Diana Johnson becomes first Labour MP to be ‘triggered’

Sienna Rodgers

Diana Johnson has become the first Labour MP in this round of trigger ballots to be facing a full selection process, after local members in three branches of Kingston upon Hull North Constituency Labour Party voted for one.

Commenting on the result, Johnson said: “I am disappointed to have been triggered for an open selection by a small number of members, especially when overall the majority of Hull North Constituency Labour Party members have so far voted to reselect me. I am currently considering a procedural challenge to the process.

“However, I stand on my record and will continue doing what I have done every day since May 5th 2005, when I was first elected, representing the people of Hull North to the very best of my ability – and working to get a Labour government elected. It’s business as usual as far as I am concerned.”

The sitting MP is reportedly considering a challenge based “on quorum issues”. Normally, branch votes are subject to a quorum – minimum turnout – but this is not the case for trigger ballots concerning parliamentary candidates.

One ward that voted against Johnson’s automatic reselection had a turnout of just two Labour members, both of whom voted in favour of a full selection. Two wards that voted to fast-track Johnson’s reselection had turnouts of just three members.

The ensuing full selection contest in Kingston upon Hull North will see members choose their candidate from an all-women shortlist, as it has been ruled that all ‘triggered’ female Labour MPs are set to be subject to AWS. Johnson will automatically be shortlisted as a candidate in that race, and has a good chance of going on to be reselected as Labour’s candidate in the seat.

Labour’s trigger ballot system was changed at its last annual party conference. The threshold for triggering a full selection, which has been lowered, used to be more than 50% of branches. The rulebook now states: “If either one third or more of party branches, or one third or more of affiliated branches, indicate that they wish a selection to take place, a selection shall proceed.”

A number of Corbynsceptic Labour MPs complained about the trigger ballot result:

Other Labour MPs simply expressed support and solidarity, while shadow minister Jonathan Reynolds vowed to campaign for his colleague in the selection process:

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