There is disquiet that the Labour nomination process concludes in 8 days time. Jon Cruddas told BBC News that the party "should reconvene and change this timetable."
With Ed Balls and John McDonnell expected to announce their candidacy today, the Labour leadership election is well under way. But although campaigners are pleased that there will be a lengthy contest concluding on the eve of Labour’s annual conference, there is disquiet that the nomination process concludes in just eight days time.
Speaking on BBC News yesterday, Jon Cruddas MP said:
“I’ve just found that our National Executive Committee has agreed that it should only be nine days until we all nominate which the [leadership candidates] should be. Now I’ve known David Miliband for 20 years, I’ve known Ed Balls for 20 years but I don’t know what they stand for. And I’ve known them.
“If you’re a new MP who’s just walked through the gates, you should be given more time. It will disenfranchise the party. It’s not good for the MPs themselves, the candidates, because they won’t be able to fully explain where they’re coming from. So I think the NEC should reconvene and change this timetable.”
A press release from the Labour party yesterday announced that nominations would open on Monday and close just three days later on Thursday, May 27th. On Labour List, Alex Smith wrote:
I, like others, am not sure about the decision for having such a short window for nominations – just nine days. It does seem counter-productive to the idea of a deep discussion with a wide field: the NEC has opted for a long leadership campaign, but a peculiarly short nominations process, which would block the arrival of late candidates who wish to try to shape the campaign.
Left Foot Forward understands that the short nomination period was a result of a misreading of the Labour rule book which suggests that Parliamentary Labour Party nominations must take place before the contest can commence. But in 2007, the Deputy Leadership contest kicked off before nominations were finalised. The process could be revisited if sufficient objections are raised by the Parliamentary Labour Party on Monday and by local constituency parties.
A little earlier today, leadership candidate Ed Miliband tweeted:
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“MPs/members annoyed about short nominations timetable: I have to say I agree. Need broadest possible choice & time for MPs to decide & consult”