POLL: The Labour ‘coup’ has failed. Should the ringleaders quit?

Jeremy Corbyn: He's still standing. [Image: Getty Images].

Jeremy Corbyn: He’s still standing. [Image: Getty Images].

It is becoming increasingly clear that Jeremy Corbyn has weathered the storm that was kicked up against him by his own MPs.

Perhaps the ‘Chicken Coup’ (so called because none of the ringleaders have dared to admit their role in it and because nobody dared to stand as a leadership challenger against Mr Corbyn because they knew he would win) was intended solely to remove the Labour leader because he has been an outspoken critic of Tony Blair’s involvement in the Iraq War, and their failure to do so before the publication of the Chilcot report means it is pointless to go on.

Perhaps they just ran out of steam.

Whatever the case, Mr Corbyn is left with a Parliamentary party consisting of many MPs who don’t want to work for him and don’t respect the will of their party’s members that he should remain leader and they should work to promote his policies.

That’s an untenable situation.

So should the rebels quit the Labour Party? Should they quit as MPs? Should their constituency party members have them deselected and replaced in time for the next general election? Let’s have your votes.


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46 thoughts on “POLL: The Labour ‘coup’ has failed. Should the ringleaders quit?

  1. Elspeth Parris

    You didn’t allow a second choice. I ticked ‘quit as MPs’, if they don’t, then I would want them to be deselected. Preferably followed by a by-election so people can vote for someone else.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I can’t weight these polls so second choices show up as such, and this means I wouldn’t be able to stop people voting in such a way as to skew the result with multiple votes. So only the one choice, I’m afraid.

  2. jeffrey davies

    failed but licking their wounds ready to bite back untill they deselected then they just backstab some more hopping to topple him jeff3

  3. Derek White

    the Labour party cannot afford to loose these They have painted themselves into a corner there should be a challenge and when that is defeated a re-union our Party members make the decision who is Leader they have to be given a way out otherwise the party will split and that is unacceptable

  4. Nick

    Jeremy should stay as the labour leader. trying to remove him over the EU fiasco on a Nigel farage immigration ticket and a Boris Johnson set of lies should never be allowed in any country let alone the UK

  5. sal parrott

    Title asks: should the ringleaders quit? Benn is certainly not fit to be a Labour member in my book.
    Poll then asks: What should happen to the MPs who rebelled? Some/most should be forgiven. I bet there was arm-twisting, bullying, lying (‘Corbyn will resign after a no-confidence vote’). Corbyn will be very forgiving to real socialists who were misled and regret their vote.

  6. autismandate

    They should quit labour party
    They should be deselected.
    They should quit as mp’s, without golden hand shake.
    They should not hold public office.

  7. Melissa Bassil

    But the coup isn’t over yet. They are talking about mounting a Leadership challenge at the weekend.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      With an unknown and someone who came fourth in the deputy leader election.
      Corbyn has no need to worry.

    2. Mary srewart

      They have been saying for past weeks one would stand but they have not got the courage. I think because of their treachery they should be punished by de selection. They could easily be replaced but Benn should be expelled from the party because he is the ring leader !! ???????

  8. Jay Holmes

    The rebel MPs need to go ASAP but, in the meantime, the CLPs wishes for these MPs should be followed. A full investigation should uncover the truth of the coup, the information then released and then Labour supporters are free to make their own minds up.
    Corbyn and Co need to trust they have the support of a huge majority of people and find the best but fairest way of ridding the party of the plotters. As long as they remain in post, they will be a danger to the policies and party that are wanted by the majority.
    The method of doing this needs to be seen as scrupulously fair, democratic and without malice whilst showing these people up for exactly what they are

  9. Jonathan Wilson

    This paragraph was originally in a Guardian article (1), and subsequently removed. “We have been left high and dry. We’ve been whipped up to do this, and now we are getting threats all the time, demonstrations against us,” one MP said. ”

    The title of the article was also changed from, in summary, ‘McCluskey peacemaker between Corbyn and Watson’ (as seen from the URL at (1)) to “Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet agrees to Labour peace talks”

    Its strange how tiny changes can massively change the tone of an article, from hinting that Watson is one of the #ChickenCoup to the problem being Corbyns not giving way to discussions in the title; to the little nugget of truth, quickly removed, that there are disgruntled PLP’s who had been cajoled into taking part and mislead that it would all be done and dusted quickly with promises that if they joined, and the numbers were sufficient, then Corbyn would quit within a short period of time.

