When Theresa May called her fateful ‘snap general election’ in April last year, Labour members were robbed of the opportunity to change their MP or candidate that the party’s rules allowed them.
In spite of its left-wing leadership and membership, the party was still labouring under its old general secretary, a National Executive Committee still dominated by right-wingers – and a staff at its ‘Southside’ HQ so right-wing that the entry passes of Jeremy Corbyn and his team were cancelled on election night in ill-judged anticipation of an electoral disaster.
This right-dominated structure decided that, because of the short time from the calling of the election until voting day, local parties would be given no choice: incumbent MPs who wanted to stay on would do so automatically, while unsuccessful 2015 candidates would stand again. Only parties with no continuing incumbent would have the chance to choose a candidate. It outraged huge numbers of Labour members who wanted change.
There will be no such repeat at the next general election. New selection rules make it far easier for members to demand a full selection, with no opportunity for others to prevent it.
And, as the SKWAWKBOX can exclusively reveal, Labour’s HQ is making urgent plans to ensure that selection processes can take place in readiness for another snap election being forced on the Tories by the collapse of their Brexit plans.
A senior party insider told the SKWAWKBOX:
We’re already working on it – there could be literally just a few days but it’s not impossible. Organising so many in a short time won’t be easy, but we’re working on it.
Last year’s decision to deprive members of their right to choose was unacceptable opportunism by a party machine still dominated at that time by the right. But Labour promised it would not happen again.
It seems the party is staying true to its word – and that Labour believes a new snap general election is a concrete possibility.
Small wonder that so many deeply-unpopular, so-called ‘moderate’ Labour MPs have responded to Theresa May’s latest disaster by claiming there’s no point in having a new general election.
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