The CLPD have some recommended rule changes, they are published on their web site and in this document.

They include allowing the membership a say in the candidates for the Leader and ensuring either the Leader or Deputy is female, reform of the trigger ballot process, democratising the Local Campaign Forums, election of the CLP NCC reps by OMOV, changes to the way in which rule changes are dealt with (2), a democratic Young Labour, introducing proportionality in the length of disciplinary penalties, establishing Conference standing orders, establishing an Ombudsman, a Charter of Member Rights, a Code of Ethics for members, representatives and staff, amendments to motions at Conference, organising disabled members and a conference for disabled members.

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Ensuring a democratic choice in Labour Leadership elections – when there is a vacancy

The supporting arguments starts, “There is a growing consensus in the Labour Party that members should have a stronger role in Party decision-making, and that they should not be denied a democratic choice in Labour leadership elections…”

The rule proposes that a candidate for leader needs the support of either 10% of the PLP/EPLP or 10% of the Unions or 10% of the CLPs.

Reform of the ‘trigger mechanism’ for sitting MPs

The supporting arguments starts, “Many Party members are now of the view that some Labour MPs take insufficient account of the views of their CLP and of Annual Conference, our Party’s sovereign body. One reason for this is that adequate mechanisms of accountability are non-existent in our Party

It proposes that MP trigger ballots require a ⅔ affirmative vote of both party units and separately affiliates i.e. trade unions to avoid an open selection. i.e. where an MP is popular with both their local activists and the affiliated Unions, then an open selection can be avoided.

A new Local Government Committee structure (instead of existing Local Campaign Forum)

The supporting argument is, “The introduction of Local Campaign Forums, following the ‘Refounding Labour’ process in 2011, has not been a success. In many parts of the country LCFs meet irregularly, do not provide an adequate forum for consultation and debate on local government policy, and do not organise sufficient campaigning activity. Reinstating Local Government Committees, with defined representation for CLPs and affiliates, and regular meetings, would improve on this situation.”

The rule proposes that the LCF’s are renamed and consist of delegates from the constituent CLPs and affiliates, mainly Unions. It also mandates that they meet 4 times/year, which would be an improvement in many cases.

Election of the National Constitutional Committee (constituency section) by OMOV

This one is obvious, although one interesting part of the supporting argument is that since it is currently elected at conference, those members of CLPs too poor to send a conference delegation don’t participate in this important election.

Abolish the obsolete one year’s delay re rule changes from CLPs

Another obvious one, the supporting statement starts, “The NEC can (and does!) agree rule changes one week and have them voted on by Annual Conference the following week. But for CLPs and trade unions it is an entirely different process. A rule change from CLPs/TUs submitted before the June closing date in one year has to wait well over a year (until the Annual Conference the following year) before it is timetabled for debate. ..”.

This rule change mandates that CLP/Affiliate rule changes are debated at the Conference following their submission.

A democratic Young Labour

The supporting statement starts, “The rule would clarify how Young Labour works, increase its autonomy and stop the organisation being beholden to Labour Party staff’s interpretation of the rulebook.”

The change allows the rules to be set by the Young Labour AGM.

Greater flexibility on time period to elapse before a person can apply for re-admission to the Party following an expulsion.

The supporting statement notes that in theory readmissions cannot occur before five years, it says, “This is contrary to the principals of natural justice and equitable practice. A more flexible readmission policy will result in specifying a minimum time lapse proportionate to the reasons for expulsion. The time lapse will still never exceed five years.”

The new rule requires the NEC/NCC to state the minimum length of the penalty, which must be under five years, when making the judgement.

Standing orders for the democratic and inclusive running of Party Conference

The supporting statement starts, “Annual conference is the supreme policy making body of the Labour Party. Therefore it is essential that it is conducted according to democratic principles. Unfortunately this has not proved to be the case in recent years….”

The new rule mandates the establishment of standing orders to be approved by Conference itself.

To establish the position of a Labour Party Ombudsperson

The supporting statement starts, “Our Party’s Rule Book sets out the duties and restrictions on members of the Party. CLPs and members have long argued that, in addition, there needs to be an independent arbiter, particularly in very contentious cases and where a member/members feel they have not been treated in a fair and just manner…”

Charter of Members’ Rights

This rule change is necessary to ensure that our Party is structurally and culturally coherent with democratic socialist principles. Given the massive potential of the expansion of the Party membership in recent years, it is necessary to ensure that the talent, creativity and commitment of members is fully harnessed. This requires the active promotion of members’ rights in order to empower Party members – as well as a clarification of the responsibilities of all those holding positions in the Party – to be outlined in a Code of Ethics. This Charter includes but is not limited to key relevant recommendations made by the Chakrabarti Report.

The charter constrains the party in how it treats members.

The rule change is quite long, it inserts a new appendix, but exceptionally necessary.

Labour Party Code of Ethics

The supporting statement says, “Building the Labour Party, so that it can improve the lives of millions of people, will be enhanced if there is a cultural change instigated throughout the Party. This cultural change needs to be built on commitments by all in the Party to mutual respect, engagement and participation, transparency and accountability. That is the objective of this Code of Ethics.

The code places duties on members and staff.

This also is quite long and inserts a new appendix.

Popular rule change proposals should not have to wait three years to be discussed at Conference

The supporting statement starts, “The ‘three-year rule’ restricts Conference from debating important rule change proposals which could significantly improve the party’s functioning. It is repeatedly used to prevent important rule change debates regardless of how much the changes are desired by the members or trade union affiliates. This rule change would allow constitutional amendments which can demonstrate they have support from five CLPs/affiliates to be debated in the year they are submitted.”

This would be best passed with the rule change allowing rule changes to be debated immediately. These two rule changes would undo the current compounded decision that rule changes cannot be debated more frequently than every 5 years.

Submission of motions and amendments to Party conference

This rule change deletes the word “contemporary” as a qualifier of CLP/Affiliate motions and introduces an amendment stage for conference submissions.

The qualification of a motion as contemporary is and was designed to inhibit activists from making policy at conference.

Reducing the disabling effects of our internal culture, policy and practice

Introducing disabled members’ forums & Introducing an annual disabled members’ conference

This is two rule changes, one for forums and one for the conference.

The supporting statement states, “Disabled people make up approximately 20 per cent of the working population, yet have less than 1 per cent representation in the House of Commons with similar levels in local government…. These issues and examples underline the need for disabled members to have separate safe spaces to selforganise.

Ensuring at least one of the Leader and Deputy Leader is a woman

The supporting statement starts, “This rule change would makes the rules around leadership consistent with other rules which require gender balance in governance posts. It is also about ensuring that the Labour Party applies the same values to its internal governance and leadership as it seeks to achieve through the equalities policies that we have championed…”

Some new rules for Labour
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