Cllr Brandwood: “the current MPs need replacing to reflect the views of the electorate” [Image: BBC].
A Labour town councillor wants to encourage fellow members to replace the party’s current array of MPs – by standing for Parliament himself.
Joshua Brandwood, who represents the party on Morecambe Town Council, will put his name forward as a Parliamentary candidate for Morecambe at the next general election – in support of Jeremy Corbyn and his politics.
The incumbent is Conservative David Morris, but Cllr Brandwood says it is important for Labour members to put themselves forward to replace the 172 of their own party’s MPs who supported a ‘no confidence’ motion in party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Monday.
“I find it fundamentally unacceptable the majority of Labour MPs have passed a motion of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn,” he told Vox Political.
“The electorate decided that he was the right man for the job and therefore fellow MPs should respect the mandate. I personally feel that they voted against Corbyn for their own careerist aspirations.
“I also think their ‘private’ ballot was an incredibly spineless thing to do. If they had so much confidence regarding the public support for their vote, why was it private?”
He said: “I think Labour needs new blood and someone with integrity to maintain unity within the party. I am therefore declaring that I will be putting my name forward as a parliamentary candidate for Morecambe.
“For the Labour party to progress the current MPs need replacing to reflect the views of the electorate.”
It has been suggested that the vote was held in private – and in haste – to prevent MPs constituency Labour parties from finding out which way they intended to vote. A chorus of disapproval arose from the CLPs after the vote took place because 95 per cent of them support Mr Corbyn.
Mr Corbyn’s mandate has been the subject of considerable debate, with some claiming that MPs have a mandate from their own electorates that should override their responsibility to Mr Corbyn.
Others have pointed out that Mr Corbyn has the support of more than a quarter of a million Labour members – far more than the electors who voted any of his MPs into Parliament – and that these MPs were elected to Parliament with the help of CLP members and as representatives of their CLPs, and therefore they are not at liberty to ignore the express wishes of their CLPs whenever it suits them.
The full report is available online, here. I recommend it to those of you who enjoy digging out the full details; you can hold Labour to them later.
Recommendations made by the inquiry include:
Epithets such as “Paki” and “Zio”, abusive references to any particular person or group based on actual or perceived physical characteristics and racial or religious tropes and stereotypes, should have no place in Labour Party discourse.
Labour members should resist the use of Hitler, Nazi and Holocaust metaphors, distortions and comparisons in debates about Israel-Palestine in particular.
There should be procedural rule changes to improve the party’s disciplinary process and the adoption and publication of a complaints procedure.
The appointment of a General Counsel to the Labour Party to give advice on issues including disciplinary matters and to take responsibility for instructing external lawyers.
The party should increase the ethnic diversity of its staff.
Ms Shah, the MP for Bradford West, was suspended after social media posts emerged in which she suggested Israel should be moved to the United States.
Mr Livingstone was then suspended after claiming Hitler supported Zionism, as he tried to defend Ms Shah.
No update on these cases were given as Ms Chakrabarti said due process must be followed.
The facts of this matter are not yet clear, but the behaviour of both parties appears to have been extremely ill-judged.
It seems the launch of Shami Chakrabarti’s report into alleged anti-Semitism in the Labour party was marred by a row between a member of pro-Jeremy Corbyn group Momentum and Labour MP Ruth Smeeth who, it appears, is Jewish.
This Writer would not have known that, prior to today’s events. It isn’t on any publicity material I have seen for Ms Smeeth and, to be perfectly honest, it’s none of my business what religion she chooses to follow, if any.
Even her presence at an event about anti-Semitism is no indication. I am not Jewish myself but the focus on this issue, before the local elections in May, means it is likely I would have wanted to attend this event, had I been located a little nearer to it.
So I have a doubt when I see Ms Smeeth saying Momentum activist Marc Wadsworth subjected her to “anti-Semitic” abuse.
Is it anti-Semitic to make a connection between a newspaper and an MP when a representative of one is seen working with another? I would suggest that the answer is no.
