Welsh Gov minister slams move to change Labour leadership election rules
A Welsh Government minister has slammed a move to change Labour’s leadership election rules.
Hannah Blythyn, the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership, has branded it “backwards” and “self-indulgent”.
She was responding to a report in LabourList which said party insiders who are supportive of Keir Starmer’s leadership are making the case for changing the internal election rules ahead of the upcoming party conference.
According to the article, they see this as an opportunity to “limit” the power of supporters of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Under current rules the vote of every party member carries equal weight in a leadership election. The system is called One Member One Vote (OMOV). This is also the system that is used in Welsh Labour leadership elections.
But it is being proposed that UK Labour return to the Electoral College. This would see leaders being elected via a college: one third MPs, one third affiliates, one third members.
Critics of this system argue that it is anti-democratic because the votes of ordinary party members carry less weight than that of MPs, and because it gives the unions and party affiliates too much power.
Hannah Blythyn, who is the MS for Delyn, said: “A backwards, self-indulgent step regurgitating old and outdated arguments. Surely the focus should be on the very real challenges facing workers, communities and the economy as we recover from the pandemic?
Former Welsh Government minister and MS for Blaenau Gwent Alun Davies has also slammed the move: “Just to say that I completely oppose any return to the discredited electoral college. One member. One vote.”
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has also come out clearly against the plan, which she described as “unfair, undemocratic and a backwards step for our party” and urged them to “publicly make clear that they do not support this proposal”.