Living on a different planet! McDonnell shames Keir Starmer over Labour leadership plan

Keir Starmer is 'remarkably ineffective' says Ann Widdecombe

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John McDonnell appeared on ITV’s Peston and slammed Sir Keir Starmer where he accused Labour leader of focusing on different topics at the time of crisis in the UK. Mr McDonnell said the looming Labour conference which kicks off on September 25 will be marred by the leadership reforms introduced by Sir Keir instead of more important issues. He said supporters of the party will think Labour is “living on a different planet’ as politicians bicker over voting rules.

Currently, grassroots members of Labour can vote for the party leader with one vote given to each member.

However, Sir Keir wants to scrap that system and return to the electoral college system used before where MPs, members and trade unions account for a third of the vote each.

Sir Keir has face opposition to the revision as it would mean Labour’s 400,000 members have the same voting power as 199 Labour MPs.

Some unions have also opposed the reforms as, currently, only union members who have signed up as affiliate Labour supporters can vote in the leadership.

Sir Keir’s proposal could extend that right to anyone who pays the political levy on their union fees meaning hundreds of thousand more could vote.

Mr McDonnell appeared on Robert Peston’s ITV show and was asked his verdict on the reforms.

The former frontbencher has been a vocal critic of the reforms and wasted no time slamming Sir Keir with Mr Peston asking how voters will see the reforms considering the cost of living crisis.

He told the programme: “That’s exactly the point I’ve been trying to make with Keir and the people around him.

“We’ve got to concentrate on the issues affecting people.

“[Ruth Davidson] was spot on, this Universal Credit cut should not be going ahead and that is what we should be focussing on.

“Because people are going to be suffering real hardships, and then to divert…

“I mean we have our Labour conference in three days time, to divert the first days of that conference to examining the constitution and rules of the Labour Party people will think we are living on a different planet.”


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