However although East of England Party delegate Peter Coghill described himself as a convinced republican, he called for the motion by the Co-operative Group Bristol Party to be remitted on the grounds that it was too vague and that the issues needed to be “fleshed out”.
He said: “We need time to allow for more consideration. We could end up with someone like Margaret Thatcher as President, God forbid!”
Proposer Simon Crew said the motion was inspired by previous debates at Co-op Party conferences when delegates had voted to abolish the unelected House of Lords and the honours system.
“It’s a matter of principle,” he said. “In the 21st century, the head of state should not be determined by an accident of birth.”
Another supporter of the motion, John Rosen of Southern Party, said the present encumbents might wish to stand in an election, adding: “We might get a surprise if they get in.”
No one spoke against the motion and the NEC offered no advice as it was deemed to be a non-co-operative issue.