Key to this is Len McLuskey’s statement that Unite may end its opposition to the mandatory re-selection of MPs.
This means the Labour rebels may face deselection before the next general election – an election that may arrive as early as October this year.
Of course, there are other arguments that the quitters and orchestrators of the attempted coup should face dismissal from the party, having brought it into disrepute by their actions.
It seems clear that a conspiracy has been taking place, as Malc Coyle – the man who was told in April that Labour members were planning to oust Jeremy Corbyn after the referendum – has come forward to confirm in one of This Blog’s comment columns.
Their leader isn’t listening to the quitters; the unions are briefing against them and the majority of the Labour membership is disgusted by them.
And the mass media are still claiming it’s only a matter of time until Corbyn quits.
He has proved them wrong so far!
Trade unions have today thrown their weight behind Jeremy Corbyn as party members attempt to overthrow him as leader.
A joint statement signed by the general secretaries of ASLEF, BECTU, BFAWU, CWU, FBU, GMB, MU, NUM, TSSA, UCATT, UNISON, Unite says:
“The Prime Minister’s resignation has triggered a Tory leadership crisis. At the very time we need politicians to come together for the common good, the Tory party is plunging into a period of argument and infighting. In the absence of a government that puts the people first Labour must unite as a source of national stability and unity.
“It should focus on speaking up for jobs and workers’ rights under threat, and on challenging any attempt to use the referendum result to introduce a more right-wing Tory government by the backdoor.
“The last thing Labour needs is a manufactured leadership row of its own in the midst of this crisis and we call upon all Labour MPs not to engage in any such indulgence.”
Writing the The Guardian, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey said: “Those Labour MPs plunging their party into an unwanted crisis are betraying not only the party itself but also our national interest at one of the most critical moments any of us can recall.
“Hilary Benn and others have decided this is the moment to let the Tories off the hook and turn Labour inwards and try to set aside the overwhelming result of a party leadership election held less than 10 months ago.
“It seems clear that this coup would have been launched irrespective of the referendum result. Anyone who thinks remain would have won the vote if Jeremy Corbyn had told traditional Labour areas that all was well with the EU and with globalisation is living in a dream world. It is easier to do that from an oligarch’s yacht or a bank boardroom than it is in our de-industrialised cities and towns.
“A new leadership election is divisive and unnecessary. But if enough MPs want one, then bring it on. I am sure that Corbyn will secure a fresh mandate. But let me make two things clear.
“First, if anyone is undemocratic enough to think that there can be a new leadership election with the existing leader kept off the ballot, then they are setting the Labour party on course for a split.
“And second, Unite has hitherto opposed any plans to change the party rules governing mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs. That, too, we have looked on as a divisive distraction.
“But those MPs who have missed no opportunity to tweet and brief against the party’s elected leader over the last 10 months will find that their disloyalty finds no favour with party members and will make this an increasingly difficult line to hold.”
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