Ken Livingstone said he was happy with the influence Momentum had over Labour [Image: Roger Askew/Rex/Shutterstock].

He’s right – for reasons discussed on This Site previously.

It is interesting that he is saying the 15 per cent rule had been brought in by right-wing Labour and has been used to deny positions of authority to left-wingers.

Perhaps we should all bear that in mind when people like Tom Watson talk about left-wing conspiracies to take over the party. Who were the original conspirators?

Ken Livingstone, the former Labour mayor of London, has said the grassroots group Momentum should be free to push for changes to Labour party structures that would secure Jeremy Corbyn’s legacy as a leftwing Labour leader.

“I just find it bizarre because what Momentum wants to do is go back to the rules the Labour party had for 90 years when there’s a leadership election, someone from the left can stand,” he said. “We never had this nonsense that you have to get 15% of Labour MPs to nominate you.”

Livingstone said he was happy with the influence of Momentum on the Labour party. “Don’t try and block Momentum wanting to go back to the rules we had, that allow a leadership election to be open,” he said.

“It would be ridiculous to keep a rule that means if Jeremy Corbyn was run over by a bus tomorrow we wouldn’t be able to have a leftwing candidate stand. They wouldn’t get the 15% of MPs. In America, anyone can run for president, they don’t have to get the 15% of members of Congress.”

Livingstone said the unpopularity of Labour in recent polls, currently about 19 points behind the Conservatives, was “not Jeremy’s fault, it’s people who undermined him for the last 18 months” and said the parliamentary party had “skewed to the right” under Tony Blair.

“Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t give in to this sort of pressure. He’s been consistent and however much the press ramp it up, or he’s stabbed in the back by Labour MPs, he’s not going to change what he believes or the direction he’s taking,” Livingstone said. “We now have to focus on getting a good economic strategy out there that can win the next general election.”

Source: Ken Livingstone tells Labour: don’t lose Momentum party plans | Politics | The Guardian

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