Isn’t it interesting that the number of Labour MPs who voted for the return of shadow cabinet elections is almost exactly the same as the number who said they had ‘no confidence’ in Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, in June?
Perhaps they think they will be able to kill off his leadership by voting anti-Corbyn MPs into key shadow positions and tripping him up from the inside – a move that would undoubtedly cripple Labour electorally; that would be the public reaction.
But – as always with plans by the rebels in the Parliamentary Labour Party, there is a “but” – it seems they haven’t reckoned on their own system.
The plan would have to be approved by the National Executive Committee and by delegates at the national conference later this month – and rank-and-file members in the constituencies will be outraged if those delegates deny them a voice in any such elections.
This is another bid by Labour MPs to claim some kind of hierarchical superiority over the membership, contrary to the party’s ideals.
If they want elections to the shadow cabinet, that’s fine.
But all party members should take part.
Labour MPs have approved a plan for shadow cabinet elections which would let them choose Jeremy Corbyn ‘s top team if he wins.
Westminster members voted by a landslide 169-34 tonight to bring back the direct votes Ed Miliband scrapped in 2011.
Turnout was 88% and there was one spoilt ballot.
MP Clive Betts, who put the plan to a vote, said it would heal wounds by forcing factions of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) to work together.
But the vote is not binding. To pass it will have to be selected for discussion by the ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), put to a vote at Labour’s conference later this month, and approved by delegates there.
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