Jeremy Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn (C) pictured by his supporters in Parliament Square in June. The Labour leader has been accused of not doing enough to curb online abuse of his MPs by members who will now have to sign a pledge Reuters

Labour is to demand that all of its existing and prospective members sign a pledge about online behaviour and conduct, as part of a clampdown on a "tsunami" of internet abuse. During a meeting of the the National Executive Committee (NEC), the party agreed that any membership would include strict rules on social media behaviour.

Members would have to sign the pledge, which will state: "I stand against all forms of abuse. I understand that if found to be in breach of the Labour party policy on online and offline abuse, I will be subject to the rules and procedures of the Labour party."

It is hoped that the signed document will stop trolling, publishing private information and online bullying.

The proposal - drawn up by deputy leader Tom Watson and MP Yvette Cooper - will be rubber stamped by Labour conference later in September (2016).

Labour MP Ruth Smeeth said that she had been subjected to 25,000 incidents of abuse, including a string of antisemitic attacks.

Under the new rules, members could be suspended from the party or expelled. After the pledge agreement, Smeeth said: "I think this is a great step forward. MPs have been subject to a tsunami of abuse," The Guardian reported.

Some MPs have criticised leader Jeremy Corbyn for not protecting Labour politicians from abuse from his supporters. But Corbyn backed the action and said that he has also suffered abuse and "will absolutely not allow any sort of it, whatsoever, anywhere around our campaign", The Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, the NEC meeting failed to come to a conclusion over how it would form its shadow cabinet with members unable to reach a compromise after eight hours of talks. The committee had considered whether to reinstate elections to the shadow cabinet. Since 2011, the party leader has selected his own top team.

However, a proposal to decide on the details of the online abuse plan ahead of the upcoming leadership election count on Saturday (24 September) was voted down by 16 votes to 15.