Labour will not adopt open selection following an NEC decision. Instead they will reform the trigger ballot process to make deselections slightly easier.
Under the old procedure a selection process was triggered should 50% of branches of a CLP vote for it. This included branches of affiliated unions and societies, as well as local party branches. This was viewed as too high a bar to set to trigger a selection process by supporters of Open Selection and also meant that all members were not equal. Branches of 400 members had the same power as branches with 1 member.
Under new rules one third of local party branches are needed to trigger a full selection process or one third of union branches. Under the new system union branches cannot block selection processes if local party branches want one. The main plus alongside the reduced percentage needed.
However, this is still not based on one member one vote so members votes will still have different values, going against democratic principles.
Plans for Labour councillors to be forced to defer to new “local government committees” before publishing their own manifesto, and for council leaders to be directly elected by Labour members were deferred for a year.
The only recent victory for democracy in Labour was Welsh Labour’s decisions to adopt OMOV for leadership elections.
Analysis from Iwan Doherty- Editor in Chief
It’s the wrong decision from Labour’s NEC and while the details will not be finalised till Saturday it is clear that the appetite for democracy at the top of the party is not a reflection of the grassroots support for it.
It is clear Labour members support Open Selection. All 9 elected candidates in the recent NEC election supported Open selection and 3 quarters of delegates to the Labour Party conference backed Open Selection according to Momentum. The NEC should review this decision.