September 19, 2019 / 6:04 AM / a month ago

Labour starts to reverse Blair's changes to nationalisation policy

FILE PHOTO: Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn listens during a shadow cabinet meeting in Salford, Britain, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Yates

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s opposition Labour Party has started a process that could reverse former leader Tony Blair’s move away from a commitment for common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, The Times reported.

Blair ditched Labour’s commitment to widespread nationalisation in 1995 by changing Clause 4 of the party’s constitution.

Labour’s national executive committee (NEC), controlled by supporters of current leader Jeremy Corbyn, agreed on Tuesday to set up a working group to examine changing the document.

The original 1917 wording of the clause, drafted by socialists Sidney and Beatrice Webb, committed Labour to “common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange”.

Blair changed it to support “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”.

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge. Editing by Andrew MacAskill

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