Labour leader Keir Starmer is planning to change his party’s rules around leadership elections, policy-making and the power base of MPs.
The proposals could see Labour going back to electing leaders through the electoral college system, with the vote being split between MPs, trade unions and grassroots members of Constituency Labour Parties.
This would be in contrast to the ‘one member one vote’ system which helped Jeremy Corbyn be elected, The Mirror has reported.
‘Like Victorian Tories’
The TSSA union said the move is “the sort of thing associated with Victorian Tories”.
Union leaders may instead try to reach a compromise which would see MSPs and councillors have a say too, not just MPs.
Starmer is also intending to raise the threshold needed to deselect MPs from a third of members or affiliates to half of both.
A Labour source told The Mirror that the current system sees MPs spending time “talking to the party rather than voters”.
“Keir is serious about making this an outward facing party – not just talking about it,” the source said.
Starmer is planning to also cut down the number of motions at the party’s conference, a move labelled “anti-democratic”.
He told his shadow cabinet today: “I have said I will make the Labour Party the party of working people, I am determined that the Labour party I lead focuses on the country, on the concerns of voters, so we need party reforms that better connect us with working people re-orient us toward the voters who can take us to power.”
Earlier this year, Labour’s ruling body has banned four far-left factions that were noisy supporters of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
The National Executive Committee (NEC) voted to proscribe Resist and Labour Against the Witchhunt – a group which argues antisemitism allegations against the Corbyn-led party were politically motivated – and Labour in Exile Network, which welcomed suspended members.
Socialist Appeal, a group which describes itself as a Marxist voice within Labour, was also banned. Anyone found to be a member of any of the four groups will be automatically expelled from the Labour Party.
The NEC also voted to overhaul the party’s complaints process, backing a new system which will ensure grievances related to protected characteristics will be independently verified.
In a move to address frustration about the party’s handling of antisemitism allegations – which Keir Starmer pledged to address – a new review panel of independent lawyers will make decisions on complaints, and an independent board will hear appeals against decisions.
Anneliese Dodds, Labour party chair, said: “We are acting decisively to put our house in order and show that Labour is – and always will be – the party of equality.”