Theresa May’s fear-driven decision to call a snap General Election has raised hopes among Labour members that it may be an opportunity to deselect damaging, right-wing MPs.
Those hopes require extremely fast action on the part of CLPs (constituency Labour parties), but the reality is that they may be dashed by a Labour rule that may make it impossible to move fast enough in view of the likely election timetable.
Theresa May is putting forward her election bill tomorrow, after which the queen will issue a formal proclamation dissolving Parliament in readiness for the election, although it is not yet clear – as the Fixed Term Parliaments Act has never been tested in this way before – how quickly she will do so.
Deselection of a sitting MP is, according to the Labour rulebook, achieved via the complicated process of a ‘trigger ballot’, which is dealt with in Chapter 5 of the rules. But a single paragraph on page 26 of the 2016 rulebook overrides the whole process if Parliament is dissolved before it can take place:
In other words, if the queen dissolves Parliament very quickly after tomorrow’s vote, then there is no opportunity for Labour members to change poor, right-wing MPs and they’re stuck with the one they’ve got.
Keep a close eye on proceedings tomorrow and, if you want a new MP and the timetable leaves any kind of window for it, be prepared to move very quickly indeed.
The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please do click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.