NEC chooses 10+(5 or 5) leader nomination criteria

jc os 2016.png
Jeremy Corbyn congratuled by loser Owen Smith after the 2016 leadership contest

Labour’s NEC has backed a change to the nomination threshold for future leadership contests. Future would-be candidates will need nominations by ten percent of MPs – MEPs will no longer be a factor post-Brexit.

In addition, they will require support from either five percent of affiliated unions or five percent of Labour CLPs.

Its critics have claimed this will rule left-wing candidates out of future contests, but this is an exaggeration. The strongest left candidates will not struggle to achieve the twenty-six MP nominations required based on the current number of Labour MPs, especially with unions ready to lean on MPs who are members of their parliamentary group – all Labour MPs are required to be union members.

The leadership nominations by unions show that a good left candidate can easily have the backing of the unions, who in turn would use their influence on the MP members – and support a left candidate’s campaign:

union noms

The alternative system of requiring nominations by all groups – 10% of MPs and 5% of unions and 5% of CLPs was not selected and had been widely criticised as too high a bar for left candidates. However, in practice it would have given members and unions a stronger voice – and an effective veto on the right’s preferred candidates.

Tom Watson, for example, did not receive a single union nomination for deputy leader in 2015.

This is a change that members and the NEC should push in future.

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  1. Why should candidates need as much as 10% of MPs to nominate them in order to stand?

    It is time we weaned ourselves off the idea that our MPs – who ought to be seen as merely our public relations people – should wield so much political power within the Party.

    We are supposed to be the Party of equality for goodness’ sake. So why should they have so much power as against that of the ordinary member?

    It is this element of the nominations requirements which ought to be changed. It is an elitist veto.

  2. This isn’t perfect.

    However-do some maths, folks. A new Jez today would probably have 40-50 out of 259 MP’s minimum ready to nominate them;so, under the new rules, they’d comfortably pass the threshold.

    5% of CLP’s? 650 seats, one-twentieth is therefore only 33 CLP’s to carry, in addition.

    Are you seriously telling me we on the left can’t get a candidate on any future leadership election on those terms?

  3. I still see no reason why MPs’ votes should be worth two of party members or trade union members.

  4. Corbyn needed 36 nominations for the first leadership contest and only just got them. That total included some New Labour MPs who nominated Corbyn just to widen the choice to include the left. But they might well not do that next time, and the pressure on Labour MPs to not nominate the left winger from New Labour MPs would be huge.
    I worry that 26 MPs might be a big ask, at least until Labour MPs become more representative of the views of the membership.
    Once the PLP becomes less right wing, 26 nominations should be no trouble for a left winger. Open selection would have speeded that rebalancing process up considerably.

  5. This proposal though better than what was originally proposed is still wrong.
    Why should 2-300 people have the power to reject a leadership candidate who may well be preferred by the other 500,000 or so members before even one vote is cast?
    It’s obviously fundamentally undemocratic and no amount of sophistry can make it democratic.
    e.g. Claiming that it’s OK as Jeremy Corbyn would have met this new criteria is invalid as MPs, being such a small number of known people, are easy to “lean on” (and would be!) to ensure they do not choose the “wrong” candidate under the NEC proposal.
    Personally I can’t see why MPs can’t self-nominate but that is apparently too complicated for some.

  6. I’m so glad the public didn’t fall for Tony Blair 2: The Revenge (Owen – I’m from a coal mining heritage and I roll my shirt sleeves up comrade –

  7. I’m a member of the Labour Party who joined due to the weakness of the party that lost the GE under Ed Miliband. The, in general, naivety of the left wing that I found when I became involved in politics is so difficult to cope with. There is a similar disability in the environment world at the level of scientists. In both spheres the destructive greed of the right just ploughs on – possibly surprised at the lack of resistance to their grabs but that’s fine as far as they are concerned.
    So as said, essentially, who do MPs think they are ? They should have no say as to who the membership want as leader. As iamcrawford pointed out – (MPs) are easy to “lean on” (and would be!) to ensure they do not choose the “wrong” candidate . Look at the antics of Smeeth, Hodges, OSmith, Berger, Umunna, Mann, ILucas and many others and question what sort of leader they want.

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