Monday, September 15, 2008

So what are the Labour leadership rules?

It's often the case that the leadership rules for a party go unnoticed until people start speculating about the weakness of the incumbent. And then they discover all manner of obscure clauses in the rules that can prove fatal. For example how many people knew that the "15% lead on the first ballot" requirement in the old Conservative rules referred to 15% of the total electorate rather than those voting (a modification made in 1975), which proved critical in 1990?

And now whilst Gordon Brown is running around sacking all and sundry for daring to suggest a leadership election might be the solution to his problems (BBC News: Whip sacked over leader bid call, Ex-minister seeks Labour contest and PM sacks critic Gardiner as envoy) it has come to light that the rules may not have been followed. A clause apparently requires nominations to be sought each year, but the nomination papers have not been sent out to all MPs automatically for years. This could lead to an interesting showdown at the next Labour National Executive Committee meeting.

But regardless of the outcome it seems too late for anyone to challenge Gordon Brown now. The only way he can resolve the ongoing leadership saga before it causes further damage to this country is to take matters into his own hands and initiate a leadership election himself.

But Gordon is not bold but Brown.

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