Keir Starmer pushes to scrap one-member-one-vote for Labour leadership elections and return power to MPs

© PA Wire

Sir Keir Starmer (Peter Morrison/PA)

– PA Wire

Keir Starmer is pushing to scrap Labour‘s one-member-one-vote approach to party leadership elections and move to an “electoral college” system dominated by MPs – in a move that would likely lock the party’s left wing out of power for good.

Labour’s ruling national executive is expected to hear the plans at a meeting on Friday evening, with the leadership’s intention to put the change to the party’s annual conference next week.

Under the system, the vote for leader would be split one third between MPs, one third between unions, and one third between constituency Labour parties – in contrast to now where all party members get a single equal vote.

The change, which critics say is a factional move to permanently disempower opponents of the leadership, would return Labour to a similar system to the one used until 2014, when one-member-one-vote (OMOV) was introduced by Ed Miliband.

Labour MPs, most from from the left of the party, broke ranks on Tuesday ahead to slam the proposal – warning that it would undermine party democracy.

“As a Labour MP, I should have no greater say in leadership elections than other Labour members,” said Rachael Maskell, a shadow culture minister on Sir Keir’s front bench.

“The members are ultimately the Party and they should equally elect their leader. OMOV is the most democratic system. Let’s respect our members, let’s respect Party democracy.”

Veteran left-winger Jon Trickett said on Tuesday night that any such move was “a wrong headed backwards step which ought to be rejected” while former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said it was “critical Labour MPs make it clear they reject this proposal and reassert right of members to elect leader”.

Keir Starmer, who has not publicly mentioned wanting to change the Labour party rules before, told a shadow cabinet meeting on Tuesday: “These rules won’t be presented on a take it or leave it basis. I am prepared to take suggestions and ideas and have a conversation and to try and build consensus. But the principles are important to me.

“I hope [the trade unions] will support me, I believe these changes are good for their members and they strengthen our link. I know that this is difficult – change always is – but I think these changes are vital for our party’s future.

“I have said I will make the Labour Party the party of working people, I am determined that the Labour party I lead focuses on the country, on the concerns of voters, so we need party reforms that better connect us with working people re-orient us toward the voters who can take us to power.”

Manuel Cortes, general secretary of the TSSA transport workers union, said the proposal amounted to factional “gerrymandering”.

In a letter to Sir Keir and his general secretary David Evans he said: “Our union will have no hesitation in voting against this gerrymandering if this proposal makes it anywhere near conference floor.”

No Labour MPs have yet publicly endorsed the plan or made arguments for it, but many moderates privately support it as a way of marginalising their factional opponents. Some commentators have proposed various justifications for removing the vote from members, such as that MPs represent non-member constituents, that members cannot be trusted, or that the party leader needs to be on good terms with MPs.

The party leadership also plans to change the rules to make it harder for party members to challenge unpopular MPs with a “trigger ballot”. Most political parties in the UK have members select their candidate for MPs before the election, but Labour sets a higher bar for challenges to prevent members from ousting MPs and ruining their careers.

Under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership the rules were changed so that an MP could be challenged for the party’s nomination if one third of either party branches or affiliate branches in a constituency voted in favour of it. However, the LabourList website reports that the leadership wants to raise this bar to a majority rather than one third.

Sir Keir was elected leader on a left-wing platform aping Jeremy Corbyn’s 2017 manifesto, but has quickly shed many of his his campaign promises and appointed Blairites to key positions in the party.

The proposed rule change for electing the party leadership is expected to effectively lock the left out of the leadership in future because the right wing of the Labour Party dominates the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP). The rule change to make it harder to challenge sitting MPs would “double lock” the system so that MPs remained overwhelmingly aligned to the party’s moderate, right or centre.

If the rule change is to happen the proposal it must first get through the NEC and conference. Left-wing NEC members say it should be ruled out of order because it was “sprung” on them at the last minute. Passing the motion would also require the support of moderate-led unions, including Unison, USDAW and the GMB. Sir Keir set to meet with affiliated trade union leaders tomorrow in order to try and win their support.

It is currently unknown whether the leadership could get the plan through the party’s conference. While the party’s left has still come top in all internal elections since Sir Keir was elected leader, tens of thousands of mostly left-leaning members are thought to have left the party, with more suspended or excluded by the party’s staff ahead of the annual meeting.

The current one-member-one-vote system was originally introduced on the initiative of Labour’s right wing to make it harder to elect left-wingers to the leadership, but the system’s original proponents miscalculated their own popularity and ended up with Jeremy Corbyn.

