Welsh Labour’s biggest affiliate, public services union UNISON, today (Friday) threw its weight behind efforts to change the voting system used to elect a successor to Carwyn Jones AM.
The union argues the voice of MPs, AMs and MEPs in a leadership election is completely out of proportion and unfairly diminishes the influence of thousands of party members. It says Welsh Labour’s electoral college should be revised, removing the section for elected politicians and splitting the votes 50/50 between Labour party members and trade union members.
The announcement came as UNISON submitted evidence to an internal Welsh Labour democracy review.
Dan Beard, UNISON Cymru/Wales Labour Link chair, said,
“We cannot support the disproportionate voting bloc of elected members continuing in its present form. The Labour Party is the fastest growing political party in western Europe and it’s time we agreed a more democratic method of electing our leaders.
“It’s vital unions retain a significant voice when electing the leader and deputy leader of Welsh Labour. Unions helped establish the Labour Party at the beginning of the last century and we have supported it through some very difficult times. Our members help to keep the Labour party’s feet on the ground and in touch with its natural supporters.
“Reforming the electoral college will mean that whoever becomes the new leader of Welsh Labour will have a firm mandate from the members and trade unions to work together to deliver policies contained in the manifesto.”
Alastair Gittins, UNISON press officer on 07816 53 83 97