Miliband's bid to reform union link backed by Labour executive
Ed Miliband's bid to reform Labour's links with trade unions, including a change to the leadership elections, has been overwhelmingly backed by the party's executive. The proposals will now go to a vote of delegates at a special conference in March.
Deputy Political Editor Chris Ship has said Labour's executive overwhelmingly backed the changed to the party's trade union links by 28 votes to two - but he changes will take five years to be implemented:
Ed Miliband's proposals to reform Labour's links with trade unions will be debated today and comes as more details emerged of the internal inquiry into the ballot-rigging claims which prompted his reform drive.
A leaked copy of the internal report into alleged voting irregularities by the Unite union in the Falkirk constituency - which Mr Miliband has declined to release - has been published by The Guardian.
Karie Murphy, the Unite-backed candidate who was forced to quit the race to be party's general election candidate in the seat, told the newspaper the report showed that "none of the allegations were supported by evidence".
Mr Miliband announced his determination to reform Labour's trade union links after becoming embroiled in a bitter war of words with Unite boss Len McCluskey over the Falkirk allegations.
He described attempts to pack the local party with supporters of its preferred candidate, Ms Murphy, as the sort of "machine politics" which he wanted to end and referred the case to the police but the party later dropped its inquiry citing the withdrawal of key evidence.
Labour's national executive will today debate Ed Miliband's proposals on reforming the party's leadership elections.
Under his proposals, the electoral college system for leadership elections - which gives a third of the votes each to the unions, party members, and MPs and MEPs - will be scrapped for a system of one member, one vote.
Mr Miliband made a late change to his plans last night to avert concerns they could reduce the choice of candidates.
MPs aspiring to lead the party will now require the support of 15% of their colleagues to get on to the ballot paper rather than the 20% put forward by former Labour and union official Lord Collins in his reform blueprint.
Several Labour MPs felt the higher threshold could narrow the field too much and pointed out that had the 20% rule been in place during the 2010 election, only Mr Miliband and his brother David would have been able to stand.
Contenders would need 39 nominations and as many as six candidates could go forward for a ballot of party members, under the new proposals.