From the Huffington Post‘s story, it seems Mr Wadsworth had been handing out press releases from Momentum containing some incendiary language. I haven’t seen it so I cannot confirm the allegation that it said MPs trying to unseat Mr Corbyn were “traitors”.
It seems a Telegraph columnist had handed a copy of this press release to Ms Smeeth, in order to get a reaction that could be used in a future newspaper report, and this is what prompted Mr Wadsworth to make his remark.
That remark, we are told, is: ““I saw the Telegraph handed a copy of a press release to Ruth Smeeth MP; you can see who is working hand-in-hand.”
(I have another doubt about this; in conversation I don’t usually refer to elected representatives as “[their name] MP” so I find it odd that Mr Wadsworth is represented as having done so. Still, we work with what we’re given.)
Is that an anti-Semitic remark? I would argue that it isn’t.
In any case, Ms Smeeth’s subsequent outburst against Jeremy Corbyn is completely out-of-order.
She claimed the Labour leader “stood by” and did “absolutely nothing” during the incident. Did he even know anything had happened until she got up and walked out? The video clip does not show him anywhere near these events.
Yet she has taken this apparent lack of interest as an opportunity to demand Mr Corbyn’s resignation, saying “a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews” and that the party needed “someone with the backbone to confront racism and anti-Semitism in our party and in the country”.
The accusation is bizarre because not only was the inquiry a direct result of action by Mr Corbyn to address possible anti-Semitism and racism in the Labour Party, but the party was in the process of receiving a mostly clean bill of health as she stormed out of the meeting.
Jeremy Corbyn should resign because Labour is not a “safe space for British Jews” with him as leader, a Jewish Labour MP has said.
Ruth Smeeth this morning left a Labour anti-Semitism event after being accused by a Momentum activist of working “hand-in-hand” with the media to damage Corbyn.
The Stoke-on-Trent North MP said in a statement this afternoon Corbyn had “stood by” and done “absolutely nothing” as she was subjected to “anti-Semitic slurs”.
“People like this have no place in our party or our movement and must be opposed. Until today I had made no public comment about Jeremy’s ability to lead our party, but the fact that he failed to intervene is final proof for me that he is unfit to lead, and that a Labour Party under his stewardship cannot be a safe space for British Jews,” she said.
“No-one from the Leader’s office has contacted me since the event, which is itself a catastrophic failure of leadership. I call on Jeremy Corbyn to resign immediately and make way for someone with the backbone to confront racism and antisemitism in our party and in the country.”
Mr Corbyn himself came under attack for his own comments, which critics rather desperately tried to twist into a comparison between the state of Israel and the terrorists of Daesh, sometimes called Islamic State.
In his speech, he said: “To assume that a Jewish friend or fellow member is wealthy, some kind of financial or media conspiracy, or takes a particular position on politics in general or on Israel and on Palestine in particular, is just wrong.
“Our Jewish friends are no more responsible for the actions of Israel or the Netanyahu government than our Muslim friends are for those various self-styled Islamic States or organisations.”
Look at the words. He was making a distinction between two different things – not a comparison between, as it happens, two different things.
Much has been made of claims that criticism of the state of Israel is equivalent to anti-Semitism. Mr Corbyn was making it clear that these claims carry no weight and the political actions of the government in Israel may not be linked with Jewish people in general – in exactly the same way that Muslims may not be linked with organisations we associate with terrorism, just because they (nominally) share a religion.
The relevant comparison isn’t between Israel and Daesh/Islamic State, but between Jews and Israel, or between Muslims and Daesh/Islamic State.
I apologise for making a meal of this but it is important to make the distinctions clear before going on to say that the claim of Sam Stopp, a Labour councillor in Brent, north-west London, who tweeted, “@jeremycorbyn has compared Israel to ISIS today. For that alone, he should resign. I am red with fury #Corbyn”, is codswallop.
This Writer is left with the impression that Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents within the Labour Party have been reduced to manufacturing uncomfortable and false slurs against him – perhaps to make up for the lack of any substantial evidence of wrong-doing or incompetence?
