Wales On Sunday - - NEWS - DAVID WIL­LIAMSON Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor david.wil­liamson@waleson­line.co.uk

WELSH Labour has de­cided to change the way it chooses its lead­ers by adopt­ing a “One Mem­ber One Vote-Plus” sys­tem.

There was a 64% vote in favour of the change. The new method will be used to elect a suc­ces­sor to Car­wyn Jones.

Un­til now, the leader has been cho­sen by an elec­toral col­lege split into three sec­tions: MPs, AMs and MEPs; unions and af­fil­i­ated groups; and party mem­bers.

A spe­cial con­fer­ence was held in Cardiff to con­sider the rec­om­men­da­tions of a “democ­racy re­view” con­ducted by for­mer Welsh Sec­re­tary and ex-Tor­faen MP Paul Mur­phy.

So far only Welsh Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Mark Drake­ford and Welsh Health Sec­re­tary Vaughan Gething have se­cured the num­ber of nom­i­na­tions re­quired to for­mally stand for the lead­er­ship.

The con­fer­ence con­sid­ered two op­tions: 1. One Mem­ber One Vote-Plus This al­lows in­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the Labour Party and peo­ple in trade unions who pay the po­lit­i­cal levy and mem­bers of af­fil­i­ate bod­ies to take part in the elec­tions. 2. A Re­formed Elec­toral Col­lege This would have kept an elec­toral col­lege but in­stead of hav­ing a sec­tion for politi­cians it would have been split 50:50 between in­di­vid­ual mem­bers and peo­ple be­long­ing to trade unions and so­cial­ist so­ci­eties.

Jeremy Cor­byn was elected UK Labour leader us­ing a OMOV sys­tem but there was con­tro­versy this year when Swansea East MP Carolyn Har­ris beat Cardiff North AM Julie Mor­gan in the Welsh Deputy Leader con­test un­der the rules of the old elec­toral col­lege. Ms Mor­gan had more sup­port from rank and file mem­bers, and the re­sult trig­gered mem­o­ries of how her late hus­band, Rho­dri Mor­gan, lost the race for the Welsh Labour lead­er­ship de­spite the strength of sup­port for him among the party’s grass roots.

First Min­is­ter Car­wyn Jones re­sponded to the con­fer­ence deci- sion: “Welsh Labour has en­joyed a long pe­riod of sta­bil­ity dur­ing this fe­brile time in pol­i­tics. This has en­abled us to win elec­tions and to de­liver on our prom­ises in Gov­ern­ment.

“To­day, we have had a ma­ture and re­spect­ful de­bate. We emerge from this discussion with­out be­ing dis­tracted from our pri­mary mis­sion of stand­ing up for the peo­ple of Wales, in the face of this cruel UK Tory Gov­ern­ment. I am pleased that we have a Welsh Labour ap­proach, made here in Wales, that recog­nises the cru­cial im­por­tance of our Trade Unions col­leagues in our party.

“Here in Wales we have been in power through one of the most tur­bu­lent pe­ri­ods of re­cent times. We’ve made tough choices, guided by the fun­da­men­tal val­ues of social jus­tice, of equal­ity, and of fair­ness that bind us to­gether as mem­bers of the Welsh Labour fam­ily.

“And it is as this Welsh Labour fam­ily that we will con­tinue to work to­wards our most vi­tal pur­poses – gov­ern­ing Wales and putting Labour back in power across the UK.”


Mark Drake­ford


Vaughan Gething

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