Trigger ballots paused and emergency selection procedures set up

Sienna Rodgers

Emergency procedures for parliamentary candidate selections have been initiated in light of Labour, along with other opposition parties, agreeing to hold an early general election in December 2019.

Labour’s trigger ballots – the process by which sitting MPs are automatically reselected as candidates or made to face full selection processes – have been paused.

This means that Labour MPs who have not yet been reselected by their local party branches and affiliated organisations will now be automatically readopted, if endorsed by Labour’s national executive committee (NEC).

Those seats that have not yet selected a Labour candidate and are not currently represented by a Labour MP will now have their candidate picked by panels composed of representatives from Labour’s ruling body, regional board and local party.

Party members in non-Labour seats will therefore not get the chance to vote on the candidate, as this decision will be made by selection panels and there will not be all-member hustings.

Labour-held seats that have not already picked a candidate and are currently represented by an MP who has chosen not to seek reselection will be allowed to hold their selection meeting if it was due to take place this week.

LabourList understands that this rule for Labour-held seats also applies to so-called ‘defector seats’, where Labour won in 2017 but the MP left the party either to sit as an Independent or join a different party.

Commenting on the emergency procedures being initiated, a Labour spokesperson said: “After the 2017 snap general election, we immediately began democratic selections to ensure Labour members would be able to choose their candidates. Members have selected candidates in almost 200 seats.

“We’re more prepared than we’ve ever been at this stage in the parliamentary cycle, ready to launch the most ambitious, radical campaign for real change that this country has ever seen.”

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