    My personal feeling is that Hilary “bomb them, bomb them all” Benn had hoped that Corbyn would have been his usual self and that he would have tried to make things work which would have delayed the time when he fired Benn. This would have given Benn time to further brief the press that ‘Corbyn was weak’ and ‘paralysed into inaction’, unable to come to a decision even while knowing that Benn had gone behind his back and was the public face of the #ChickenCoup… but it all went to pot when Corbyn (who lets face it knew this would eventually happen – there were numerous articles in the Tory press outlining exactly how it would happen – was ready for exactly this eventuality) fired him on the spot in the early hours of the morning and completely messed up his plans.

    I think that the dissenting members of the #ChickenCoup, the ones cajoled and bullied in to it, should be offered the chance to repent, publicly apologise (a twitter un-resignation letter will do), and then be allowed to take up a junior role where applicable. The core group, who lets face it are known, should never be allowed near the cabinet again as they can not be trusted not to brief to the press and just continue where they left off with sniping and trying to damage the Labour party because they don’t like the choice of the members to choose Corbyn. (One thing that is annoying is that the same people allowed Kinnock to lose 2 GE’s, 87 & 92, but won’t even allow Corbyn to win, or lose, one GE.)

    As for de-selections, or otherwise, I think that the rules should change to allow CLPs free votes and free applications to become MPs of a constituency and that dropping “approved” candidates (or candidate choices) into “safe”, or any, seats should only be tolerated if other local candidates can stand freely against them. I also think that there should be re-selections each parliament if the local CLP votes for one so its down to the local area. I also think that the CLP’s should also be able to withdraw support for their local MP so that the MP knows they are on notice to buck up their ideas. However the system works, be it mandatory re-selections at least once per parliament or ways to deselect the rules should be such that the process is slow and considered and that it can’t be triggered, processed, and finalised easily or quickly in the heat of the moment to allow calmer heads to prevail.

    I also think that there should be a challenger no matter what happens or how this is resolved so that there is either a renewed mandate, or a new leader, as a way of closing this chapter because without it I think the PLP will just carry on causing trouble behind Corbyn’s back and we will be no better off than we were before.

    (1) http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/05/len-mccluskey-plays-peacemaker-between-corbyn-and-watson#comments

  10. Florence

    I would favour the use of disciplinary proceedings, as they have to be suspended during proceedings, and it works within the Party rule book. The rule book exists to maintain discipline, and would allow those who were intimidated to be at least given a hearing. Obviously anyone found guilty can be expelled, without the option of legal action or the claims of unfair treatment.

  11. Charles Abrahams

    Benn as the main ring leader should be expelled and if there was one or two others involved as ring leaders they should also be expelled. I suspect there were a good number who felt pressured into the action they took and now regret it. They should face disciplinary procedures with the option for their deselection by their CLP should the members feel it necessary.

  12. Rodney

    Think Labour need to formalise a stronger Socialist Labour Political current that’s unmistakable. ..and not social democratic.
    We cannot accept that neo market orientated almost Tory ideas coukd be tolerated in the Labour Party ….that’s not what our movement
    or the Labour Party is about .

  13. Julia Smith

    Although it was tempting to say that they should be deselected, I trust Jeremy’s judgement in knowing what to do with them. Many probably had a lot of pressure put on them to join in with the coup when they weren’t really happy about it. If those could assure that they will now give full support to our elected leader and recognise his huge mandate, perhaps we could move forward. The ringleaders I despair over. Having loved Tony Benn so dearly, I’m utterly disgusted in the conduct of his son. Angela needs to go because she hates Jeremy and would continue to find ways to undermine him. They don’t all have to agree with ALL of his policies, but they DO need to respect Jeremy’s leadership. If deselections do occur, I want Jeremy to be able to choose lefties that will support him properly for the new selections.
    Jeremy is looking more and more electable. He only has to brush aside Theresa, Andrea Or Gove at the next G.E. IF,IF,IF we can get him some equality of media coverage…I fancy his chances !

