Labour activists could be given more powers to oust sitting MPs, says Jon Lansman

Posted On: 
6th April 2018

Labour members could be given more powers to oust the party's MPs, one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies has revealed.

Jon Lansman is a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn.
PA Images

Momentum boss Jon Lansman said the Labour leader wanted to "move on to trigger ballots" after general election candidates have been chosen for marginal seats.

His comments to a meeting in London, which were recorded and passed to the Daily Mirror, will cause consternation among moderate Labour MPs.

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The trigger ballot process allows local Labour branches to hold emergency votes on whether their sitting MP should stand again at the next election.

But critics say they can be used by left-wing activists as a means of ousting MPs critical of Mr Corbyn's leadership.

Mr Lansman said: "It is ­Jeremy’s intention, when we finish the selections in the marginal seats, to move on to trigger ballots."

The left-wing veteran, who also sits on Labour's ruling national executive committee, said Momentum had submitted proposals to the party's democracy review "which would improve the trigger ballot process" by increasing the level of support an MP must receive to avoid deselection.

"The benefit of trigger ballots, and indeed in mandatory re-selection, is that it is more about accountability than deselections," he said.

Mr Lansman added: "This reform would require an MP to have two-thirds of members’ branches and two-thirds of union branches in order to avoid a ­deselection process."

But a Labour spokesman said: "Jeremy hasn’t expressed any intention or taken any position on changes to the rule book relating to trigger ballots."