Fraser Nelson Fraser Nelson

Bust-up over influence of Scottish Labour

Now that Jeremy Corbyn has won, the fight moves to the jungle of Labour Party rules, regulations and procedures. Whoever controls these controls the party. Last Tuesday, for example, an eight-hour session of the party’s governing National Executive Committee (NEC) concluded that Scotland and Wales should each have their own member on the NEC. This seemed a bizarre, almost trivial outcome: so much argument and such a paltry outcome? The answer is simple: if the Corbynistas want to proceed with a purge of the Labour Party they’ll need a majority on the 33-member NEC. At present, power is balanced – but if there were Scottish and Welsh members then the moderates would have the balance of power. The moderates managed to win this argument. The move to expand the NEC to 35 members was to be put to a vote at Labour conference.

STV’s Aidrian Kerr reveals today that straight after his re-election, Corbyn tried to delay this vote and, in so doing, delay the expansion of the NEC. Kezia Dugdale, leader of Scottish Labour, was furious and asked Corbyn “How dare you try to preach unity and then undermine me as Scottish leader?”

Corbyn’s proposal was foiled. Here’s Aidrian Kerr…

‘A senior Labour source told STV there was ‘a lot of anger in the room’ when Corbyn suggested the deal should not be forwarded to a conference vote in the coming days and instead be delayed. The Labour leader was told by NEC members, including Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, that it would be wrong for the changes to be delayed and that if his proposals were put to a full vote he would lose.

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