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Corbyn wins more control as Labour backs party power shift

The NEC’s decision sets the stage for a potential battle at Labour’s annual conference.

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(Gareth Fuller/PA)

(Gareth Fuller/PA)

(Gareth Fuller/PA)

Jeremy Corbyn’s proposed overhaul of Labour rules to tip the balance of power away from MPs and towards members who appear more likely to support him and his allies have been approved by the party’s ruling body, sources confirmed.

The plan to make it easier for candidates to stand for the leadership with the support of fewer MPs and MEPs, with the threshold lowered from 15% to 10%, was passed by the National Executive Committee (NEC) with no votes against.

It will be seen as an attempt by Mr Corbyn to tighten his control of the party and make it easier for a left-wing candidate to succeed him as leader.

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Jeremy Corbyn at the party conference last year. (Peter Byrne/PA)

Jeremy Corbyn at the party conference last year. (Peter Byrne/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Jeremy Corbyn at the party conference last year. (Peter Byrne/PA)

The NEC’s decision sets the stage for a potential battle at Labour’s annual conference, which begins on Sunday in Brighton and will have to approve or reject the proposal.

A row had been expected over an initial plan to lower the threshold to 5%, but a compromise was reached after Mr Corbyn’s unexpectedly good general election result.

Separately, a wider review of party rules and structures proposed by Mr Corbyn, which will include an examination of leadership contests, was also approved unopposed by the NEC.

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(Danny Lawson/PA)

(Danny Lawson/PA)

(Danny Lawson/PA)

A source said the review was about “democratising” the party and will report back “in due course”.

It does not need the approval of the party’s conference to go ahead.

The measures will give more power to members, who backed Mr Corbyn for the leadership in two contests in the face of opposition from a majority of MPs, and could pave the way for a left-wing successor to the 68 year-old leader.

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