Hours before the Labour Party’s annual conference, Party leader Keir Starmer has ditched plans to overhaul Labour’s rulebook which sought to alter the way future leaders are elected, SurgeZirc UK can confirm.
The announcement comes on the heels of a car crash involving Starmer on his way to a meeting with union chiefs on Friday afternoon.
The Party leader was looking to rewrite the regulations for his party’s internal elections, a move that was heavily criticised as an attempt to “gerrymander” future leadership elections to the disadvantage of the left.
According to a senior source, the proposal to return to the electoral college system, which would have given MPs a bigger role in leadership contests has been jettisoned. The source said that Sir Keir will come forward with different changes to party conference.
It remains foggy at this time what alternative changes to Labour’s rulebook Sir Keir is pursuing, even though it is predicted that there could be an attempt to increase the number of MPs’ nominations threshold a potential leadership candidate must reach before entering the contest.
Labour’s governing arm, The National Executive Committee (NEC) will meet again on Saturday morning to deliberate on pressing concerns.
Angela Rayner, Labour’s deputy leader, who had openly kicked against Starmer’s rule change, speaking on BBC Radio today said: “My understanding is the electoral college is not coming to the NEC so therefore that wouldn’t be [voted on]”.
Reacting to a question on whether the proposed changes were on or off, Rayner said: “Conference is a time where we discuss things like rules… these are things that conference does every year, year upon year.”
Mish Rahman, a member of Labour’s NEC, threw sharp rants at Starmer, accusing him of attempting to rig democracy: “The central measure of Keir Starmer’s attack on democracy has comprehensively failed.”
“The electoral college is dead. Now to make sure all the other regressive rule changes concocted by the leadership share the same fate. From trigger ballot changes to increases in the MP nomination threshold ahead, they all need to go in the bin.
“Starmer won’t stop trying to rig democracy, so we can’t stop defending it.”
Sequel to Friday’s meeting, Unison, the country’s biggest union, expressed its repudiation against the plan after several of its of members on its Labour Link committee, which regulates its relationship with the party, released a statement rejecting the rule change.
Starmer could have had a majority on the party’s NEC if he was able to secure the backing of moderate-led trade unions, but has reportedly failed to win them over for the proposals on this occasion.
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