The Labour Party has delayed its announcement of the result of its elections to the party’s National Executive Committee by approximately five hours – to give it time to remove more votes cast by left-wingers.
The result was due at lunchtime today but has been delayed by five hours or so and the party has confirmed to the BBC that this is to allow it more time to disqualify votes cast by members who qualified to vote but subsequently resigned:
Labour has decided that votes cast by those who subsequently resigned are invalid, but two things are clear:
- there is nothing in the rules of the contest stating that those casting votes must still be members by the date of the result for their vote to count
- all or almost all of those quitting since the ballot opened are on the left of the party either out of disgust as Starmer’s lurch to the right or over the suspension of Jeremy Corbyn
Labour’s hierarchy also switched the voting method of the contest to ‘single transferable vote’ for these elections, guaranteeing the Labour right a number of seats that the faction’s numbers would not normally allow it to achieve. There is considerable suspicion among the left that the latest manoeuvres reflect an attempt to ensure that left candidates do not outperform the right’s hopes.
If there is any suggestion that the vote cull has influenced the final results, a legal challenge is expected – and rightly so.
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