10 Days Remaining

Wednesday 13th
posted by Luke James in Britain

Right-wing Labour First proposes to abandon one-vote system

LABOUR MPs would be handed the same power as 1,500 grassroots members in any future leadership election under plans proposed by a right-wing faction.

Labour First wants to abandon the one member, one-vote system under which Jeremy Corbyn won a landslide victory last summer.

It also wants to scrap the registered and affiliated supporter scheme which saw thousands of people who support the party but are not members pay £3 to vote in the leadership election.

The group is instead seeking to resurrect the electoral college which saw MPs, trade unions and members receive a third of the votes.

Labour First argues that its plan would “bolster the union link” and ensure that the leader will “command the confidence of their parliamentary colleagues.”

Changes to party rules have been drafted by the group with a view to pushing them through the party’s annual conference in September.

“The proposed rule changes, which are all designed to strengthen the influence of party elites at the expense of grassroots activists, would also serve the factional interests of the Labour right,” according to the Left Futures blog which exposed the plan.

The electoral college system was scrapped in 2014 as part of reforms designed by Lord Ray Collins, who is on the right of the party.

The review was instigated by Ed Miliband under pressure to weaken the influence of trade unions after allegations later found to be without foundation that Unite attempted to rig the selection of the party’s Falkirk candidate in 2014.

The changes were opposed by many of the left who warned it was Mr Miliband’s own “clause IV” movement.

After the system backfired and helped Mr Corbyn claim an unexpected leadership victory, there were moves to hand power to MPs.

But Momentum spokesman Jon Lansman told the Star: “Even under its proposed rules, it might not beat Jeremy.

“If it challenged Jeremy now the proportion of votes would be even better among party members and trade union members.

“And among MPs, Jeremy could attract the support of around 60 or 70 now.”

The Campaign for Labour Democracy has submitted its own rule changes which would lower the number of nominations needed from MPs for any leadership candidate.