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Jeremy Corbyn struggled to secure enough nominations to get on to the membership ballot in 2015 [Image: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock].

Listening to the discussion of this on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme, you could have been forgiven for thinking it was a plan to send all Labour right-wingers and so-called “moderates” to a gulag in Siberia.

In fact, it is almost the exact opposite – an attempt to end the stranglehold of the same so-called “moderates” on the reins of power in the Labour Party.

Jeremy Corbyn’s arrival as party leader resulted in a massive – and continuing – increase in party membership, and those new members all wanted a say in the party’s policies.

But the so-called “moderates” have been doing their best to stifle any such changes – not least with the fact that their majority in the Parliamentary Labour Party means they can control who gets to stand in any future leadership election.

The compromise plan to reduce the percentage of supporting MPs needed to put a candidate on the ballot paper is welcome, but it is disappointing that members themselves will not be asked for their opinions on who is suitable.

Grassroots members should not be forced to choose a leader from MPs’ choices, but from a group selected by the entire Labour Party. That’s democracy.

It’s what the Labour Party wants, and anybody trying to block it should be aware that they are putting their own political career on the line.

Labour’s national executive committee is poised to agree to a rule change that will make it easier for another leftwing candidate to run for the party leadership after Jeremy Corbyn.

Sources said the party’s ruling body was ready to accept a compromise deal on the so-called McDonnell amendment, named after the shadow chancellor, who is in favour of reducing the number of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate.

The NEC will vote on the idea of reducing the threshold from 15% of MPs and MEPs to 10% in order to select candidates to be placed on a ballot for members.

That would open up a future leadership race to a significant number of new potential candidates, who may have struggled under the current rules, but does not go as far as the 5% demanded by some activists.

When Corbyn stood for the party leadership in 2015 he struggled to secure enough nominations, and only made it through to the membership ballot because some MPs said they would second him even though they were not his supporters.

Source: Labour set to ease path for leftwing Corbyn successor | Politics | The Guardian


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