Splitting the splitters: Owen Smith has triggered in-fighting between factions among Jeremy Corbyn’s opponents – all of whom have, of course, betrayed the slogan on the podium shown here [Image: Gareth Fuller/PA].
What a pathetic display.
After a tentative announcement that Angela Eagle would run in the Labour leadership poll as a ‘unity’ candidate was met with widespread derision on the social media, MPs who oppose Jeremy Corbyn are now divided over who their candidate should be.
They don’t want to field two candidates because this will split their already-small proportion of the vote, and they are desperate to find someone who can lure Labour members away from supporting Mr Corbyn.
The rebellion in the Parliamentary Labour Party has been labelled the #ChickenCoup on social media because, while its members are trying to mount a coup against Mr Corbyn, they are afraid of revealing their treachery to members of their own constituency parties, who support the Labour leader.
So you get comments like those in The Guardian today, in which supporters of Angela Eagle are now making accusations against late challenger Owen Smith.
Particularly interesting is the point that, if she is questionable because she voted for the Iraq War, then he must also fall under suspicion, because he was a special advisor to an MP who voted for that war.
And the National Executive Committee is meeting to decide whether Mr Corbyn needs nominations from 51 MPs before he can appear on the ballot paper.
This should be a rubber-stamp exercise. With the support of 95 per cent of constituency parties, it seems clear that Corbyn must be allowed to stan,d automatically.
The outrage if he is barred may sink Labour more surely than any of the shenanigans we have seen so far.
Labour’s leadership challenge against Jeremy Corbyn was up in the air on Thursday morning after plans for Angela Eagle to trigger the contest came up against an alternative pitch from the former shadow work and pensions secretary Owen Smith, who has collected nominations from dozens of MPs.
Sources say that Eagle, who also resigned from her shadow cabinet position, is meeting Smith so that the party can agree on a single candidate, with MPs on both sides pushing hard for their preferred choice.
Allies of Eagle insisted that she remained the unity candidate who had support across the party, and accused Smith of “scrabbling” for nominations at the last moment.
But some MPs have told the Guardian they believe Smith has the better prospect of beating Corbyn because he is further to the left politically. They also fear Eagle could be attacked by the leader’s supporters because the Chilcot inquiry will be published next week, and she voted in favour of the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Eagle’s supporters dismissed the suggestion, pointing out that Iraq was an issue for lots of politicians, including Smith, who was an adviser to the MP Paul Murphy, who also voted for the war.
One senior MP, who has also resigned from Labour’s top team, told the Guardian: “In general there is lots of disquiet that [Eagle] might unilaterally declare. PLP [the parliamentary Labour party] feel strongly that we should take a collective view about who can beat [Corbyn], not simply one person who just decides to declare themselves.”
Meanwhile, the party’s national executive committee will meet to vote on whether Corbyn ought to be automatically placed on the ballot or if he will have to collect the nominations of MPs.
One piece of legal advice, leaked to the Guardian, suggests that he does not need support, but can simply run again. But NEC sources have suggested that there is a second document, which has not been seen, showing the opposite, with many pointing to a 1980s contest in which Tony Benn challenged the leader, Neil Kinnock. They point out that Kinnock was expected to collect nominations.
Michael Gove (right) had been expected to throw his weight behind Boris Johnson for Tory leader and PM. After he withdrew that support to fight for the leadership himself, Johnson threw in the towel. [Image: Reuters].
Oh good. Boris’s was the only Tory face the public even halfway liked.
Whichever of the remaining grotesques wins the leadership, the Tories will be unelectable on their own.
It looks like Messrs Murdoch and Dacre will have a big job on their hands – in many senses of the phrase – if a snap election is called, later in the year.
Ex-London mayor Boris Johnson has ruled himself out of the race to be the next Conservative leader and prime minister.
In a speech in London – billed as his campaign launch – Mr Johnson said he did not believe he could provide the leadership or unity needed.
It comes after Justice Secretary and fellow Brexit campaigner Michael Gove’s surprise announcement on Thursday morning that he would run for leader.
Home Secretary Theresa May is among the candidates. Nominations shut at noon.
