Boost for Jeremy Corbyn as his supporters seize control of Labour's ruling body

Posted On: 
15th January 2018

Jeremy Corbyn has tightened his grip on Labour after his supporters swept to victory in elections to the party's ruling body.

Jon Lansman ran Jeremy Corbyn's two successful Labour leadership campaigns.
PA Images

Far left trio Jon Lansman, Yasmine Dar and Rachel Garnham easily defeated their moderate rivals - including comedian Eddie Izzard - to claim their places on Labour's national executive committee.

Mr Lansman, boss of the pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum, announced their crushing win on Twitter and declared Labour had "at last" returned to being the socialist party he joined in the 1970s.

The result tips the balance on the Labour NEC in favour of Mr Corbyn's supporters, giving them huge power over the party's future direction.

Mr Lansman has said that he wants Labour to be a "members-led" party, diluting the power of its MPs, the majority of whom remain sceptical about Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Among the changes he wants to introduce - and which will now be much easier to push through - is a reduction in the number of MPs required to nominate leadership candidates before they can go on the ballot paper.

In theory, that should make it far easier for a left-winger to take part in any leadership vote and succeed Mr Corbyn when he eventually stands down.

The Labour leader earlier tweeted his congratulations to the three successful candidates.

Moderate Labour MPs will also fear that they will face challenges to their own positions in the event of mandatory reselections being introduced.

Stephanie Lloyd, deputy director of of the moderate campaign group Progress, said she hoped Mr Lansman "will not try to run the Labour party like he runs Momentum".

She said: "The result of these NEC elections is no real surprise and we extend our congratulations to those who have been elected. The new establishment has a big responsibility to ensure a broad church Labour party that can use all the talents of Labour to stop a hard Brexit and win the next election, not focus on internal rules changes.

"My hope is that Jon Lansman will not try to run the Labour party like he runs Momentum. As a party we need our focus to be on stopping a Tory hard Brexit, not stopping Labour conference discussing Brexit; we need to replace Tory MPs, not deselect our hard-working Labour MPs we already have; and, encouraging young members, not closing down the Momentum youth section."

Mr Lansman said: "The election of Yasmine, Rachel and I shows there is hunger among party members for a new, social movement style party that is capable of transforming Britain at every level... this means energising and empowering members to win the next general election."