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Wed, 21 October 2020

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Sweeping changes to Labour rules would ‘ensure left-wing successor to Corbyn’

Sweeping changes to Labour rules would ‘ensure left-wing successor to Corbyn’

Liz Bates

2 min read

A left-wing successor to Jeremy Corbyn would be “virtually guaranteed” under new plans to overhaul Labour party rules, it has been claimed.

The proposed reforms would see the number of MPs needed to nominate a leadership contender slashed and increase the influence of trade unions and Labour members.

Under current rules a candidate must have the support of 10% of the parliamentary Labour party - which includes MPs and MEPs - to get on the ballot.

But according to The Guardian, in future would-leaders would need the backing of 10% of trade unions, MPs or party members, plus 5% of each of the other groups.

That would mean a prospective candidate may need nominations from just 12 MPs - one-third of the number Jeremy Corbyn required when he first stood for the leadership in 2015.

The proposals, which were briefed to trade union general secretaries this week, will be voted on at the Labour party’s annual conference in September.

A source told the Guardian: “This virtually guarantees that a leftwing candidate could succeed Corbyn as leader.”

The wide-ranging review into the party’s democratic structures is being conducted by former MP and Jeremy Corbyn ally Katy Clark.

The plans are also said to include allowing party members to elect local council leaders.

However, this has already sparked a backlash, with Newcastle Council Leader Nick Forbes vowing to fight the plan "tooth and nail".

A Labour source told The Times: “This is the next and final step in the hard left cementing their grip on the party.

“Senior members of Corbyn’s team are worried that things like the Labour Live flop and the growing internal disquiet about Brexit will take the shine off the project so they’re moving now. That’s it, the party is dead.”

A party spokesman said: “Labour’s democracy review has received submissions from thousands of members.

“The deadline for submissions is still ongoing and any final recommendations or changes to the party rule book will be agreed by Labour members at party conference.”

Read the most recent article written by Liz Bates - Jeremy Corbyn admits he would rather see a Brexit deal than a second referendum


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