UNITE demands mandatory reselection of MPs

Members of UNITE, which is Britain’s biggest trade union, have voted strongly in support of mandatory re-selection for Labour MPs. Delegates at the union’s policy conference carried a motion which called for party members to have the right to “select candidates that reflect their views”.

The vote also criticised ‘right-wing Labour MPs’ for apparently working with the media to ‘destabilise’ Corbyn. Unite members meeting in Brighton – who earlier today applauded John McDonnell’s defence of Corbyn – approved a motion which championed anti-austerity policies and highlighted the Labour leader’s ‘overwhelming mandate’ from party members.

A Unite spokesman explained: ‘This vote today simply reflects the immense frustration that our members feel. They look at the conduct of some within the party, the challenge to the elected leader and they feel angered.  They want Labour fighting the Tories,  not among themselves.’ The full text of the motion passed at Unite conference reads:

“We condemn the attempts of right-wing Labour MPs, in concert with hostile sections of the media, to destabilise and remove Jeremy from his democratically-elected position despite his overwhelming mandate from party members, affiliated and registered supporters. We believe these attacks are designed to return Labour to a pro-austerity position. MPs have not got ‘jobs for life’. They represent their constituency but ultimately they are selected by and accountable to their Constituency Labour Party. To ensure democratic accountability and the rights of party members to select candidates that reflect their views, conference supports the need for mandatory reselection of Labour MPs in each Parliament as essential. We also call on Unite to support moves to bring more democracy into policy making by returning powers to the Party Conference.”