Labour MPs could face a lower threshold for deselection after the party’s ruling body backed rule changes to make it easier for constituency parties to challenge incumbents.
At present MPs face a trigger ballot — which could force them to step down — if a majority of members from both local branches and unions back it. Under the reforms endorsed last night by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), which will be put to a vote at the party’s conference in Liverpool, the support of only a third of local members and unions will be needed.
While falling short of the mandatory reselection called for by some supporters, the shift makes it easier for local constituencies to sack MPs.
Labour conference: deselecting MPs to be made easier
Labour’s annual conference has voted to make it easier for local party members to deselect sitting MPs.
Until now, Labour MPs only faced a reselection contest if 50% of a constituency’s local branches and affiliated unions voted for it in a so-called “trigger ballot”.
Delegates in Liverpool voted for that threshold to be reduced to 33%.
The deselection campaign is seen by some Labour MPs as an attempt to “purge” critics of Jeremy Corbyn.
Labour members in open revolt at union-backed party rule changes
Anger on conference floor about watered-down proposals for reforming MP selections and leadership contests
Labour members were in open revolt against trade union-backed reforms to the party on Sunday, with many expressing anger on the conference floor about watered-down proposals for reforming MP selections and leadership contests.
The controversial rule changes, proposed by Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC), would make it considerably easier for local members to deselect their sitting MP by reforming the so-called trigger ballot system.
However, they do not go as far as mandatory reselection, which many members had wanted.
Trade unions also backed reforms to Labour leadership contests that were opposed by many rank-and-file members who argued they gave members even less of a say than the existing system.
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