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Leadership election rules still need changing

Labour Party Rule Book 2010The fact that enough arms were twisted to get Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham (but sadly not John McDonnell) on the ballot paper for Labour’s leadership shouldn’t mean we all forget about the rules for another ten or twelve years – until the next vacancy. It shouldn’t have to happen like this.  Labour’s NEC should put down a rule change to lower the threshold to 5% in future elections when there is a vacancy.

Personally, I’d argue that it should be a threshold of the entire college not just MPs because I don’t see why anyone with significant support shouldn’t be allowed to contest the election.  This is even more important when there isn’t a vacancy. Do we ever wish to see again a stream of disgruntled former Labour Ministers running campaign after campaign to undermine an elected leader, including on the very eve of an election? Changing the party rules so that any challenge required the support of 20% of the electoral college would help prevent such damaging escapades in the future. And sending out nomination papers every year, like the rule book requires but Tony Blair decided against, would ensure that any tests of confidence in the leadership would come just once a year rather than anytime.

Make your views known to your NEC representatives here.

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