  14. Dez

    Many just acted like bullied headless chickens or worse lemmings and should be allowed to revisit their hasty decision without any pressures…would be nice to see some returns to the leadership even if just a trickle to start. This is labours best chance to be back on top and come out fighting instead many were led by the right wing Blairites and right wing black arts into this total mess….so on that the right wing were successful in being disruptive while they get their own act together.

  15. Terry Kelly

    Leave it to the CLP members who will get rid of them as they are entitled to do.

  16. Chris Thompson

    They should be given a last chance to fully support the leader or leave of their own accord.

  17. Stan Mitchell

    Time to start playing the ‘right’ at their own game and start expulsions. They were quick enough to do it to the left in the 80’s now they can reap what they’ve sown…

  18. Kay

    I believe it’s not as black and white or as simple as quit/don’t quit. Each case should be judged individually, as some were just seduced or caved in to pressure from both colleagues and external sources. We don’t want to lose talent where it may be salvageable. Disciplinary The best route to decide each incident on there own merits. The party is too important to throw away the good with the dastardly.

  19. Alan Watkins-Groves

    There are some talented people in this group and they would be a loss to the Party if they were deselected, sacked or resigned. I would like them all to return to their CLPs and pledge to support the position held by that CLP. There are many vote winning people, we can’t just drop them and hope that others will come forward, BUT they must have a yellow card system where the first transgression against the wishes of the CLP brings strict disciplinary action.

  20. jason parry

    They should read this and reexamine their decision….O.K. to all the kids, ooops sorry meant mps, in the sandbox. The way to heal the rifts in Labour is to do your job. Simple really isnt it. Stop the smear campaigns, they are unparliamentary, stop the blatant lies and misinformation, Angela you weren’t at the meeting to receive homophobic abuse. it brings the party into disrepute. For god’s sake stop listening to Alistair Campbell, he isnt worth the s**t he spins and respect the process of democratic politics. The party is representative of the people who support it, you are given your position to represent these people so please do so and stop this silly dispute. Corbyn is the leader by virtue of his office. Get behind him, help him be a more dynamic leader if you must but do your job. You can and will be replaced if you can’t dedicate yourself to the people you are meant to represent.

  21. Joan Edington

    I chose “other” since, although I would like to see then de-selected, surely it is up to the individual CLPs. Maybe they would all agree but, if a CLP did happen to back the back-stabbers, should they not be allowed an election rather than a straight de-selection?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      No, if a CLP supported one of the Labour rebels, then that person would be allowed to continue – unless their own actions triggered disciplinary procedures, of course.

  22. redangelas

    I’d like the “rebels” to admit they were wrong, stop backstabbing, and start supporting Jeremy so that we can have what they say they want, an effective Labour party with a respected leader. That way we could have a united and credible party which opposed the Conservatives and worked for the best interests of the country. Any chance, do you think?

  23. Rachel Hodge

    Yes I’m angry at the idiots that resigned, I want them to be punished. I want them deselected and made to do a GoT style walk of shame. But that’s not going to do anything other than make us feel temporarily better. The goal is to get a decent Progressive Government and a blood bath isn’t going to get us there.

    It’s true that if the Rebels had won then they would have expelled momentum and restricted the members voice in the party and that would have been a stupid thing to do, it would have destroyed the party and lost our side of politics at least the next election and possibly more. But i think we need to think carefully before engaging in revenge based bloodletting.

    The MPs that are there are the MPs we have got, yes we want to change them but we can’t. Its four years until the next election, are they going to fight for us if they know they will be losing their jobs in 4 years? Is a split going to help working people?

