MPs hope to exploit little known provision in their standing orders
Right-wing MPs in the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) intend to try to use a little-known clause in their standing orders to override the party’s disciplinary process, in their eagerness to continue their attack on reinstated Derby North MP Chris Williamson.
The clause reportedly allows PLP members to vote for the withdrawal of the whip by a simple majority.
The plan is for the vote to be taken at the next weekly PLP meeting. However, if Williamson or any other MP objects to the use of the standing orders for such a purpose, any vote could be delayed indefinitely. Labour rules state that any disputed application of PLP standing orders is decided not by the PLP chair, but by the party’s National Executive Committee:
The hypocrisy among those planning to try to exploit the standing orders to circumvent the party’s disciplinary processes ought to be astonishing. Many of those same MPs have been loud in objecting to ‘political interference’ in disciplinary matters when they were alleged by the Times and other right-wing media against the party’s leadership.
Sadly, it’s not even surprising, let alone astonishing. Clearly a hard-core of right-wing MPs are more than prepared to call for independent adjudication of complaints – and then exploit every loophole to bypass such adjudications when they don’t yield the desired result.
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