From news to politics, travel to sport, culture to climate – The Independent has a host of free newsletters to suit your interests. To find the stories you want to read, and more, in your inbox, click here.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Day one of Gitex: in pictures

© Provided by The National Robots dance to the Expo 2020 Dubai theme at the Dewa stand at Gitex at Dubai World Trade Centre. The Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (Gitex) ... Read more »

Nearly 3 million people have signed a petition demanding that Congress issue a fourth stimulus check

© Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images Protesters rally demanding economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic in New York City on August 5, 2020. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images A Change.org ... Read more »

Boy, 14, killed in ‘shocking act of violence' in busy Glasgow train station as cops launch murder probe

POLICE have launched a murder inquiry after a 14-year-old boy was stabbed to death. Justin McLaughlin was found with fatal injuries at High Street train station in Glasgow, Scotland, around ... Read more »

Deepika Padukone wants fans to choose between her ‘cap or no cap' look; What is your pick?

© Provided by Pinkvilla Deepika Padukone is one of the most loved actresses of Bollywood. Fans love to see her pictures and videos on social media and Deepika too never ... Read more »

Inside Pooja Hegde's elegant lemon-themed birthday brunch with friends - Pics

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: South actress Pooja Hegde turned 31 years old on October 13 and she celebrated her birthday with full-on enthusiasm as her friends and ... Read more »

Katrina Kaif looks fresh as a daisy as she poses in a body-hugging dress by the beach

© Provided by BollywoodLife.com Katrina Kaif is one of the prettiest actresses we have. Ahead of the release of Sooryavanshi with Akshay Kumar, the pretty actress is busy with the ... Read more »

Man City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus appear at City Football Group club before Club Brugge fixture

Manchester City duo Ederson and Gabriel Jesus have flown straight from Brazil to Belgium in order to be ready for the Champions League fixture at Club Brugge on Tuesday. Ederson ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak may target pension tax-free cash in upcoming Budget - 'makes more sense'

Pension saving is usually seen as a sensible move for those planning towards their retirement, and to incentivise Britons to do so, it comes with a number of perks. One ... Read more »

'Steals a living', 'Drives you mad' - Lots of Everton fans slam 'horrendous' man vs West Ham

Lots of Everton fans have been slamming the performance of Alex Iwobi in the first half of their game at home to West Ham United in the Premier League this ... Read more »

James Pearce discusses Salah's contract situation at Liverpool; says FSG face 'big decision'

Reliable journalist James Pearce is hopeful that Mohamed Salah will have signed a new Liverpool contract before next summer. © Provided by Transfer Tavern Mohamed Salah celebrates goal for Liverpool ... Read more »

'Change boots', 'Needs to get subbed' - Many West Ham fans fume at one man's display v Everton

A number of West Ham supporters have laid into Said Benrahma’s first half performance in the Premier League clash against Everton. © Provided by Transfer Tavern Said Benrahma during the ... Read more »

What Is the Dukan Diet (and Should You Try It)?

© Twenty20 You know all about the keto diet and have even heard about its plant-based cousin, the ketotarian diet. But what about the Dukan diet? Here’s what you need ... Read more »

Buttigieg: 'I'm not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson'

Pete Buttigieg says he’s “not going to apologize to Tucker Carlson” for going on paternity leave from the Transportation Department to care for his adopted two children. © Greg Nash ... Read more »

Lauded Spanish female crime writer revealed to be 3 men

Spain’s literary world has been thrown into chaos after a coveted book prize was awarded to “Carmen Mola” — an acclaimed female thriller writer who turned out to be the ... Read more »

Heavy rainfall likely to lash Bengal till October 20

The meteorological department on Sunday said heavy rainfall is likely to occur in West Bengal till October 20 owing to a low-pressure area over north Telangana and strong southeasterly wind ... Read more »

Man shot, killed while driving in Chesapeake

A man was shot and killed while driving early Sunday morning in Chesapeake. Police received separate reports at 1:28 a.m. about shots fired in the area of Indian River Road ... Read more »

Gujarat government allows Eid-e-Milad processions on October 19 with certain curbs in view of coronavirus

The Gujarat government on Sunday allowed Eid-e-Milad processions to be taken out on October 19 with certain restrictions in view of the coronavirus pandemic situation. The state home department issued ... Read more »

COVID-19: Delhi records zero death, 32 new cases; positivity rate 0.07 per cent

Delhi recorded zero death due to COVID-19 and 32 fresh cases of the infection with a positivity rate of 0.07 per cent on Sunday, according to the health bulletin issued ... Read more »

Reese Witherspoon, 45, Shares Her Favorite Eye Cream That Tackles Wrinkles and Dark Circles

© Handout – Getty Images Reese Witherspoon, 45, shared her top eye cream, the Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream, which helps reduce wrinkles and dark circles. Reese Witherspoon, ... Read more »

Saudi Arabia allows fans attendance in stadiums, sports facilities at full capacity from Sunday

The Ministry of Sports announced that sports fans would be allowed to attend in all sports stadiums and facilities at full capacity in various sports competitions from Sunday. The ministry ... Read more »

