Labour MPs will be re-selected as candidates for the general election in a move that stifles Jeremy Corbyn’s ambition to give members a greater say in the future of local politics.
Officials on Labour’s ruling national executive committee (NEC) have ruled out the prospect of “trigger ballots”, in which sitting MPs would be forced to seek fresh backing from their constituency parties, after Theresa May called a surprise election for just six weeks’ time.
Last night Iain McNicol, Labour’s general secretary, told the parliamentary Labour party (PLP) that MPs would be automatically re-selected, sources said.
The move will be a disappointment to supporters of Corbyn who had been expected to use the trigger ballots to attempt to replace sitting centre-left MPs. If any MP failed to win the vote then that would have led to an open contest, in which the MP would have to fend-off challenges from rival activists.
Corbyn had been seen as a supporter of trigger ballots, and had last summer spoke of a “full and open selection process”, after which aides dampened expectations of such a move.
Yesterday Labour’s NEC officials confirmed that candidates would be automatically re-selected, the Huffington Post reported.
A spokeswoman for the Labour Party declined to comment today.