No to a national government! Implement the trigger ballot now!

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We are members and supporters of the Labour Party who support Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. We believe that with the ongoing chaos over Brexit, there is a real possibility of another snap general election.

While we welcome such an election, we believe there are some real dangers:

1.) Unless the makeup of the Parliamentary Labour Party dramatically changes to more accurately reflect the will and composition of the membership, Jeremy Corbyn could well be held prisoner by a majority of MPs who are deeply hostile to the Corbyn project. As soon as Jeremy Corbyn was elected Labour leader, a majority of Labour MPs plotted against him and attempted to sabotage every move. A witch-hunt was launched - backed by the Tory government and the media - which has seen thousands of members investigated, suspended and expelled.

2.) There is also a danger that anti-Corbyn Labour MPs will join some form of national government – to stop Jeremy Corbyn from becoming prime minister. The PLP must change to stop such an outcome.

We therefore call on the Labour Party NEC to urgently launch guidelines and a timetable to help branches and CLPs to get ready in case a snap election is called. Labour Party conference 2018 voted for trigger ballot reforms - although the overwhelming majority of members actually voted in favour of the much more democratic ‘open selection’ of all parliamentary candidates. It would be deeply undemocratic to deny members the chance to decide on who should represent them (as happened at the snap election in 2017, when CLPs were told the sitting MP would simply remain in place without any democratic input by the local members).

Background: How do the reformed trigger ballots work?

Labour Party conference 2018 voted to introduce two separate trigger ballots: one for all the branches of a CLP, another one for all local affiliates (trade unions, socialist societies, cooperative organisations).

Once the NEC has published its timetable (and only then) are members and affiliates asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to retaining the sitting MP as the only candidate. If 33 % of a CLP’s branches or 33 % of the CLP’s affiliates vote ‘no’, then a full selection process starts – ie, a democratic contest between different candidates, including the sitting MP. Only full Labour Party members have a vote in this next stage of the process.

We will be publishing model motions on this issue soon, see www.labouragainstthewitchhunt.org