Keir Starmer faces defeat over Labour rule changes after frosty reception from unions

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Keir Starmer faces the prospect of defeat over his plans to change Labor leadership election rules after failing to secure the backing of trade unions at a crucial meeting.

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A rejection or U-turn on controversial plans would be a major blow to Sir Keir’s authority ahead of his first personal party conference in charge, which is due to start in Brighton over the weekend. Critics of the leader have even raised the possibility of electing a new leadership if he goes ahead with them.

The Labor leader met with union chiefs at the party’s trade union liaison committee on Wednesday and was hoping to secure his vote for changes to Labor’s national executive committee and convention next week.


but Granthshala Realizing that all the unions in the room were either hesitating or outright opposed to the rule change, Sir Keir had the option of either deferring the changes or putting pressure ahead of potentially losing the vote.

Under the proposals, outlined yesterday, Labor would abandon the one-member-one-vote system introduced by Ed Miliband in 2014 – under which Sir Keir and his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn were elected.

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Instead, the party would revert to an electoral college system in which Labor MPs had a 199 vote share equal to its entire 430,000-strong membership.

Critics say the move is “angry” and a factional ploy to oust the party by concentrating power in the hands of MPs, but Sir Keir’s aides say MPs’ votes are counted higher than ordinary members. should be more.

Yet sources familiar with the meeting say Sir Keir failed to garner the cast-iron support from liberal-led unions such as the USDAW and the Community, Labor Right’s traditional allies, which he would need to pass the changes.

A major union, the GMB, did not attend the gathering, although its position is still up in the air. It is understood that Secretary General Gary Smith could not attend as he had already planned to meet with members in Yorkshire. A GMB source said: “He is very member-first.”

Some union chiefs are said to have been particularly displeased at the last minute rule changes spilling over them, while a source in the Labor Left called the Electoral College plan after the meeting, despite assurances from the leader’s office and unions. Said “dead”. That discussion will continue.

Former Labor shadow chancellor John McDonnell, a prominent figure on the party’s left, said Sir Keir should hold a leadership contest on the proposals if he wants them to go ahead.

“If he wants to move on, he should honestly go back to the people who chose him in the first place and say this is what I didn’t tell you. That’s what I want to do.”

“And yes, that means a leadership election, why not? If he feels so strongly about it,” he said Northern Agenda Podcast.

In a joint statement by the Labor Party and Asleaf’s Mick Whelan, the committee’s chairman said: “Keir Starmer and Labor’s allied trade union leaders held a positive meeting this afternoon to discuss the rule change that the Labor leaders will meet at the Brighton Conference. want to bring in.

“There was a broad consensus on the re-focusing of the Labor Party on the country and the concerns of the working people. Discussions will continue.”

Sir Keir’s plan to strip members of the equal vote for leader has been strongly opposed by the party’s left-wing lawmakers, with veteran MP John Trickett saying on Tuesday that any such move was a “wrongly backward step that should be dismissed”. must be given”.

The resolutions would need to be approved by the party’s ruling National Executive Committee at a scheduled meeting on Friday evening to be passed. Sir Keir usually has a majority on the committee for most of the business, but relies on the support of liberal-led unions, which are not convinced of the plan.


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