Also in the running are Energy minister Andrea Leadsom and Defence Secretary Liam Fox – who campaigned to leave the EU – and Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb, who backed Remain.
Ed Miliband joined in the calls for Corbyn to resign this week. Private Eye has already pointed out that some of his ideas aren’t worth the bother. [Image: Hat Trick Productions.]
A small number of self-indulgent and irresponsible MPs are threatening to damage Labour beyond all repair, writes Mark Seddon in the Morning Star.*
This squalid coup aimed at destabilising the new leadership has been planned from the get-go — a self-fulfilling prophecy from false prophets, many of whom owe their careers in Parliament to the Tammany Hall politics of provided parachutes or well-connected parents.
This parade of mannequins are dancing to the tune of yesterday’s men, Tony Blair and Lord Peter Mandelson.
And the same procession of baleful professional malcontents who cannot yet offer a pretender, nor any policies, have staged a secret ballot of no confidence to protect them from the ire of the members.
They want to keep Corbyn’s name off any ballot paper in case he should win again with an increased majority.
What contemptible cowards. We cannot let them succeed.
Oh, and Theresa May wants to be the UK’s second female prime minister.
That would be ironic, because it means the woman who said the Tories were the “nasty” party would then be in a position where we could all watch her doing absolutely nothing about it.
Gove’s candidacy shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, after the email that his wife, Sarah Vine, managed to send out to the public yesterday (June 29).
Previously tipped to back Boris Johnson’s leadership bid – possibly on a joint ticket – the email showed that there was no trust between the two Tories, and that Ms Vine believes the people hubby needs to impress are newspaper magnates Paul Dacre (Daily Mail) and Rupert Murdoch (The Sun, and multiple other right-wing rags/TV stations). The public don’t get a look-in.
In line with Ms Vine’s belief that Gove has a better profile with Dacre and Murdoch, he has dropped Johnson like a bad habit and opted to go it alone.
In a backstabbing speech, Gove said: “I have come, reluctantly, to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead … I have, therefore, decided to put my name forward for the leadership.”
Zelo Street blogger Tim Fenton reckons he won’t have the faintest idea what to do with the leadership if he gets it, having freeloaded his way to the candidacy without contributing anything to the country. He says this is consistent with Gove’s performance in the EU referendum.
The sad thing is, it’s also consistent with most of the rest of today’s Conservative Party.
Did David Cameron have any great ideas for the UK? No. He steered us into the biggest disaster in this country’s history.
With Michael Gove, we can expect more of the same.
Justice Secretary Michael Gove is to run to be the next Conservative Party leader and UK prime minister.
Mr Gove, a prominent figure in the Brexit campaign, had been expected to support Boris Johnson’s candidacy.
He said he was standing because he had come “to the conclusion that Boris cannot provide the leadership or build the team for the task ahead”.
Home Secretary Theresa May, who backed staying in the EU, has also entered the contest. Nominations close at noon.
The winner of the contest is set to be announced on 9 September.
I had serious doubts about posting this, because it would be wrong to give the people responsible any kind of encouragement.
But it would also be wrong to let them get away with it, by letting it go unremarked.
Anybody who thinks the kind of behaviour listed below is anything other than abhorrent should seek mental health assistance, in my opinion.
The far-right British National Party has posted leaflets to people living near the West Yorkshire town where Labour MP Jo Cox was killed, accusing her of taking “misguided action” by “helping Muslims”, the Commons has heard.
Labour’s Paula Sherriff said the “horrendous” leaflets, which had gone to her constituents in Dewsbury, said Mrs Cox was wrong to help people who may go on to join Islamic State, also known as Isis.
Ms Sherriff said: “Many members will be aware that my constituency sits right next door to Batley and Spen.
“Yesterday people in my constituency received a leaflet from the BNP saying Jo Cox took misguided action by helping Muslims in the country who may now go on to join Isis, alongside some other horrendous allegations.
“Then I have received a significant number of communications from constituents, one – a seven year-old Muslim girl – was told on Friday, I’ve removed the expletives from this for the purpose of this House, ‘it was the best day ever today, go home all of you’ to her and her family.”
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