Labour to release details of trade union support for Jeremy Corbyn

The previous decision to withhold the information is to be overturned

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Figures that will show how much Jeremy Corbyn relied on trade union support in his campaign for the Labour leadership will be made public.

After a long meeting behind closed doors, Labour’s procedure committee decided yesterday to overturn a previous decision to keep to a minimum the amount of information released about the votes cast for each candidate in the long running leadership election.

Published results will now be broken down into three parts, so that people can see how the support gained by each candidate was divided among the three categories in  the vote – fully paid up party members, those who are not members but paid a £3 affiliation fee, and those who voted through their trade unions.

Party officials had been reluctant to release this amount of detail because of the embarrassment it caused when Ed Miliband won the leadership election despite having less support among party members than his older brother, David. He won because he had more trade union support. That enabled the Conservatives to taunt Ed Miliband for allegedly being in the pocket of union leaders.

Polling evidence suggests that Jeremy Corbyn will win in all three categories this time, but his margin will vary.

 

The U-turn is a victory for Liz Kendall, the Blairite candidate who looks likely to come fourth out of four. She called for a breakdown of the figures to be made public, because she believes it will show that she has more support among full party members than in the other two categories.

In a letter sent to Labour’s acting leader Harriet Harman ahead of yesterday’s meeting, Ms Kendall claimed: “Openness and transparency means members should get the breakdown of the result so that we can see the turnout in the different sections. That way we will know how well the process has worked overall.”

In what will be seen as setback for the Corbyn camp, the Procedure Committee also ruled that the canvas returns can be used to weed out people who have voted in the leadership election who have previously told canvassers they do not support Labour.

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