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What a difference a year makes!

This time last year, we were all buzzing with indignation after 2016 Labour Party Conference chair Paddy Lillis waved through a change to the composition of the party’s ruling National Executive Committee that deprived Jeremy Corbyn of his democratically-achieved left-wing majority.

This Writer pushed a motion through my local Constituency Labour Party (CLP), calling for the vote to be annulled as it was unconstitutional – but the (new) NEC failed to do anything other than note the objection.

This year, party members agreed, by a monstrous proportion of 98.9 per cent in favour to only 1.1 per cent against, to add three extra CLP members to the NEC, along with one extra trade union member.

Usdaw will take the additional union seat, but not until the three new CLP members have been elected.

And that’s not all – conference delegates have also agreed to reduce the percentage of elected MPs and MEPs who must register to support a candidate before they can stand for leadership of the Labour Party.

In line with a recommendation from the NEC, candidates need the support of 10 per cent of their colleagues before they make seek the support of the wider party membership.

It is believed the change will make it easier for left-wing candidates to be nominated for the leadership, among a Parliamentary party that is still dominated by the Right.

Labour Party democracy still seemed far away last year – but the members are firmly in control now.


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