The SKWAWKBOX has already covered the recent decision by Labour’s Welsh Executive Council (WEC) to prevent its members having the same democratic rights over the selection of candidates in six key marginal seats that the party intends to take in the next General Election.
Now news has emerged that Welsh Labour intends to extend the disenfranchisement of its members to every seat where the party currently has a Westminster MP.
Labour Party rules allow local members and affiliates to intiate a ‘trigger ballot’ when there is a General Election, triggering a selection process that can replace an incumbent MP. The incumbent MP always has the right to be on the shortlist, but members/branches are free to select another candidate if they wish. The process is not easy, but it is possible.
However, Welsh Labour also plans to neutralise that process.
In the June election, Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) suspended the trigger ballot process, confirming every incumbent MP as a candidate in the election who wanted to stand, on the grounds that there was not enough time for a series of trigger ballots across the country.
The NEC promised that this would not be repeated, but Welsh Labour plans to do exactly that – pre-emptively, by arranging now, with no time-pressure in play, that all its twenty-eight existing MPs have been confirmed in place for the next General Election, whenever it is.
In a consultation paper on selections, presented to the WEC last month but to be confirmed at its next meeting on 9 September, the WEC outlines its plan:
Remember that the national party’s rules confirm members’ right to conduct a trigger ballot:
This provision of the party’s national rule-book is being put out of reach of members in Wales.
Many Welsh Labour members are frustrated at what they perceive to be right-wing control of their national party – a situation they would like to rectify. Depriving them of their rights under the rules is unlikely to improve that.
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