Labour Party leadership fight: How Keir Starmer destroyed Jeremy Corbyn’s career hopes

Keir Starmer on whether he’s moving Labour towards the centre

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Sir Keir Starmer has overhauled the Labour Party’s rules after members voted in favour of the leader’s plans at the party’s annual conference. The changes empower MPs to have more of a say when choosing future party leaders and make it harder for members to deselect MPs. The move has been hailed as an attempt to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming an MP again according to some shadow ministers.

The Labour Party conference concludes on Wednesday, September 29, during which the party leader has insisted the party is looking to change.

Sir Keir said: “You can’t lose four elections and not change.”

His comments come after the first few days of Labour’s gathering in Brighton were dominated by a row over the leader’s efforts to change the party’s rules on leadership elections.

Some MPs and party members accused him of attempting to freeze out the party’s left-wing from future contests.

Shadow cabinet member Andy McDonald quit Labour’s front bench amid a contentious attack on Sir Keir.

In his resignation letter, he said Sir Keir had made Labour “more divided than ever”.

Mr McDonald also accused the Labour leader of not honouring his pledges to members.

Sources close to Sir Keir told the BBC he was not unhappy at Mr McDonald’s departure, insisting this week was “all about change and closing the door on the Corbyn era.”

But now reports have surfaced claiming the Labour leader is attempting to ensure Mr Corbyn cannot become an MP again.

Sir Keir’s procedural rule changes approved narrowly at the party conference on Sunday will empower MPs to turn against Mr Corbyn, according to The Times.

The changes do not only impact leadership rules but will also alter the process under which Labour MPs can stay on to fight in their seats at general elections.

The new rules make it more difficult for local activists to trigger a deselection process for sitting MPs which then forces them to face off against others to be the chosen Labour candidate for the seat.

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Shadow Ministers said the change will embolden MPs to give less weight to the views of constituency party members.

This will become very important if MPs get the opportunity to ban Mr Corbyn from the Labour Party in the future.

Those same MPs have previously expressed concerns their constituency parties, which tend to be more left-wing and pro-Corbyn than the general public, would try to deselect them if they tried to ensure an end to Mr Corbyn’s Labour Party career.

Sir Keir’s front bench members believe the changes will help to “trigger” a process which will hand MPs a bigger say over the current Labour leader’s successor.

One Shadow Cabinet Member told The Times: “We have nailed the hard left into their coffin and there’s a lot of screaming because they know they’re not coming back to life.

“We’ve banished the monster.

“People can have the confidence to vote Labour knowing they’re not going to wake up and find Jeremy Corbyn is prime minister.

“MPs can now talk to the public without worrying what their maddest members think. Finally we focus outward.”

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