Labour MPs who tried to remove their leader with staged, staggered Shadow Cabinet resignations, a meaningless vote of ‘no confidence’ and a series of contrived stunts to make him look poor are facing the wrath of their fellow party members.
Several constituency Labour parties have already passed votes of ‘no confidence’ against their own MPs, with many more registering their confidence in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
First to bear the brunt of his fellow members’ displeasure, according to The Canary, was John Spellar, widely believed to be Labour’s most right-wing MP:
The first victim of what is now becoming known as the #ChickenCoup, is likely to be Labour MP John Spellar. He recently appeared on the BBC’s Daily Politics programme, and launched into a breathtaking rant about the party membership and voters – who are now all to the left of him.
Dismissing the membership as “Trots” and “lunatics” – Spellar revealed the utter contempt with which the Blairite ring of the Parliamentary Labour Party holds their 380,000 members and millions of voters.
So, as The Canary predicted – local constituencies are now moving against those MPs for disloyalty – beginning with Spellar. The Canary received this press release from Spellar’s ward this week:
“90% of John Spellar’s Local Labour Party Members Support Jeremy Corbyn. Following the tabling of a Motion of No Confidence in the Labour Party Leader, officers of Abbey Ward in the Warley constituency launched a poll of its members. Over 90% of the members have called on John Spellar (their Labour MP) not to support the Vote of No Confidence. The members called on all Labour MPs, especially our own MP John Spellar, to join with the majority of party members and reject this attempt to remove Jeremy Corbyn. It is only by uniting behind the leadership of the party that we will ensure that the Labour Party proves to the electorate that we are capable of governing and providing a real alternative to the austerity measures of this Tory Government at the next general election.
But Spellar looks to be only the first, among a widespread democratic upheaval within the party. As BBC Newsnight tweeted (but no journalists seemed bothered to pick up) this is likely the beginning of a landslide rebellion against the neoliberal/Blairite establishment of the party.
It has been suggested on Twitter that Tristram Hunt’s CLP, Stoke on Trent Central, has also passed a motion of no confidence against him.
The Independent has published the results of a poll of party members stating that Mr Corbyn will “comfortably” defeat any of the likely challengers against him in a Labour leadership contest:
Though a new YouGov survey shows increasing concern amongst Labour members about Mr Corbyn’s leadership, there is little support for any of the alternative candidates vying to topple him.
Mr Corbyn would defeat Tom Watson by 50 points to 39, Angela Eagle by 50 points to 40, and Dan Jarvis by 52 points to 35, the poll says.
In any case, according to LabourLeft’s Eoin Clarke on Twitter: “Latest indication now is all three prospective challengers against Corbyn have chickened out. This will forever be remembered as #ChickenCoup”
One reason for this collective lack of confidence may be the treatment of Angela Eagle by her constituency party. The day after the EU referendum (June 24), Wallasey CLP voted overwhelmingly to support Mr Corbyn – with 40 members for him, none against, and four abstentions.
The deputy chair of Wallasey CLP has also appeared on television, voicing his own support for Mr Corbyn. At one point he stated that he believed in democracy, “unlike 172 Labour MPs”.
Isle of Wight Labour members have overwhelmingly supported Mr Corbyn:
At a meeting (Thursday) attended by 75 party members the following Motion was approved by 45 votes to 16:
•IW Labour re-affirms it’s support for Jeremy Corbyn as Leader of the Labour Party, democratically elected by party members;
•welcomes the new members of the Shadow Cabinet;
•calls on the Parliamentary Labour Party to put the interests of the country first, by stopping its divisive and distracting leadership challenge and focusing instead on dealing with the aftermath of the EU Referendum result.
Both Labour councillors (Cllr Geoff Lumley and Cllr Alan Hollands) supported the Motion.
Nottingham East CLP has passed a vote of confidence in Mr Corbyn, although Chris Leslie MP wasn’t there to hear his CLP’s decision.
And Twitter tells us there were “great speeches at Lewisham West & Penge CLP meeting in support of Jeremy Corbyn.”
I’ll publish more information as and when I receive it. If you have information about, events, CLP meetings and votes – either about Mr Corbyn or about rebel Labour MPs, feel free to get in touch via the ‘comment’ column.
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