Angela Eagle’s challenge, and today’s misinformation about Jeremy Corbyn

The Eagle is grounded: Angela Eagle is spending a lot of time outside her own front door. At this rate she'll never get down the road to the supermarket, let alone back onto Labour's front bench [Image: BBC].

The Eagle is grounded: Angela Eagle is spending a lot of time outside her own front door. At this rate she’ll never get down the road to the supermarket, let alone back onto Labour’s front bench [Image: BBC].

The BBC appears to be scraping the bottom of the barrel; I thought Angela Eagle was ready to challenge Jeremy Corbyn last Thursday.

So, why doesn’t she? Is she afraid she’ll lose? Or just hoping the lawyers will say he can’t be on the ballot paper because he can’t get enough nominations.

The latter possibility will never happen. Here’s why:

The current rules on Labour leadership elections have been researched by the House of Commons Library, and the results may be viewed here: researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN03938/SN03938.pdf

The relevant part states: “Where there is no vacancy, nominations may be sought by potential challengers each year prior to the annual session of Party conference. In this case any nomination must be supported by 20 per cent of the combined Commons members of the PLP and members of the EPLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.”

There is no vacancy, so only challengers for the leadership – not the leader himself – have to collect support from MPs and MEPs.

If the post was vacant, then only 32 signatures would be needed – 12.5 per cent of those available. That’s well within Corbyn’s power.

In the article, Ms Eagle said:  “It’s a week since Jeremy lost that vote of no confidence and there are many other people up and down the country wanting him to consider his position.”

That’s not quite an untruth. Many people probably do want him to “consider his position” (a euphemism; she means “quit”). Many more know he already has and is satisfied that a majority want him to stay. We’ve had tens of thousands of people rallying for him to stay, after all. When will be the first rally for him to quit?

Until we see tangible evidence that people really want him to go, Ms Eagle is doing nothing but spouting wind.

The article also persists with the claim that Mr Corbyn is refusing to speak to Labour MPs. This one was debunked last week but John McDonnell provided a nice new comment to clarify: “If they request a meeting with Jeremy today, he will give them that meeting… he has had an open door policy all the way through.

“It would be better if those MPs who have stood down from their positions thought again and started working again, supporting the party in opposition.”

The unions’ offer to mediate an agreement between Mr Corbyn and the mutineers seems generous, but what do they want out of it?

Finally, if Norman Smith is right and the mutineers are waiting until after the Chilcot Report is published – to see if Mr Corbyn will say his piece about Tony Blair deserving to be before a war crimes trial and then go – then This Writer may be more influential than I thought I was.

I tweeted Tom Watson a couple of days ago, suggesting a cease-fire until after Chilcot – to remove any suspicions that the mutineers were trying to stifle legitimate criticism of Mr Blair.

Perhaps he passed the message on. If so, it’ll be the only one that has actually got through to them.

Labour’s Angela Eagle says she will run against Jeremy Corbyn unless he quits.

Ms Eagle said she had enough support to mount a challenge to resolve the “impasse” in the party since MPs passed a vote of no confidence in the leader.

But Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said unions could broker a peace deal between MPs and the leadership.

He denied access to Mr Corbyn was being restricted, saying the leader had an “open door” policy towards MPs and that Ms Eagle could meet him today.

Source: Angela Eagle: I’ll run if Corbyn doesn’t quit – BBC News

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16 thoughts on “Angela Eagle’s challenge, and today’s misinformation about Jeremy Corbyn

  1. Brian

    Corbyn has an air of the underdog about him now. Not surprising given the venom of his ‘comrades’. The British love the underdog, did no one tell them this. When this is over, and it may come to an end quicker than they expect, these detractors will be held to account. This is now their biggest fear, to be thrust into the political wilderness, their hand is dealt and they have no cards left.

  2. jeffrey davies

    oh dear the lies the backstabbing the devils in the details yet eagle is a treacherous one who should be booted out with the rest oh them its no good giving them a second chance hes they will do it all over again jeff3

    1. Jackie Cairns

      I agree with you. He should now form his front bench without any of them. He could never trust them not to run to the press,or go calling him to the BBC. Get on with forming your bench Jeremy and start the process of taking the Tories to account. Forget the rest of thee snakes ,We will deal with them in the by elections.

  3. Iris

    Where is Mr Corbyn? Mike. Why doesn’t he put his case to the British people directly himself on television and elsewhere? Why let the rumour mill churn? Why not come out of the bunker and set things straight, in person, in his own words? Surely that is the way to go?

      1. Iris

        Well, I find it kind of funny that Corbyn is refusing invitations to be interviewed on TV and/or radio, while appearing reading staged speeches written for him by other people on Twitter. (Some of which was actually shown on TV, the only means I have to have viewed it). Why isn’t he appearing on the Sunday Politics, or Andrew Marr Show, or Peston on Sunday sticking up for himself and making a case before general audiences rather than already favourably disposed groups made up largely of sympathisers?

        This makes no sense to me.

        Unless, of course, he has no answers to some of the questions he might be asked when put on the spot, forcing him go sphinx-like, clam up and offer no sensible or cogent replies.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        Remember the so-called ‘lunge’ incident, when Mr Corbyn turned around to a reporter asking when he was going to resign, and told her – mildly – that she should contact his press office if she wanted an interview? He’s not refusing invitations to be interviewed; although he may very well be vetting them, because being asked constant variations of “When are you going to resign?” must be tiresome.
        You can see his broadcast to Labour members on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. If you were a member of the Labour Party, you’d have received an email telling you as much. Are you a member of another UK political party, by any chance?

  4. Mick Farr

    Hi Mike,I have been a fan of your site for years,but have just clicked to follow so this is my first comment.I had to laugh this morning when I heard her issue the “the threat”to stand against Jeremy.Bring it on Angela!The sooner the better.As a Labour member aged 61,Iremember the values of the labour party.The 172 MPs,involved in this Blairite Portland organized coup,obviously do not.Now is the time to take our party back from Blairites.

  5. David Woods

    Should think she’s more concerned about winning; She’s seen what kind of support the ‘Labour Party’ elite are willing to offer a publicly elected leader; so should she ‘upset’ them at any time and without the public’s support she knows where she’s headed!
    Can you trust these people – No you can’t

  6. Pip

    “Labour’s Angela Eagle says she will run against Jeremy Corbyn unless he quits.”

    Seriously, if their behaviour wasn’t so massively disappointing it’d be laughable. What kind of ultimatum is that? I don’t think it’s possible to threaten Jeremy Corbyn with democracy – he believes in democracy – it’s one of the reasons why we voted him in with such overwhelming support.

    Do they really have no clue how ridiculous they look? It’s like they’re trying to play poker with transparent playing cards. *shakes head*

Comments are closed.