Harry Barnes posted this in the comments yesterday and as a post on his blog and it is worth highlighting here. He makes excellent points about how this leadership race should be conducted.
“As the closing date for Labour MPs to nominate candidates for the Labour Leadership Election has now been extended to 9th June, two further measures need to be taken.
“First, those Labour MPs who have come out in support of specific candidates should withdraw their endorsements until they have consulted the views within the Movement, especially those opinions of the Constituency Parties who have just worked to return them to the Commons.
“Secondly, Constituency Parties should set up open meetings for their membership to discuss (a) what they see as the way forward for the Labour Party and (b) to take a vote on whom they favour to become leader.
“Those Constituency Parties who have Labour MPs should arrange these meetings so that their MP can be in attendance. In these cases meetings are likely to need to fall between 28th and 30th May or 4th to 6th June. It should not be the intention of meetings to instruct their MP on how to act, but for each MP to absorb the ideas and preferences of the membership whilst fully participating in the discussions.
“All Constituency Parties (whether or not they have Labour MPs) should be encouraged to send their views on ideas and preferences to the NEC of the Labour Party. The NEC findings should then be forwarded to the Parliamentary Labour Party who should hold a meeting to consider these by 8th June.”
Gordon Adds: It’s a spot on take about how this race should be conducted. Labour is at the start of a long conversation about renewal and that has to start at the local level.
It makes sense that sense that this involves all aspects of the leadership race, that the grass roots get to have their voice heard and engaged with, allowing the party to reach out and get people talking and build on the energy that is out there.
UPDATE: Labourlist has posted that David Miliband now has the support of at least 36 Labour MPs.