Is there really a ‘secret vote’ option to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of a Labour leader election?

Leader: Jeremy Corbyn.

Leader: Jeremy Corbyn.


Or at least, if Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee votes in secret on whether Mr Corbyn can be excluded from a leadership ballot, it seems unlikely the decision would carry any constitutional weight.

The New Statesman‘s political editor, George Eaton, tweeted earlier this evening (Sunday) that “Labour NEC members tell me they think they can keep Corbyn off the ballot – if vote is secret.”

But a quick flick through the Labour Party’s rule book reveals no information about conditions in which the NEC is permitted to carry out a secret vote. I’m prepared to be corrected on this but it seems that, in a matter of this importance, every member of that organisation should be held accountable for his or her decision.

You see, when they vote on such matters, they aren’t voting as individuals but as representatives of every member of the Labour Party – they are voting on members’ behalf – and they are voting on the rules by which all members must abide. Responsible members must judge their performance by their decisions – and can’t do that without transparency.

Otherwise, for all we know, these people may say one thing in public and do something completely different in private, in the knowledge that they cannot be held accountable for their actions. If they want to behave like that, they should have joined the Parliamentary Labour Party, of course.

Branches, CLPs, the PLP, the EPLP, and trade unions all have elected officials who vote in public at all levels to ensure accountability.

So what possible reason could NEC members put forward that is strong enough to persuade the Labour Party at large to let them keep the vote secret?


Mr Eaton has not provided any information about which NEC members made that suggestion, even though This Writer – among others – has asked him for such confirmation. As a journalist, he doesn’t have to name his sources – but of course that leaves the rest of us free to interpret this as a stunt to create fear and distrust of the NEC among supporters of Mr Corbyn.

But now it is more likely to create distrust of George Eaton.


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8 thoughts on “Is there really a ‘secret vote’ option to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of a Labour leader election?

  1. tim

    These vermins will try everything and anything to get Corbyn out because he exposes them too much, he is opening the door wild for us to see how these rats after coming out of their holes are now fighting even their own electorat for the same reasons as the tories (power and money).
    Ithink Corbyn is better to take the party members with the voters and create a new party outside Westminster dodgy parliament. After all the PLP is only a constitution.
    It is time for the 172 MPs to remind them about democracy meaning.
    Demos=people Cratos=power
    Democracy=power to the people.

  2. David Woods

    What will these people do if Corbyn is refused leave to stand and 100,000+ Labour members stand and leave!

  3. NMac

    It seems that certain Labour MPs have absolutely no respect for the Party or its membership.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Well, that goes to show how undemocratic you are. I’m glad you’re not an MP.

  4. Dez

    Not the sort of politics I would like to see in action…secret voting….clandestine wheelin ‘n dealing….lemming type followers. All these defectors are actually acting for a popultion of labour voters that they now completely disrespect and ignore these labour voters having performed their only duty of voting labour at the election are now totally ignored by these same elected MPs as if non existant..

    1. tim

      If this vote is to disregard Corbyn, the Labour party will stop to fonction as a party and Corbyn is better to create a new party with the party members and the voters as he will gain and keep a large part of the population behind him
      The PLP is only a constitution..
      Already there are rumours than some labour MPs are discussing with some tory MPs and lib/dem members to create a new party if Corbyn is on the ballot paper and if he wins.
      People will see the injustice like if Ussein Bolt the actual leader of the 100 meters is not going to participate in Rio because he is chalenged by other runners.

Comments are closed.