Jeremy Corbyn tightens grip on Labour as party reforms hand more power to members

Posted On: 
19th September 2017

Radical reforms which hand more power to Labour members and make it easier for left-wingers to be leadership candidates have been approved by party bosses.

Jeremy Corbyn is wining the battle to dilute the power of Labour MPs.
Credit: 
PA Images

In a major boost for Jeremy Corbyn, grassroots activists are set to get three more seats on Labour's ruling National Executive Committee.

Trade unions - which overwhelmingly back the Labour leader - will also see their NEC representation increased by one seat.

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At a lengthy meeting this afternoon, the NEC also backed moves to lower the number of MP nominations any would-be leader needs to make it onto the ballot paper.

Instead of requiring the support of 15% of the Parliamentary Labour Party, as they do now, candidates will only need 10%.

That means it is virtually certain that another left-winger will be able to stand when Mr Corbyn eventually stands down.

The proposed changes to the Labour rule book will be formally voted on at Labour's conference next week, and are expected to pass.

Critics described the moves as a "factional power grab" by the Corbynite wing of the party.

It also emerged that former MP Katy Clark, who is Mr Corbyn's political secretary, will lead a "party democracy review" looking at ways of giving more power to the party membership.

Richard Angell, director of centrist pressure group Progress, said "Labour's new establishment bounced the NEC in private session into a series of reforms that amount to a factional power grab and more roles for members in London and the south-east. It is a missed opportunity to not give members in every corner of the country a voice by regionalising the NEC.

"In a bizarre turn of events, Corbyn's political secretary will be leading a review into party structures rather than working out how to beat the Tories and run the country. It is a warped set of priorities when a general election could take place at any point."