Jeremy Corbyn drops fresh Labour MP de-selection hint

Posted On: 
25th September 2016

Jeremy Corbyn today dropped a fresh hint that Labour MPs could face de-selection as a result of moves to cut the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

Jeremy Corbyn says the "vast majority" of Labour MPs have nothing to fear from boundary changes
Credit: 
PA Images

The newly re-elected Labour leader would only say that the "vast majority" of Labour MPs had nothing to fear from the process.

Labour is tipped to lose around 25 seats, leading to calls from many of Mr Corbyn's supporters for disloyal MPs to be de-selected by their local parties.

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On the BBC's Andrew Marr Show this morning, he was specifically asked to rule that out as a possibility.

Mr Corbyn said: "My message is: concentrate on policies, concentrate on campaigning, concentrate on getting out there on what we have got to put across as a message.

"My message to our MPs and parties is make sure that you agree on those policies and get out there and do it. But I have to say this that we are going through, unfortunately, a boundary change. Every constituency boundary is gong to be changed, two million voters will be unrepresented in the new – they will have votes – but they won't be represented in the calculations for the new constituency boundaries, so they are very unfair.

"Therefore a new selection will have to take place in every single constituency, where the sitting MP with a substantial geographical coverage to the new area will automatically be shortlisted."

He said he wished MPs going through the process "well" and added: “The relationship between an MP and their constituency is a complex one, it’s not necessarily all the policy tick boxing exercise, it’s also the relationships in the community, the effectiveness of representation and all those issues.

"Let’s have a democratic discussion and I think the vast majority of MPs will have no problem whatsoever."

POLICY

Mr Corbyn also suggested Labour members could have a direct say in party policy through things like online questionnaires - a tactic his office used in the run-up to last year's Commons vote on bombing Isil targets in Syria.

He said: "What I want is a more open party and we need to look at democracy and involvement of members and supporters in all aspects of party decision-making.

"So I have asked the National Executive to look at ways that we democratise in bringing more members in to decision-making, policy-making coming from the grassroots and greater trade union membership involvement in it, because there is a lot of thirst for change out there. People want to see things done differently.

"What I want is more power for members, more power for supporters in order to ensure that we get policies that do have support throughout the whole party.”