Labour starts to reverse Blair’s changes to nationalisation policy

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn addresses delegates on day four of the Labour Party conference at the Arena and Convention Centre on September 26, 2018 in Liverpool, England. In his closing speech to the conference the Labour leader will promise to "kickstart a green jobs revolution" and expand the provision of free childcare should Labour win power. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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  LONDON (Reuters)