'We should all be accountable' - Jeremy Corbyn hints at mandatory reselection for Labour MPs

Posted On: 
18th January 2018

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested he could support mandatory reselection of Labour MPs, saying politicians should "all be accountable, all of the time". 

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at PMQs this week
Credit: 
PA

His comments, in an interview with The Guardian, are likely to alarm moderate MPs who have been targeted by members of pro-Corbyn campaign group Momentum.

Earlier this week former journalist and high-profile Corbyn supporter Paul Mason said MPs should have the threat of reselection "hanging over them". 

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Mr Corbyn indicated that he might support a change in the rules on selections.

“Look, [we] will look at democracy within the party and look at the process of selections," he said.  "We should all be accountable all the time. I’m accountable to my party, I’m accountable to my constituency and I’m quite comfortable with that."

The issue of mandatory reselection has reared its head again since the election of three leftwingers to Labour's ruling National Executive Committee. 

The trio have already helped swing a vote to oust the chair of the NEC's disputes panel, Ann Black, in favour of Corbyn ally Christine Shawcross.

Among the three new NEC members was Momentum founder Jon Lansman, who has previously voiced his support for mandatory reselection of all the party's MPs - a move widely seen as an attempt to purge centrist elements in the parliamentary party.

But Mr Corbyn played down the way that Ms Black had been ousted from her NEC role, saying: “I wasn’t at the meeting, there was an election and a new chair of the disputes committee was elected. The outgoing chair remained in the meeting.”

CARILLION

​Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Corbyn also said he would ensure that public sector contracts were run by the Government in future in the wake of the Carillion scandal.

The firm, which was awarded billions of pounds-worth of contracts to deliver public services, went into liquidation earlier this week.

The Labour leader said: "We will rewrite the rules to give the public back control of their services.

"Theresa May exposed the failure of the outsource-first ideology at Prime Minister’s Questions when she said the Government was ‘a customer’ not ‘the manager’ of Carillion. I’m sorry, but if these are public contracts we should be the manager and not have a middleman like Carillion creaming off the profits."