Shadow cabinet will be elected

MPs reject plans for leader to appoint shadow cabinet, but introduce a quota for the number of femal

The Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) voted last night to reject proposals that the new leader should appoint the shadow cabinet.

Instead, the PLP will revert to its usual practice when in opposition and hold elections for the 19 front bench positions. The new leader will still be able to determine which shadow minister gets which portfolio.

Proposals to institute a 50 per cent quota for women, previously highlighted by Harriet Harman, were toned down to a minimum "gender profile" of 31.5 per cent, reflecting the current gender balance in the PLP.

This will mean that six positions in the shadow cabinet have to be filled by women, even if female candidates receive fewer votes than their male competitors.

The rules governing the position of chief whip were also changed, meaning that incumbent Nick Brown can now be elected to serve a full Parliamentary term.