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October 18, 2010

“Ken Livingstone quits Labour.”

There’s a cracking story over at Harry’s Place which suggests that Ken Livingstone has – intentionally or otherwise – just quit the Labour Party. He’s been campaigning for an independent, non-Labour candidate in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election. The independent candidate is a guy called Lutfur Rahman (see pic below), who was deselected as Labour’s candidate over serious conduct allegations. Ken’s said to think that it was a “big mistake” to remove him.

Anyway, the background is actually irrelevant. According to Harry’s Place, Chapter 2, Rule A(4)(b) of the Labour Party Rules (there’s some bedtime reading for you) states:

“A member of the party who joins and/or supports a political organisation other than an official Labour group or other unit of the party, or supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate, or publicly declares their intent to stand against a Labour candidate, shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member….”

This means, whether he likes it or not, Ken has automatically rendered himself ineligible to be or remain a party member. As such, he is also ineligible to be their mayoral candidate. Taken quite literally – and it remains to be seen how strictly the rules are enforced – Labour needs to re-open nominations and find someone else to take on Boris. Stand by, Oona King.

[EDIT: read more about it on the BBC.]

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