How to Deselect Your Labour MP
Have you come to believe that your MP can no longer represent your views or the views and interests of people in your constituency? Deselection is a complicated process, but it can give you a chance to choose an MP candidate who really represents you.
Deselecting an MP in your Constituency Labour Party
Join the Labour Party.If you are not already a member of the Labour Party, being a member is the best way to have a say in who your MP is. You should also join a union or another affiliated group which you are eligible for, because they have a large say in the deselection process. It is important to be active in these groups and in your CLP (Constituency Labour Party). If you are well known, it is easier to gain support and to have your voice heard, which makes a hard process such as deselection more manageable.
Gather support for deselection in your local area.Find out if many other labour party members agree that your MP should be deselected. A good first step is to find out if there are any groups which are already established in your area who campaign for deselection, who could help you. Once you have a small group of people, it could be much easier to win over others to your case. One way of doing this is talking about political differences that you and other members may have with your local MP, for example, if there is a conflict between the left and right wings of the party, or by discussing other ways you are dissatisfied with the work they are doing. Once you have found out what people think, you can explain what deselection is and why you think the MP should be deselected. It is also crucial to gather support in union branches as well as with general members of the Labour Party. Without a wide enough range of support, the deselection may fail.
Understand properly what deselection means.Deselection is the process of preventing an MP from standing for the same seat in an upcoming election. It may be difficult to win people over to your case if you cannot explain this. Similarly, you must have proper knowledge of your motives for wanting to deselect an MP, especially if it is for political reasons. Make sure you understand the reasons for your political differences, for example by reading up on the history of the Labour Party, especially the differences between New Labour and traditional socialism, and by keeping up with current events. That way it may be much easier to gain support for the deselection process.
Organise passing motions of no confidence in your MP, in Labour Party and in union branches.You may not have to fully write out a motion. You may be able to find motions which have already been passed or debated in branches in different regions, which can be a good base for this. These motions of no confidence have no formal effect, but they have a big psychological effect on your local branch and are good for growing your support base, ready to go forward to the next step. If you have a lot of confidence, you can also write a motion saying that your CLP intends to try to deselect your MP. If it is passed, it is a really good confidence boost and a good way to get the deselection campaign organized.
Gain a majority in the trigger ballot.This ballot was introduced in the 1990s to make it easier for MPs to defend their seats. Each trade union branch, party branch and affiliated organization (such as the Fabians for example) is given a single yes/no vote each. If over 50% of them are in favor of automatically allowing the MP to continue in their role, then no deselection will occur, however, if more than 50% are in favor of deselecting their MP, this triggers an open contest in which the MP has to face other candidates. Crucially, in the normal electoral college the role of unions is limited, but in this trigger ballot, it is not, which often helps the sitting MP as in the past union branches have been likely to support them over the membership. For example, in 2004 an MP was not deselected because there were more than 20 union branches, most of which fell onto his side, and only 4 local party branches. And in addition, while all party branches will meet and vote on whether or not to endorse the current MP, in some cases a single local union official can decide for all the branches of that union in an area.
Support another candidate against the sitting MP.The most difficult part of deselecting an MP is definitely winning the trigger ballot. However, it's important to take the process through to the end. Find a candidate who you feel represents the views of your local party better, and help them to gain enough support to replace the current MP. If they are successful, you have a new parliamentary candidate.
Deselecting an MP using the NEC (National Executive Committee)
Gaining a majority on the NEC.The NEC is formed of representatives of multiple different groups, so there is not much that a single member of the Labour Party can really do to influence the makeup of the NEC. However, you can choose which CLP reps to support, and you may be in a position to influence the choice of other reps, for example, if you are a BAME Labour member you should, in theory, have a say in the representative of the BAME caucus on the NEC. Sometimes, organizations within the Labour Party, such as Progress or Momentum, will have slates (a set of candidates who they think should be elected). You can support the group which is most in line with your views.
Deselecting an MP.The NEC has the power to rule that an MP cannot stand in the next general election. Usually, this occurs if it is felt that the MP has done something so totally unacceptable that they should no longer represent the party. For example, sabotaging the Labour party politically by deleting information on important Bills or Acts of Parliament. If the NEC has a majority, then they can deselect the MP without needing the majority of local parties and union branches to agree.
