These are policy-making committees and being chair will imply a certain influence – but passing policies that run against the will of the largely Corbyn-supporting Labour membership will certainly put any rebellious chairpeople in a parlous position.
Labour voted overwhelmingly for Jeremy Corbyn and his policies. Woe betide any so-called ‘moderate’ who dares to suggest they know better.
The list of MPs who will chair Labour policy committees reads like a who’s who of Mr Corbyn’s internal critics.
They include pro-Trident MP John Woodcock who reportedly turned the air blue at a Blairite event as he summed up his views on Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
The annual Parliamentary party departmental committee elections normally pass without controversy.
But this year there appears to have been a concerted effort by Corbyn-sceptic MPs to gain control of one of the party’s policy making mechanisms, according to grassroots website Labour List.
Particularly as only four of the 17 posts were contested – although that may be because most of Corbyn’s Labour allies already have roles as shadow ministers.
Former shadow chancellor Chris Leslie, who has said Mr Corbyn’s economic policy would result in “higher inflation and higher cost of living” which would hit “the very people we should be standing up for”, will chair the Parliamentary Party’s Treasury committee.
Ian Austin, who tweeted “I’m getting a little tired of the self-indulgent comfort-zone fantasy that Corbyn could ever persuade mainstream voters to make him PM,” will chair the party’s education committee.
Shabana Mahmood, who quit the shadow cabinet, because she “strongly disagreed” with Mr Corbyn’s economic policies, will chair the justice committee.
Other Corbyn critics to be appointed to committee chairs include Caroline Flint, Tristram Hunt, Ivan Lewis, Mike Gapes and Emma Reynolds.
They will have the power to stand in for shadow ministers at the despatch box, although this is rarely used, and influence policy decisions behind the scenes.
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