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Labour Party McNicol’s resignation ‘clears the way for Labour victory

IAIN McNicol’s resignation as Labour Party general secretary clears the way to a Labour election victory, a group of party activists said at the weekend.

Mr McNicol said he was taking an “opportunity to pursue new challenges” on Friday night.

He was Labour’s senior official when tens of thousands of new party members were barred from voting in the 2016 Labour leadership election as Owen Smith miscarried the hopes of the right against popular incumbent Jeremy Corbyn

Mr McNicol was accused of trying to prevent Mr Corbyn getting on the 2016 ballot paper by arguing that he should seek nominations from MPs.

The leadership challenge brought a surge of applications for party membership from people wishing to vote in the election.

Most were assumed to be Corbyn supporters and the Labour Party’s national apparatus moved against them.

An estimated 130,000 new members were barred from voting by the party’s national executive committee, which defeated a challenge to its ruling in the High Court.

Despite the disenfranchisement, Mr Corbyn won the leadership contest with an increased majority.

Campaign group Labour Against the Witchhunt welcomed Mr McNicol’s resignation.  

“We see his resignation very much as an important symbol and an integral part of our fight to radically transform the Labour Party, which is undergoing a long overdue democracy review,” the group said.

“The purging of pro-Corbyn activists has been a major stumbling block to Labour winning a general election, which requires maximum unity.”

Mr McNicol will remain until a successor is found and confirmed at Labour’s annual conference in autumn.

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