through.”
Young Labour has cast a bloc vote on behalf of its members in the affiliates section of conference. The recent increase in party membership has made the body substantially more powerful.