Sadiq Khan refuses three times to support Keir Starmers proposed leadership rule changes

Sadiq Khan refuses to back Keir Starmer's proposed rule changes

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The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said the issue is not at the “fore of his mind”. The Labour leader has set out plans to end the one member, one vote system which elected Jeremy Corbyn and replace it with a return to an electoral college which would give MPs and unions a greater say. He presented his proposals to Labour’s affiliated unions on Wednesday but sources said they were opposed to putting the measures to the party’s conference which starts on Saturday.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4 Today programme, Mr Khan said: “I’ve got to be frank – as the mayor of London, internal Labour party rules isn’t at the fore of my mind.

“I haven’t had a chance to look into the changes being considered.”

Presenter Mishal Hussein interjected: “That suggests you would rather leave them as they are, something that the trade unions are in favour of and Sir Keir Starmer is not.”

Mr Khan continued: “I’ve been going to Labour Party conference every year since I was a boy and there are always changes to the rules because at the conference is the sovereign decision-makers.”

Ms Hussein continued: “But this is a change the leader wants, do you support him or not?”

The London mayor added: “It’s not at the fore of my mind. What is at the fore of my mind is tackling the twin challenges of air pollution and climate change and to make the progress met across our city and country.”

The move to reduce the weight of members’ votes sparked fury on the Labour left, with warnings of a new “civil war” from the Momentum campaign group.

Despite attempts to present it as increasing the unions’ voice, Sir Keir has faced resistance from senior figures including Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

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A Labour spokesman said the planned reforms were about turning the party’s focus “outwards”.

Asked how the proposals could help win a general election, the spokesman said: “What it is about is changing the culture within the party so we are in a situation where we are making sure that, whether it is on the policy measures we have, whether it is on trigger ballots for MPs or on how we elect our leader, that we are in a situation where the focus ensures we are facing outwards rather than inwards.”

The spokesman denied it would “overshadow” events at the party’s conference in Brighton.

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In a separate statement, Sir Keir reiterated that his proposals, which he believes would “strengthen” his party’s ability to win the next election, were “never a take it or leave it conversation”.

“I am continuing to take suggestions and have discussions about how we do everything we need to in order to make the Labour Party the party of working people again,” he added.

The move to reduce the weight of members’ votes sparked fury on the Labour left, with warnings of a new “civil war” from the Momentum campaign group.

Despite attempts to present it as increasing the unions’ voice, Sir Keir has faced resistance from senior figures including Unite general secretary Sharon Graham.

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