Powell plays down Corbyn’s support – because she is a leading member of the Labour plotters

Lucy Powell [Image: Jon Super/REX/Shutterstock].

Lucy Powell [Image: Jon Super/REX/Shutterstock].

It should be no surprise that Lucy Powell is trying to talk down support for Jeremy Corbyn and claiming the rules demand he needs nominations from MPs to stay on a leadership ballot; she is a principle member of the plot against him.

Was it not Lucy Powell’s husband who – in April – told a commenter to This Blog that the “coup” (his word) would take place after the EU referendum?

Yes it was – just ask Malc Cowle.

Now she turns up on the Guardian‘s live blog, quoting dodgy polls – let’s face it, all the polls are dodgy these days – and misquoting the Labour Party Rule Book. She could be drummed out of the party for failing to support the rules, you know.

For clarity, the rule book (Chapter 4, Clause II, 2Bii) 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 Commons members of the PLP. Nominations not attaining this threshold shall be null and void.”

So nominations must only by sought “by potential challengers”, not the incumbent leader, and any nomination – of “potential challengers” must be supported by 20 per cent of the Commons members of the PLP. As you can see, no reference is made to the leader at all, let alone the possibility of that person having to seek nominations and support.

But Lucy Powell said:

“I think the support for him amongst party members is falling and is falling very quickly indeed. If you look at the polling that is happening amongst party members, amongst trade union affiliates, what’s coming up from the grassroots. If you look at my own party in my own constituency, I’ve had many, many emails and phone calls from people who voted for Jeremy last year who now think that it is untenable that he can continue without the support of his parliamentary colleagues.”

Oh, really?

And what about the voting at constituency party level, where 96 CLPs have now held votes of confidence in Mr Corbyn? Of these, 80 declared that they had confidence in him (83 per cent) and only 16 said they didn’t.

Let’s look at the party’s rules. The Graun says this:

Lawyers are divided as to whether “any nomination” applies just [to] people challenging the leader, or to anyone wanting to take part in the ballot, including the leader.

We can see that “any nomination” can only apply to people challenging the leader, who is not mentioned as having to seek nominations at all. Sorry to keeping hammering on about this. I know it is very simple to understand, but some very intelligent people seem to be having trouble with it.

Powell also quoted this passage from the Collins Review into Labour Party Reform published in 2014.

However, in recognition of the fact that the leader of the Labour party has a special duty to head the parliamentary Labour party in Westminster, MPs will retain the responsibility of deciding the final shortlist of candidates that will be put to the ballot.

This, of course, means nothing. The Collins Review is not a Labour Party document and the quotation does not mention any source material for the assertion.

Powell also said:

Whilst I would be confident of any contest, I think that our forefathers and those that drew up our constitution, including many trade union leaders, would have never imagined a circumstance where a leader of the Labour party was seeking to continue on the basis of having less than 20% support of his MPs.

This is also hard to support because, when the Labour Party’s originators drew up its constitution, the party didn’t have any MPs – or at least, not enough to make a material difference. The membership would have been the vital force.

As it should be now.

Source: Tributes to Cameron as removal van arrives in Downing Street – live | Politics | The Guardian


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3 thoughts on “Powell plays down Corbyn’s support – because she is a leading member of the Labour plotters

  1. Jonathan Wilson

    There is another point about the collins report’s paragraph… that it was in reference to elections for the/a leader; not in reference to a challenge to an existing leader.

    I can’t see how any lawyer can say that Corbyn needs the nominations based on the wording, the first part defines the people requireing nominations, the second part then goes on to expand that in that they need 20%. All this focus on the word “all” meaning everyone (including incumbent) just doesn’t hold up… first part, second part… what is so difficult to understand? Its not first part, ignore first part and redefine second part.

    If the second part had gone on to expand the first part to include (say it said “and also the incumbent will require…”) further references – but it didn’t, it only further clarified that any person that was nominated would then need to go on and get further nominations to reach the threshold.

  2. dogpower

    Well you have to give it to the blairits there sick liers and twisters no wonder the party is in a mess with these people have no respect for the people that they shoud take there orders from

  3. tim

    Obviously, if she is afraid of nothing and sure that Ms Eagle or Mr Smith will wipe the floor against Mr Corbyn, i am surprised (not) to not see her name for the Challange.
    She also mentionned that her emails and other messages are full of people not supporting Mr Corbyn, i think she missed a good occasion to keep quiet because if she is asked after today, i don’t think she will be able to answer.
    Some hospitals, doctors and nurses will see a big number of MPs mainly from the left in their premises this summer, the waiting list will surely go up to a different level too.

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