New plans could see future Labour leaders elected without the support of a single MP

Posted On: 
14th September 2017

Future Labour leaders could be elected without the support of a single MP, according to radical new proposals set to be considered at party conference.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn only just managed to secure 15% of MP's vote in 2015
PA Images

The proposals also suggest making the party’s general secretary, a post currently held by Iain McNicol, an elected position.

As it stands 15% of MPs are required to vote for a prospective candidate to secure their place on the ballot – a proportion Jeremy Corbyn only managed to secure at the last minute in 2015.

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But the new plans would mean candidates would need 15% of one of three groups: MPs and MEPs combined, affiliated trade unions or Labour members, according to documents leaked to HuffPost UK.

The motion has been put forward by 21 Constituency Labour Parties to be raised at this year's Labour conference and potentially debated next year.

The left of the party has long been keen for a rule change that would lower the barrier, making to it easier for their preferred candidate to getting on a future leadership ballot.

One such proposal is the so-called ‘McDonnell amendment’ – named after the Shadow Chancellor who failed to get the necessary nominations in 2007 and 2010 – lowering the threshold to just 5% of MPs and MEPs. 

A key ally of Mr Corbyn and shadow minister Chris Williamson said last month that MPs should not have any say over the leadership of the party as they only represented a “tiny percentage” of Labour support.


Earlier this week Mr Corbyn received a major boost after two of his supporters won seats on a powerful committee overseeing the Labour conference agenda.

Tottenham CLP secretary Seema Chandwani and ex-Communication Workers Union boss Billy Hayes overwhelmingly beat moderate MP Gloria De Piero and Labour peer Michael Cashman for seats on the Conference Arrangements Committee.

The victors - who were backed by pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum - won around 200,000 votes between them, roughly twice as many as their rivals.