Better late than never

9 Jul

In his big speech today on Labour and the trade union link Ed Miliband announced that there will be an open primary to select the party’s candidate for Mayor of London in 2016:

“Since I became Labour leader, we have opened up our policy making process and opened up the Party to registered supporters. People who do not want to join Labour but share our aims.

“But I want to go further.

“If we are to restore faith in our politics, we must do more to involve members of the public in our decision making. We must do more to open up our politics.

“So I propose for the next London Mayoral election Labour will have a primary for our candidate selection.

“Any Londoner should be eligible to vote and all they will need to do is to register as a supporter of the Labour Party at any time up to the ballot.”

This was an idea I advocated more than a year ago in comments on Councillor John Gray’s blog.

An open primary not only engages a wider group of supporters, it also attracts a great deal of media attention which can then build momentum and the public profile of the chosen candidate going into the election.

While it may have taken Ed a year to catch up with me,  it’s nice to see that he reads John’s blog, even down to the comments!

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