Shadow cabinet elections plan is approved by MPs – but members must have a vote

Tom Watson has no reason to smile - any elections to the shadow cabinet should offer equality of opportunity, meaning every Labour Party member should be allowed to vote in them [Image: PA].

Tom Watson has no reason to smile – any elections to the shadow cabinet should offer equality of opportunity, meaning every Labour Party member should be allowed to vote in them [Image: PA].

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.

Source: Labour MPs approve shadow cabinet elections plan that would let them choose Jeremy Corbyn’s top team – Mirror Online


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13 thoughts on “Shadow cabinet elections plan is approved by MPs – but members must have a vote

  1. Phil Woodford

    Isn’t it funny how the number of MPs opposing the idea of elections represents Jez’s core support in Parliament. They don’t like the idea of it. But when Ed Miliband abolished the elections in 2011, John McDonnell was interviewed opposing the move! You couldn’t make it up.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It’s an interesting correlation in numbers, which I mentioned.
      But for all you know, John McDonnell supported the change.
      You’re right – I couldn’t make it up.
      But you seem to be happy to do so.

  2. casalealex

    All eyes will now be on the Conference, to which the majority of the PLP is laughing all the way!

    However, this is the opportunity for delegates, (mainly ordinary party members who should have a mandate from their CLPs), to scupper this outrageous plot to inhibit the Leader’s policies and totally ignore the wishes of our members.

    If the damage already done to our Party, by self serving MPs, escalates with these so-called “healing the party’ reprobates getting their way, then forget about a Labour government, as they have consistently approved many of the infamous policies of the Tories.

  3. rdlangman

    It is equally important to let the millions who vote Labour to “have their say” and they can only do that through their Labour MP (or the nearest one). Surely it is undemocratic to buy a vote.
    Therefore this is why MPs should have the right to chose the PLP ministerial appointments.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Who would be buying a vote? Do you mean members would be buying a vote through their subscriptions?
      MPs pay more to the party than rank-and-file members (because they owe their jobs to their part memberships). Aren’t they therefore buying a vote as well, by your definition?
      Your suggestion seems like a red herring to me, and doesn’t explain why MPs should have any more influence than the rest of the party.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        I’m binning it now.
        As I have told readers, time and time again, this site is moderated. If you post a comment, wait patiently and it will probably appear (unless it breaches any of the house rules).
        One of the house rules is that you don’t pester me about what happened to your comment, because all you are doing is wasting time that could be spent actually moderating said comment.

  4. D Cross

    Well, this seems like a really bad idea to me. I simply do not feel as though I can trust Labour at all. I’ve supported them for nearly 25 years and with each passing year, I question why I bother to support them at all. Once they have removed democracy from the members, they will then remove the power of leadership from the leader.

    Labour just want to create an illusion of opposition and sit on the wrong side of the house until the end of time. They could have done so much in the past year, but they’ve wilfully let the Tories get away with murder.

  5. Nicholas

    How many delegates have we got compared to theirs? The right is a minority but as far as I can see being implied, it’s well-organised, or it it?

Comments are closed.