Labour set for rule change clearing the way for left-wing leadership candidates

Posted On: 
19th September 2017

A controversial plan to lower the number of MPs and MEPs whose backing is needed to get a candidate on the ballot in a Labour leadership contest is set to be adopted.  

Jeremy Corbyn only just secured enough nominations to run fot the Labour leadership in 2015
PA Images

According to the Guardian, the party’s ruling National Executive is poised to accept the change, which would see the threshold for MP and MEP support lowered from 15% to 10%, later today.  

Mr Corbyn's supporters had initially wanted the nomination threshold to be reduced to 5%, but have agreed on a compromise.

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The move would make it easier for a candidate from the Labour left to be part of a future leadership race when Jeremy Corbyn steps down.

But the plans have been met with some resistance from some Labour moderates. 

Mr Corbyn only just secured enough nominations to enter the contest in 2015, before winning the contest in a landslide.

A member of the Corbyn-supporting grassroots movement Momentum told The Guardian they hoped the NEC meeting would “take account of this grassroots desire to make the party more democratic and give members the chance to debate the issues they care about at conference.”

However, Richard Angell, director of the centrist pressure group Progress, questioned the need for the changes.

He said: “When the current leadership is so safe at the top of the party, it is bizarre the focus of this year’s conference is divisive rule changes about whoever succeeds Corbyn, whenever that might be. 

“Allowing nine or more candidates in the ballot paper threatens to make a joke of Labour and put us further from the voters.”