And he’s right. This Writer has written to NEC chiefs calling for a rethink, too.
Mr McDonnell goes on to say that the huge increase in membership should be a cause for rejoicing, not for restriction, and he’s right about that as well.
My own Labour branch has increased its membership to around five times its original number, thanks to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader. The actions of the NEC mean some of those people might decide to drift away again.
That’s not good management.
John McDonnell has accused members of Labour’s national executive committee of attempting to rig the leadership contest by changing the rules to prevent more than 130,000 new members from voting.
The shadow chancellor, one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies, said there was “widespread concern and anger” about the decision that only people who had joined the party before January this year could participate in the forthcoming leadership contest.
Speaking to the Guardian, he added: “And the decision to increase the fee to become a registered supporter from £3 last year to £25 this year – and to leave just 48 hours in which to sign up – both discriminates against the low waged, unemployed, students and the elderly and is an affront to Labour values.
“These decisions, taken by Labour’s national executive committee [NEC] this week, will be widely seen at best as turning our back on an open participatory party democracy, and at worst as an attempt to gerrymander and rig the leadership election.”
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