Leader and deputy leader opt out of tricky meeting
Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner are both missing from a key meeting of Labour’s national executive (NEC) today, where NEC members will vote on a number of key, prickly motions.
The NEC today will debate and vote on a motion to restore the whip to Jeremy Corbyn, another against the retrospective punishment of Labour members for actions that were permissible under the rules at the time they were done – and a contentious change to impose a spending cap on the funds unions can put in to promoting their preferred prospective candidates in parliamentary selections.
No official reason is known for their absence. Are they trying to distance themselves from the results of votes they might lose – or have agreements been reached with right-wing unions that will secure what Starmer wants? Anyone’s guess until the results are known.
The union vote is seen as being targeted specifically at Unite, an attempt to rule out potential left candidates that union – and its spending power – might back. If the unions agree to defeat it, they can – but some other unions may be happy enough to see Unite’s power reduced as long as their own influence is maintained, even though they would be foolish in the extreme to trust Starmer not to target them in turn whenever it suits his handlers.
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