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12 January 2016

Labour MPs move to reassert their position on the party’s NEC

A motion, to be debated at next week's PLP meeting, will codify the PLP's position on the NEC.

By Stephen Bush

The parliamentary Labour party will amend its standing orders to strip a Corbyn ally of his place on the party’s ruling National Executive Committee. Steve Rotheram raised eyebrows when he continued in post on the NEC despite taking a job as Jeremy Corbyn’s parliamentary private secretary. John Healey, also elected to the NEC by the PLP at the same time, relinquished his post after being appointed to the shadow cabinet.

One MP described the current situation as “ridiculous”. “You can’t represent the backbenches in the NEC if you are not on the backbenches,” they said. The motion, proposed by Margaret Hodge and seconded by Ann Coffey, will codify the unwritten arrangement, booting Rotheram off the NEC. The vacant post would then be subject to a by-election. It is likely that an outspoken critic of Corbyn will be elected to fill the post. Michael Dugher, recently sacked from the shadow cabinet, has been jokingly suggested for the role. 

The full motion is below:

Motion to the PLP – to be debated by the Parliamentary Labour Party on the 18th January 2016.

Proposed: Margaret Hodge

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Seconded: Ann Coffey

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That the PLP Standing Orders be amended as follows: In Section J, Elections insert at end: Division V (PLP) of the NEC Any seat held by a member of the PLP on the NEC under Division V who is in a frontbench position, including frontbench spokesperson, whip, or parliamentary private secretary to the Leader or Deputy Leader or to Cabinet/Shadow Cabinet, must immediately be declared vacant and filled in accordance with the procedure for a vacancy as outlined in the Party and PLP rules.