Labour has tried to head off a bitter battle over its constitution by rubbishing claims it wants to re-write the totemic part that marked the party’s cut up from socialism beneath Tony Blair.
A senior party supply described as fully unfaithful a report in The Times that Labour’s ruling physique has arrange a working group to look into re-drafting clause 4.
The clause was initially drawn up in 1917 to commit Labour to “secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry” on the idea of “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange”.
It was overhauled by Mr Blair when he took over as Labour chief to assist “a dynamic economy, serving the public interest, in which the enterprise of the market and the rigour of competition are joined with the forces of partnership and co-operation to produce the wealth the nation needs”.
The report in The Times prompted a backlash from some Labour figures, together with London mayor Sadiq Khan who instructed Sky News he was “against” the plan to “to try and put in our constitution something that was out of date 25 years ago – let alone in 2019”.
He admitted that “constitutions adapt and reflect the society we live in. A constitution written in the early 20th century is clearly not suitable for the Labour Party which wanted to govern in the 1990s”.
But he added: “Similarly, a constitution modified in 1995 will not be related to 2019.
“So let’s take a look at it if that is what the powers that be need to do.
“Let’s not go backwards – let’s go forwards.”
Labour chief Jerermy Corbyn beforehand signalled he was open to the thought, saying throughout his management marketing campaign in 2015 that: “I believe we must always speak about what the targets of the party are, whether or not that is restoring Clause Four as it was initially written or it’s a distinct one.
“But we shouldn’t shy away from public participation, public investment in industry and public control of the railways.”
A senior Labour supply stated the story stemmed from members in Dundee submitting a movement for debate on the upcoming party convention calling for the unique Clause 4 to be restored.
“This is jumping the gun,” they instructed Sky News.
They stated the National Executive Committee was asking the members to “withdraw the motion” and if it doesn’t, the NEC “will recommend it be opposed”.