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Labour Party Conference: The 4 Key Tests For Keir Starmer

6 1 1
25.09.2021
rewrite the rules that led to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader." data-caption="This year’s party conference risks being dominated by factional rows as Starmer tries to rewrite the rules that led to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader." data-rich-caption="This year’s party conference risks being dominated by factional rows as Starmer tries to rewrite the rules that led to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader." data-credit="Jacob King - PA Images via Getty Images" data-credit-link-back="" />

The box office political event next week will be Sir Keir Starmer’s first speech as leader of the Labour party at their annual party conference in Brighton.

Pundits and journalists will scrutinise Starmer’s every word, mannerisms and even what he wears.

It will be the most high stakes event of his political career to date as he attempts to outline to the party and public what Starmerism is all about.

“We won’t win the next election, let’s face it, but this is all about setting us on the right path,” says one Labour MP who is sympathetic to Starmer.

However, this year’s conference risks being dominated by factional rows as Starmer tries to rewrite the rules that led to Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader.

It also comes against a backdrop of fears for Labour MPs that Boris Johnson will call an early election for 2023.

If that is the case, Starmer will have just one more conference next year to set out what his policies are and a Labour vision for government.

It is little wonder that some Labour MPs see this year’s event as a leadership audition.

Here we run through the key challenges for Starmer at Labour party conference 2021.

Rocky relations with the Left

Keeping the left on side (or not overtly hostile to him) is a perennial problem for Starmer, who is regarded as having taken the party to the right since he took over from Corbyn as leader.

His proposal to move away from the leadership rules that elected his predecessor will do little to help.

Conference is braced for a showdown over the proposal, which would replace the one member, one vote (OMOV) system with a return to the electoral college made up of the unions and affiliate organisations, MPs and party members.

Alongside this proposals is the less contentious move to change the trigger ballots to make it harder to deselect MPs. An MP can go through a reselection process if only a third of either party branches or affiliate groups vote for it. Starmer wants to raise the threshold to 50%.

There has........

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