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8 September 2010

Labour MPs to vote on new powers for leader

The proposed rule-change could put an end to shadow cabinet elections and see the new leader make ap

By New Statesman

New measures put before the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) could see an end to the practice of electing shadow cabinet members.

Labour MPs will vote tomorrow on whether to give their new leader the power to make appointments instead, although there were fears expressed by some MPs that the change would create a culture of patronage in the party.

The former foreign secretary Margaret Beckett has produced the suggested changes to the procedure. She has also proposed quotas for the number of female shadow cabinet members, and that the chief whip be elected to serve a five-year term, rather than being appointed.

So far, only Andy Burnham and Diane Abbott have expressed their opinion on this matter, both registering opposition to the idea of abolishing shadow cabinet elections.

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The new Labour leader will be announced in September 25.