Pushing for a rule change to make deselection easier.The NEC is the only body which can change the rules of the Labour Party. This could be used to help in the deselection process. Alternatively, the NEC could go further and change the rules so that each MP must undergo a full leadership contest every time they want to stand for election, in effect abolishing the trigger ballot.
Deselecting an MP after Constituency Boundaries Change
Figure out if your constituency boundaries are going to change in the near future.This can happen as a result of a local devolution of powers. For example, the number of MPs in Scotland was reduced as a result of the creation of the Scottish Parliament
Find out which MPs are eligible to stand within the new constituency.Usually, if at least some of the MP's old constituents live in the new constituency boundaries, they can stand. This can result in two current MPs contesting one position.
Support the opposing MP to the one that you would like deselected.If they win, your previous MP will be automatically deselected.
Run another candidate if none of the MPs eligible to represent the new community are any good.Usually, new candidates have not been allowed to stand in the circumstance of a boundary change. However, this is not an official rule, so if the labour members in the constituency hate all potential local MPs, it could be a chance to select a totally new candidate.
Deselecting an MP After Being found Guilty of a Crime
MPs are humans and can commit crimes.For example, many MPs may have committed expenses fraud, which if found out can lead to time in prison.
If an MP is sentenced to prison for more than twelve months, they are automatically deselected.If they are sentenced to time in prison of fewer than twelve months, the CLP can choose whether or not to deselect them. This can be easily done through a simple vote and is probably the easiest way to deselect an MP. However, they do have to have committed a crime first.
QuestionMy constituency and the neighbouring one have sitting tories. After the boundary changes, these will become one constituency with one member. Will that member have to be voted on again?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI think the reigning party will choose one candidate by a vote. It is unlikely there will be another election.Thanks!
QuestionHow can we get rid of ALL the Blairites?Community AnswerThanks!
To deselect your Labour MP, star by joining a union or another affiliated group that has a large say in the deselection process. Next, gather support for deselection in your area by talking to people in your union branch, as well as general members of the Labour Party. Then, write a motion of no confidence in your MP to grow your support base and gain a majority in the trigger ballot. Additionally, choose another candidate to support, and help them gain enough supporters to replace the current MP.
- Remember to work as a team if possible. A bigger group of people will lead to more support around you, and will help you to persuade people to your side.
- Remember: contributions to labour meetings can be short. You may have no more than three minutes to speak, or even only one minute, so make sure you have something prepared which will get your point across.
- If possible, have a candidate in mind who you think would be a better MP. Having a different MP lined up will make your case seem more organised. It should be somebody with close connections to the local community, who is well liked by the local labour party. However, remember that lining yourself or one of your friends up to take the place of a deselected MP is a bad idea. You will seem self interested, and in addition, becoming an MP is a serious career decision which you may not be ready for.
- If you can, try to make contact with other groups within the Labour party which are pushing for the deselection of MPs. They may already have a plan or some resources which could be helpful.
- It is not recommended to frame your MP for a crime in order to go through the easier deselection process. However, if you believe they may have committed a crime you could investigate further. For example, you could make a Freedom of Information request asking to see their past expenses claims, which could be an opportunity to uncover expenses fraud.
- Beware the bureaucracies. It is possible that the trigger ballot could be hidden or rushed through by local party bureaucracy without the majority of members realising. The last thing you want to be told is that they'd had that vote last week. This can happen for unions, where the votes for several branches can in some cases be chosen by a single official. This is why it important to prepare well for the official deselection process, for example by passing votes of no confidence in your MP and stating that you intend to deselect them. As a result there will be more of an outrage if a fair vote is prevented by local bureaucracy.
- It is possible that you may be attacked in the media as well as in meetings.
- You may be at risk of expulsion from the Labour party, especially if trying to deselect an MP due to political reasons. The Compliance Unit, the organisation within the Labour Party which decides who is and is not allowed to be a member.
- You may be met with hostility at meetings and in your local area. Make sure you have a supportive group around you and that you are mentally prepared for being attacked, possibly personally as well as politically.
Video: 'How To Deselect Your Labour MP' Online Guide Sparks Row
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