Duo arrested after allegedly running red light, killing man in NYC, cops say

Officials investigate the scene after the car crash. Seth Gottfried Two men were arrested in Brooklyn Sunday after running a red light, crashing into another car and killing the driver, ... Read more »

Kate Garraway reveals painful-looking swollen eyes after horror ‘contact lens' injury during recent ‘long days'

KATE Garraway has revealed her painful-looking swollen eyes after a horror contact lens injury as she reminded carers to “sometimes put themselves first”. The 54-year-old star admitted that she very ... Read more »

Family of Kongsberg victim: “She will be deeply missed”

The family of the 52-year-old musician Andréa Meyer, who was killed in Kongsberg on Wednesday, says she will be deeply missed. Andréa Meyer was one of the five people killed ... Read more »

Thunderous welcome for Ramaphosa in Magashule's home base

© Provided by Times Live Ramaphosa has taken his ANC local government election campaign to the Free State starting on Sunday where thousands were waiting for him before he arrived. ... Read more »

Matt Hancock's strategy to return to work after the resignation sunk

© Getty Matt Hancock It was discovered that the organisation’s rules ban sitting MPs from holding the post. TheWest Suffolk MP had accepted an invitation to become the UN Economic ... Read more »

O Beach Dubai announces it will no longer open at Palm West Beach

© Provided by The National The popular Ibiza club O Beach had plans to open at Palm West Beach later this year. Photo: O Beach Dubai Famous Ibiza beach club ... Read more »

Blind claims he made ‘absolutely no attack' on Man Utd boss Solskjaer

© PA Images Danny Blind watches an Ajax match Former Netherlands boss Danny Blind claims he made “absolutely no attack” on Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Following their 4-2 ... Read more »

Ballon d'Or: Ronaldo pilih Benzema

© Provided by Sinar Harian LEGENDA Real Madrid, Ronaldo menyifatkan tonggak Los Blancos, Karim Benzema layak menerima anugerah Ballon d’Or musim ini berdasarkan pencapaian semasa pemain tersebut. “Benzema tanpa keraguan ... Read more »

China's economy is set to slow sharply as it grapples with the Evergrande crisis and weaker domestic demand, Barclays says

© Getty Images Investment in China’s huge property sector is slowing, Barclays said. Getty Images Chinese growth slowed sharply in the third quarter as property investment cooled, Barclays said. The ... Read more »

Putin could miss COP26 climate conference

© Provided by City AM Vladimir Putin has not decided whether to attend the upcoming COP26 climate conference in Glasgow later this month. Russian ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, ... Read more »

These are the best and worst U.S. cities to start a business right now

© Provided by CNBC A sign welcomes travelers to the U.S. state of North Carolina. If you’re looking to launch a new start-up, you might find an ideal home in ... Read more »

Teenager on murder charge after man stabbed to death

© PA 2.63114651.jpg A teenager has been charged with the murder of a man who was stabbed to death on a playing field. Lee Turner, 33, suffered a single stab ... Read more »

One month on, still 'no signs' that La Palma volcanic eruption will end soon

© Luismi Ortiz, UME, AFP There’s no immediate end in sight to the volcanic eruption that has caused chaos on the Spanish isle of La Palma since it began about ... Read more »

It's time for Vera Pauw's talented Ireland squad to make the step forward

© Provided by Extra.ie Just as one of our national senior soccer sides has finally shown tangible signs of progress, the other begins their World Cup qualification campaign in Tallaght ... Read more »

Finishing off rivals through central agencies new policy: Sanjay Raut attacks Centre

© Provided by Hindustan Times Sanjay Raut alleged that Central investigating agencies are working at the behest of the ruling party to finish off political rivals in Maharashtra. (PTI) Shiv ... Read more »

Uttarakhand to Receive Heavy Rain Across State, Schools to Stay Shut, Cities on Alert | 10 Points

© Provided by News18 Uttarakhand to Receive Heavy Rain Across State, Schools to Stay Shut, Cities on Alert | 10 Points The India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday issued a ... Read more »

Cloudburst may have led to latest Kerala disaster, say experts

© Provided by Hindustan Times Flood-hit areas of Kottayam and Pathnamthitta in Kerala on Sunday. (HT PHOTO.) For the last four years Kerala has been witnessing a series of natural disasters. ... Read more »

Security forces blast house with 2 militants inside in J K's Pampore | Watch

Security forces blew up a building in which two militants were hiding in Pampore on Saturday. (Photo: Screengrab) During an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore on Saturday, security forces ... Read more »

Eleven legal rights in India that you must know as an Indian Citizen

© Provided by The Statesman Eleven legal rights in India that you must know as an Indian Citizen Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been victimized, discriminated ... Read more »

Merck COVID-19 pill sparks calls for access for lower income countries

FILE PHOTO: A handout photo of an experimental COVID-19 treatment pill, called molnupiravir and being developed by Merck & Co Inc and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP By Francesco Guarascio and Michael ... Read more »