Plan To Expand Labour’s Ruling NEC Approved Despite ‘Gerrymandering’ Claims

Plans to expand Labour’s ruling body have been approved despite faced bitter criticism after activists who claimed votes were being “gerrymandered” and “rigged” against Jeremy Corbyn.

Amid heated scenes in the conference hall in Liverpool, the move to create two new extra places on the NEC were endorsed as delegates and big trade unions split over the issue.

But in a major boost for the Left, conference also backed a rule change to ensure it could in future cherry pick parts of policy documents for key votes – a move that will ensure further lengthy debates at future conferences.

During today’s debate, one delegate was booed for not supporting Corbyn, while another declared “I’m a militant, a militant for democracy!”

Young Labour representative Max Shanly slammed the NEC as being stuffed with MPs and peers “who are not accountable to this movement!”

‘Moderate’ party members believe that the new places for Scottish and Welsh representatives will help to shift the balance of power on the NEC towards a ‘Corbyn-sceptic’ majority.

But backers of the Labour leader, including Unite’s Len McCluskey, are furious that the extra NEC seats will be appointed by party executives rather than directly elected by rank and file members.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, a backer of Owen Smith in the leadership election, is determined to take up the Scottish NEC place herself, while the Welsh Labour party is set to also appoint a Corbyn critic.

Some activists were even more angry that the NEC and conference arrangements committee decided not to allow individual votes on the rule change, instead putting them all in a take-it-or-leave-it package. 

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