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Welsh Gov minister slams move to change Labour leadership election rules

21 Sep 2021 2 minute read
Hannah Blythyn. National Assembly for Wales

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Hannah Blythyn, who is the MS for Delyn, said: “A backwards, self-indulgent step regurgitating old and outdated arguments.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”.

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2 years ago

Ooooh did they get that one from the Tory playbook – if you can’t win an election, try and rig it! And yeah, the electoral college works so well for America doesn’t it.

2 years ago

anti democratic probably best describes it. Starmer obviously thinks he’s lost the rank and file and a few M.P’s who can see that he’s Tory-lite. They don’t need another Corbyn but they do need a person with a serious commitment to re engaging with the basics of socialism. Dump the ishoo fest and the fashionable faddish junk and focus on innovative industries, jobs, education, redistribution of wealth, quality of life, poverty, health and care, … might be enough to get started on.

Come to think of it that’s what Plaid need to do here in Wales too.

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 years ago

I think it’s called “democratic centralism”? One either knows or doesn’t know…………

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
2 years ago

Theres an obvious answer to this for the likes of blythyn and davies – split from the uk labour party and establish a independent welsh labour party! But if they are content for their party in wales to remain a ‘regional branch’ of the uk labour party then they can have no complaints when their masters in labour hq in london do things like this

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