Ed Miliband’s radical plans to connect with the people: 'Pay just £3 and vote for the leader'

New Labour Party rules will ‘give power back to ordinary people’ on unprecedented scale as subscription will give anyone the right to influence policy and leadership elections

Whitehall Editor

Politics is a game now watched by “fewer and fewer spectators”, Ed Miliband has warned, while pledging to commit Labour to the biggest devolution of power in the party’s history.

In an interview with The Independent, Mr Miliband said his changes to Labour Party membership, due to be agreed at a special conference next week, would be “more significant” than Tony Blair’s abolition of Clause Four.

“Clause Four was a symbol of what we believed,” he said. “But this is bigger than Clause Four in its impact on the way it will change politics.”

Under the plan, anyone will be able to register as a Labour supporter for £3 a year, vote in leadership elections and feed in to the party’s policy-making process.

Mr Miliband hopes the reforms will allow Labour to recruit thousands of new “members”, opening up the party to “ordinary people” who don’t want to go as far as joining a political party.

“This is about addressing the discontent people feel about politics, and opening ourselves up,” he said.

“We are not going to be a shrivelled, shrinking band of people. We have got to find new ways of getting people into our party.

Read more:
I’ll return politics to the people, says Miliband

“We are trying to buck the trend of what has been happening to political parties around the world. They are facing declining support.

“There are millions of people from every walk of life and, for the first time, we are saying they can be part of our party without having to go so far as joining it.

“By anyone’s estimation, I think these are pretty seismic changes.”

Mr Miliband said he agreed with the Conservative House of Commons Speaker John Bercow that Westminster politics also needed to be reformed and that Prime Minister’s Questions was alienating the electorate.

“It is actually irrelevant,” he said. “It’s watched by a few hundred people in Westminster but it doesn’t travel beyond Westminster and that should make us all pause for thought.

“I have a simple view. If people think politics will make a difference then they will get engaged. If they think it is just a bunch of blokes shouting at each other then they won’t.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?