    So I think the question is how can we move on and build towards the future while remaining confident that this won’t happen again? I think there are a few things that need to happen

    Rule changes to ensure that no section of the party can be locked out from the leadership job. Thats either reducing the number of nominations needed to stand as leader or extending the franchise by including the CLPs, one CLP= one nomination

    A rule change regarding a vote of no confidence. My suggestion being that if MPs vote no confidence in the leader then its put to a vote of the membership as soon as possible, if that is also no confidence then the leader is sacked. Im sorry but there has to be a mechanism for removing a leader apart from just a leadership contest

    Tom Watson needs to be replaced as Deputy leader. The deputy leader is supposed to enforce discipline, he failed at that

    Hillary Benn and Angela eagle must face disciplinary hearings. I can’t imagine the son of Tony Benn being expelled from the party, if it was anyone else then I would call for expulsion, Angela eagle I think probably suspension. This would seem too light to most people and it does to me as well. But even this risks tearing the party apart

    Those that stayed loyal need to be rewarded with greater responsibility according to their ability but we can’t let much needed talent go to waste, get the most able of the Rebels back on board. Forgive but don’t forget, caution not grudges.

    Oh wow I seem to have written a lot

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      I like your idea about a vote of ‘no confidence’ being extended to the wider membership before any value is attached to it.
      But why should Hilary Benn get special treatment just because he had a famous and well-loved dad?

  24. odradek123

    Other: they should accept the will of the membership and back Corbyn, strongly. They should convince the nation that Labour has a vision suited to the times, that has left the bulls**t era of Blair behind and that can offer the whole country clear, new, exciting and progressive policies instead of the continuing great sell off peddled by the Tories.

  25. David haslam

    I voted for Jeremy and he is a great guy but going back to Julia’s comment we are NEVER going to get equality of media treatment and the media will never let him become PM, But we need power, to protect those who have been squeezed over the last 30 years, many of them voted for Brexit, in the probably mistaken belief that this will make things better. My hope is that the unions can find a way forward which keeps Jeremy’s policies and where he has a key role in the party, but we find an electable leader around whom the party can unite. Won’t be popular I know, but without us getting a majority voting for us – including the left-leaners in the middle class, some of the Scots and many of those who have drifted to UKIP – the Tories will go on doing just as they want and Labour will end up in twenty years of wilderness.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      With increased majorities at all four recent by-elections, and an increased proportion of councillors after the May elections (not to mention the mayors), why do you say Corbyn is not electable?
      By your standards, the only electable leader will be one who supports the policies the right-wing media support – and therefore nobody we would accept.
      How do you get past that stalemate?

  26. Phil Lee

    They should quit as MPs, be deselected, AND be chucked out of the party if they don’t leave willingly.
    The poll should have allowed for multiple answers as long as they are not contradictory. Check boxes instead of radio-buttons are the thing to use here, I think.
    Yes, it leaves the possibility of contradictions, but if people are daft enough to do that, the effect on the poll is likely to be fairly neutral anyway.

    None of them, clearly, deserver the title “honourable”, so cannot be MPs.
    Disciplinary action should be brought against them.
    I don’t know the rule-book, but isn’t bringing the party into disrepute enough to kick them out? Failing that, from the Labour website, there is this: “By applying to become a member of the Labour Party you agree to accept and conform to the constitution, programme, principles and policy of the Party.” They are clearly NOT conforming to, at a minimum, the programme, principles and policies of the Labour Party [even if they’ve managed to technically avoid breaching it’s constitution], which invalidates their membership.
    Revoking their membership would automatically deselect them, but if they manage to cling to membership by some means then they can be deselected anyway (but I wonder how long any of them would maintain the pretence of being Labour supporters once it became clear that it no longer held a route to power for them?).

