Revealed: Labour removes 2019 general election manifesto from party website

© Twitter/@jeremycorbyn

Labour has removed its 2019 general election manifesto from its website, LabourList can reveal, as party preparations continue for the party’s manifesto for the next election expected later this year.

The deletion of the 2019 document this week is likely to be seen by some as the latest in a long line of efforts to distance the party from its more radical past policy positions.

Starmer said in 2022 that Labour had “put to one side” the 2019 manifesto and declared that the party would be “starting from scratch”.

Just today leader Keir Starmer visited the BAE Systems shipyard in Barrow and signalled he would be willing to use Britain’s nuclear weapons, in a marked contrast with former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s pledge he would not do so.

The 2010, 2015 and 2017 manifestos are also not on the website, however. Large print and easy-to-read versions of the 2019 manifesto were available online as of Friday lunchtime.

Google data shows rising searches for the Labour manifesto recently, and it may be that the party is trying to ensure search is directed to current rather than former party policy.

A Labour spokesperson said: “We know people are excited to see Labour’s manifesto for the next general election and so a new sign-up page has gone live this week.”

The sign-up page offers people the opportunity to register to view Labour’s manifesto for the coming general election “at the earliest opportunity” and states that the document will include “detailed and fully-costed plans” to deliver the party’s missions and “change the country for the better”.

Labour’s manifesto is likely to be a closely kept secret until the time of its release, but a recent campaign document distributed to MPs and prospective parliamentary candidates provides one of the clearest signals yet of what may be included.

A more comprehensive statement of Labour’s broader current policy positions was provided in the final document produced by its National Policy Forum, which was signed off by party conference in October last year.

Having been voted on at conference, the NPF document then informs the party programme, from which the party’s next manifesto is drawn before being signed off at the ‘Clause V’ meeting – which takes its name from the fifth clause of the Labour Party rulebook.

The Clause V meeting will bring together members of Labour’s national executive committee, the shadow cabinet, the Parliamentary Committee of the Parliamentary Labour Party, the leaders of the Scottish and Welsh Labour Parties, the chair and three vice-chairs of the NPF and 11 trade union representatives.

According to the party rulebook, the meeting will “decide which items from the party programme shall be included in the manifesto” and also “define the attitude of the party to the principal issues raised by the election which are not covered by the manifesto”.

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