With the new year brings a new leadership contest in Labour to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, though very little analysis of the way in which Welsh politicians are feeding into this. A few Welsh Labour AMs are already pinning their colours, with Jack Sargeant AM, Vikki Howells AM and Ann Jones AM choosing Keir Starmer.
All of which is very nice for the candidates, of course, but doesn’t materially affect the process of nominations. That is in the hands of the Members of Parliament from Wales. Their depleted numbers seem to be most firmly in the Starmer camp too:
Keir Starmer: Carolyn Harris MP, Nick Smith MP, Stephen Doughty MP, Anna McMorrin MP, Christina Rees MP, Wayne David MP, Jo Stevens MP.
Jess Phillips: Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Chris Bryant MP.
Emily Thornberry: Nia Griffith MP, Gerald Jones MP.
Lisa Nandy: Stephen Kinnock MP.
Thus far not a single Welsh Labour MP has backed either Clive Lewis or Rebecca Long Bailey, the Corbynista choice, though the rumours are that the new Labour Member for Cynon Valley, Beth Winter, is sure to support the latter. Nevertheless, this does seem to indicate the Welsh PLP is in rather a different place when it comes to Corbynism compared to the party in England.
Every single one of the nominations matters, of course, because there is a threshold of twenty two nominations required.
Another person who has the power to nominate is Labour’s sole Welsh MEP Jackie Jones. Like the rest of the European Parliamentary Labour Party she still has a formal voice in the matter. Obviously if the contest had been triggered three weeks later this would not have been the case. Whether the power of MEPs in any part of the UK to nominate will actually enable a candidate to reach the ballot paper remains to be seen…