    This has brought home to me that the Bliarite years were a temporarily successful attempt by either the Tory party itself, or a group whose sympathies lay with them, to take over the opposition which they couldn’t defeat in a fair contest. The poor will always outnumber the rich in a society as unequal as ours, so in a fair contest, the Tories cannot win. Now that it has been seen through, and the 5th columnists dealt with, the truth about the 1%ers and how they live off the backs of the rest of us can be told, loudly and in chorus, and in that scenario, LABOUR CANNOT LOSE!
    THAT is why they’ve been so desperate to cling on, of course – a united Labour party is unbeatable, and once in power, could start undoing the damage that decades of Tory (or Tory inspired) government has caused.

  27. stevebebop

    Treachery, Mutiny, Desertion and Dereliction of Duty, all usually deserve severe punishment. However, I think in the spirit of unity, the rebels should be given the opportunity to denounce their actions, apologise to the Party Members and fall in behind the Party Leader. It’s only in the Tory Party’s interest, that Labour split in two, and divide our support.

  28. Rachael Ellis

    Disagree with your initial premise. Not a coup. Nothing has failed. Resigning a post in cabinet or shadow cabinet is the right of every MP. I agree that Corbyn has got a problem due to the resignations. It will be interesting to see if he has the capacity to rescue his leadership. Doubt it from recent performance but we will see.

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      There was an attempted coup – that’s how the conspirators described it.
      It has failed. Jeremy Corbyn will not be shamed into leaving and cannot be removed in a leadership challenge – as Angela Eagle will shortly discover.
      You refer to Mr Corbyn’s “recent performance” in disparaging terms but do not say what you think he has done wrong. Did he disappoint you by winning all those by-elections? By beating the Tories in the local elections? By mobilising more Labour supporters for ‘Remain’ than any other party leader did among their own supporters? By forcing U-turn after U-turn from the Conservative Government? By defeating the conspiracy against him?

      1. Rachael Ellis

        Jeremy Corbyn’s own office actively worked against the official Labour Party campaign to remain in the EU. At the very least he can personally be accused of apathy and failure to control his own office.

        Alan Johnson, a man who has held several key offices of state and has been an active Labour Party member and trade unionist all his life, said that the leader’s office had decided to send out different messages to those of the Labour Party campaign. Not once, did anyone from the leader’s office attend the weekly campaign meetings or speak to him directly about their concerns.

      2. Mike Sivier Post author

        May I see your proof that Jeremy Corbyn’s office actively attempted to sabotage the Remain campaign, for which he managed to bring in 63 per cent of Labour’s voters and supporters – a numerically higher figure than any other party leader?
        Mr Corbyn was by far the most visible of Labour’s Remain campaigners, notching up more than 120 media appearances. Mr Johnson, nominally the leader of Labour’s Remain campaign, only managed around 20 such appearances. If Mr Corbyn’s performance was characterised by apathy and failure, Mr Johnson’s must have been utterly flaccid.

  29. Brian Phillips

    They should be expelled from the Labour party because they know the views of the party membership and they are acting in defiance of the democratic will of the party. Therefore they should form a Blairite party outside of the real Labour Party, possibly naming it The Politicians For Sale Party.

  30. Nick

    this dose not look good for the labour party and my feelings are that the party should break up with those on the right creating their own party

    in reality they should move on over to the liberal democrats where they MAY be best suited or to the conservative party or even ukip

    UKIP is the party of the future all the time labour plays the fool as we saw with the brexit vote with no understanding of how a country operates in the real world

    I am not a labour supporter but like my tory mp who says corbyn is a good bloke and on that basis corbyn should be doing well but for some reason he’s not

    the uneducated labour voter will no doubt move over to UKIP and it could be that those like myself will be left in the middle with the liberals going nowhere

    it is not easy trying to run a country with the majority of people only looking out for themselves’ and if that’s the case and where i live it is the chances are labour is finished

    The question is how many true labour supporters are there ? with UKIP it’s easy to see their supporters they don’t need a stamp on their forehead and with a wealthy backer they will go far

    whatever happens there is no way the labour party could win the next general election as ukip has taken away millions of labour supporters who are unlikely to go back

    sure UKIP wont win many seats but what seats it does take will be labour ones

    your views mike ?

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