Labour remains in deadlock over shadow cabinet issue


The Labour Party remained in deadlock after more than eight hours of discussion failed to resolve how the party would form its shadow cabinet.

Leader Jeremy Corbyn did not respond to questions from reporters as members of his party eventually emerged from the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at 8.30pm.

But other senior figures in the party insisted the meeting, which began at noon, was positive.

The NEC failed to reach a consensus on how its shadow cabinet would be formed, despite the lengthy talks.

Deputy leader Tom Watson had proposed allowing MPs to elect other MPs onto the party's shadow cabinet, but Corbyn had instead proposed allowing ordinary members to have a say on shadow cabinet elections.

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson and Leader Jeremy Corbyn in London - (Alastair Grant/AP)
(Alastair Grant/AP)

A motion from Watson to make a decision on the finer details of the plan ahead of Saturday's leadership election result was voted down, by 16 votes to 15.

Corbyn was among those to vote against it, but did agree to further talks with Mr Watson and other senior figures before the next NEC meeting this weekend, at the party's conference in Liverpool.

Watson said afterwards: "We have talks arranged to try and bring the PLP back together, reporting back to our National Executive Committee on Saturday.

"We agreed 22 changes to our rules and guidance, all sorts of positive things I'm sure the media will be really interested in.

"It was a very positive meeting and a very long meeting, so I'm now going for something to eat."

Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson arrives at Labour Party HQ - (Yui Mok/PA)
(Yui Mok/PA)

Jon Trickett, NEC member and Shadow Business Secretary, also called it "a very positive meeting".

He added: "We agreed to continue conversations. It's important that after this election for a new leader we reunite, because the Tories are doing awful things to our country and we intend to drive forward.

"It was a positive and productive conversation. The NEC meets on Saturday and we'll have further discussions at that point.

"In fact, when you looked at the resolution that was in front of us - which was voted on - actually there wasn't a huge difference between us.

"Both sides of the argument felt we'd come to a better understanding of each other. It felt like it was a turning point for the whole party and I'm very confident now that we can reunite."

Some social media users felt that an attempt was being made to exclude members from voting.

With others suggesting Watson wasn't keen on involving members either.

Meanwhile an element of irony was detected by this observer.

And some simply worried that Labour can't seem to agree on anything right now.

Supporters of the party will hope for resolutions in the near future.