Unreconstructed Blairites test the patience of most Labour Party members
Yesterday a reader, who has been taking his MP to task about her resignation as a shadow minister, was referred to her assistant to hear ‘an explanation that anyone with half a political brain can work out what they would be told anyway … ‘ He writes:
“Her thought at the time was that the most important thing was that Labour should be well placed to win the next election, which she feared might be undermined by having Corbyn as leader. But now that Corbyn has become established as the new leader she is now committed to supporting the party under his leadership.” kind of thing.
He added a link to a Guardian article in which the former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said that MPs who regularly defy Labour whip should face reselection, adding that being an MP shouldn’t be regarded as ‘a job for life’.
One such, Labour backbencher Simon Danczuk, who regularly writes spiteful and disloyal articles about Jeremy Corbyn in the Daily Mail, said he was prepared to stand against Corbyn as a stalking horse if the party suffers setbacks in the May elections.
Labour MPs who do not agree with Corbyn’s key policies could face legitimate challenges in their constituencies. If large numbers of new members join a local party because they supported Jeremy Corbyn’s policies and the sitting MP is undermining the leader, they will naturally challenge him or her.
Shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, told the Andrew Marr Show that Corbyn told a recent meeting of the parliamentary Labour party there would be no change to the existing rules on the selection of MPs. McDonnell stressed: “We are opposing any threat to individual MPs. We are not in favour of reselection of these MPs. The democratic processes in the Labour party will take place on the boundary commission in the normal way.” This will mean that local parties only trigger a full reselection vote if they are unhappy with their MP’s performance.
McDonnell denied the allegations of conspiracy theorists – including Labour MPs who oppose their democratically elected leader – who say they fear that the new Momentum group set up by supporters of Corbyn and backed by the leadership, will try to oust them as candidates in the run-up to the next general election.
The current Labour leadership always takes the democratic stance and so does not favour organising to reselect parliamentary candidates.
Labour opponents of Corbyn – a small minority defined by recent voting patterns – fear that redrawing the parliamentary boundaries as part of plans to shrink the size of the Commons from 650 MPs to 600, will provide the perfect opportunity to move against some Labour MPs.
The are highlighting an interview by Seumas Milne, given well before he became Labour’s executive director of strategy and communications. He said: “The Tories are planning to bring in new boundaries for constituencies around the country. That will mean there will have to be reselections, there will have to be new selection procedures to pick Labour candidates for those constituencies. That is surely a statement of fact.
MPs who do back the popular policies proposed by the new party leadership are not at risk – but those who do not inspire their constituencies with the hope of the fairer and more humane society which Corbyn has inspired (above), may well not receive the support they would need for reselection. If they had the courage of their convictions they would not even wish to serve in the regenerated Labour Party.
Posted on October 27, 2015, in Conflict of interest, Democracy, Democracy undermined, Government, MPs, Planning, Vested interests and tagged Momentum, more humane society, parliamentary Labour party, redrawing parliamentary boundaries, regenerated Labour Party, reselection of MPs, Seumas Milne, Simon Danczuk. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.