Jeremy Corbyn wins control for Labour left over leadership rules

Jeremy Corbyn has made a big move towards securing a far left future for the Labour Party: PA
Jeremy Corbyn has made a big move towards securing a far left future for the Labour Party: PA

The Labour Party will decide at its conference whether to allow future leaders to stand for election with the backing of just 10 per cent of the party's MPs, in one of a series of moves that will hand more power to the party's massively expanded, pro-Corbyn grassroots membership at the expense of its less left-leaning MPs.

The party's National Executive Committee met today and agreed the motion be put before conference, and also agreed to change its own makeup, adding three further places to the committee to be filled by representatives of the wider party membership, as opposed to MPs, trade unions and affiliated organisations.

The measures are expected to be approved by the party conference at the weekend.

A spokesman for Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said:

"Jeremy welcomes the decision of the NEC to back expansion of democracy and participation in the party. Labour's membership has nearly tripled in the last two years - and the enormous benefits of that were felt at the General Election. Our members have the talent, energy and skills to win elections so that we can transform our country for the many not the few.

Jeremy is delighted that the NEC backed plans to tackle discrimination in the party. As the party of equality, there can be no place in Labour for prejudice. Jeremy thanks all those involved with drafting this motion, including the Jewish Labour Movement and Shami Chakrabarti."

Separately, a wider review of party rules and structures proposed by Mr Corbyn, which will include an examination of leadership contests, was also approved unopposed by the NEC.

A party spokesperson said:

"Following today's NEC meeting, Labour will conduct a democracy review to increase participation at all levels of the party so that Labour is strengthened as an outward facing, campaigning, mass party active in every community.

"The NEC also proposed a rule changes to Party Conference which would lower the threshold for future elections for Leader and Deputy Leader to nomination by 10 per cent of MPs and MEPs and increase the representation of members on the NEC by three and affiliated unions by one.

"The NEC also unanimously backed tough new rules on antisemitism, racism homophobia and all other forms of prejudice."

The moves are expected to make it possible for Mr Corbyn, who is 68, to pass the leadership on to a left-leaning successor, who would not ordinarily be able to gain the support of 20 per cent of MPs, as the current rules require.