Sadiq Khan refuses to back Keir Starmer's proposed rule changes
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Several attendees at a Friday afternoon Labour meeting shared their outrage after Keir Starmer suggested a massive inner-party change of rules. The leader wanted to scrap “one member, one vote” for leadership elections and bring in an electoral college system whereby MPs and unions would hold most of the power.
In doing so, a certain section of the party like the right-wing members would suddenly have had more power in the decision making.
Although they have minority support within the membership, they do benefit from a major caucus among MPs in the parliamentary party.
The new rules project was considered “an attack on democracy” by Gaya Sriskanthan, co-chair of left-wing campaign group Momentum.
“This delay has been won by the grassroots members who have taken action to organise their delegates, lobby their unions, and mobilise ahead of the conference,” she said.
“But it’s not over yet. We have to keep up the pressure to make sure this rule change, and all the other regressive changes concocted by the leadership, get comprehensively rejected.”
One insider told the online Labour List that a meeting of the Trade Union and Labour Party Liaison Organisation with Starmer had been a “car crash.”
Even those who are usually allies of Sir Keir Starmer allegedly refused the new policy proposal.
This setback arrives hours just before the Labour Annual Conference scheduled to start this Saturday in Brighton until Wednesday 29.
Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn released a statement after the meeting and suggested that the new management wanted to avoid some discussions.
“I know our trade unions and members have developed these policies, but the signs are that the party leadership wants to try to shut down debate, sideline the members and trade unions, with the end result that Labour props up rather than challenges our broken political and economic system.”
Corbyn, who will attend the summit in Brighton, said he expects debates on more serious matters than inner rules.
“At the conference, I hope to hear how Labour will bring in a wealth tax to fund a national care service like the NHS, will take the radical action needed to decarbonise by 2030, stand against the drumbeat of a new Cold War, and will rein in the runaway wealth and power of a tiny elite.”
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The NEC will meet again on Saturday morning, and Sir Keir’s allies hope they will have agreed on something concrete with union chiefs in advance that they can bring to the conference.
The party’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has also recently stepped on Mr Starmer’s toes as she said she would “definitely would not say no” to becoming party leader.
“If I felt it was the right thing to do for the party and the right thing for the country, then I would step up and do it,” she told The Times’ Saturday magazine.
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