#AceNewsReport – Sept.27: The changes give MPs more of a say in choosing its future leaders and make it harder for members to deselect MPs.
#AceDailyNews says BBC reports that Labour backs Sir Keir Starmer over party rules reforms and left-wing Momentum group called these changes a “self-inflicted blow to democracy in our party”.
By Justin Parkinson
Political reporter, BBC News
He also backed setting up an independent complaints process for claims of racism, following the controversy over anti-Semitism.……..Sir Keir said: “This is a decisive and important day in the history of the Labour Party.I promised to tackle anti-Semitism in our party. We’ve now closed the door on a shameful chapter in our history.” The reforms followed an afternoon of impassioned debate at the Brighton Centre.
Sir Keir called the changes a “major step” towards Labour winning a general election, having lost four in a row: His party-rule changes mean that, in future, leadership candidates will need the support of 20% of Labour MPs – rather than the current 10% – to get on to a party-wide ballot: They also make it harder for local parties to deselect sitting MPs, while the rule allowing “registered supporters”, who pay a one-off fee to vote in leadership elections, is scrapped……….
Opposing these plans, James McAsh, from Camberwell and Peckham, south London, told Labour delegates the higher MPs’ support threshold for leadership candidates would make contests “maler and staler” and prevent “informed debate”.
Agnes Tolmie, of the Unite union, said: “Most people out there do not understand [the plans] and are not interested in them. They want to know what we are doing for them.”
But there were also heartfelt speeches in favour of Sir Keir’s plans, with supporters arguing they would allow the party to become less inward-looking and focus on winning elections.
Helena Dollimore, a councillor in Mitcham, south London, said: “We are at our best as a Labour movement when we are out in our communities, listening to residents and getting stuff done.”
She added: “I was at primary school the last time Labour won an election and I don’t want to be drawing my pension the next time.”
Shabana Mahmood, MP for Birmingham Small Heath, argued: “If you can’t persuade 20% of your Parliamentary colleagues to back you, you will struggle to persuade the people of this country to make you their prime minister.”
On Friday, Sir Keir was forced to drop more thorough constitutional reform proposals – including the replacement of the one-member-one-vote system for choosing leaders with more say for MPs and unions – amid widespread opposition from the party’s left wing.
The Labour conference also backed creating an independent complaints process to tackle racism, as recommended by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in its report last year saying the party was not doing enough to tackle anti-Semitism.
Mike Katz, national chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, said: “Passing this rule change is a moral, legal and political imperative for Labour.”……Many party members spoke in favour, including Susan Teddern, from Hove, whose father survived a World War Two concentration camp……..She said it was “vital to have an independent process, so people believe there is real change”.
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#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Sept.27: 2021:
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