Did strapped-for-a-story Sunday Times resurrect six-month-old Labour deselection twaddle?

The good fellows at Momentum were up in arms earlier, because of this:

Sunday Times front January 21.

The Momentum Twitter account had this to say:

“The Sunday Times contacted us at 9pm, half an hour before print. The story is based on one unnamed source. Others on twitter say they rewrote half the paper at the last minute as their big story was pulled.

“Desperate for a new front page, have @thesundaytimes just made this up?”

Well, the Sunday Times is behind a paywall that This Writer won’t cough up to get past, so I looked up the story in downmarket sister rag The Sun instead (don’t judge me – it’s all in the name of research). Apparently, it goes like this:

“As many as 50 Labour MPs are on a de-selection hit-list drawn up by leftist supporters of Jeremy Corbyn, it has been claimed.

“Moderate Labour MPs have been warned that Corbyn’s allies want centrist candidates ousted toe e replaced by hard line lefties.

“A Labour Party whip has been privately telling moderates not to rock the boat or they could face the chop.

“The news comes amid fears many will be targeted if rule changes are pushed through this autumn, The Times reports.

“Chris Leslie, former shadow chancellor, and Hilary Benn, son of Left wing icon Tony Benn, are believed to top the list.

“Angela Eagle, who challenged Corbyn for the leadership in 2016, and her sister Maria, are also thought to be in the activists’ sights.

“A source told The Times: “Allies of Corbyn have admitted they have a list of MPs they want to get rid of.”

“The disclosure came as three Momentum-backed candidates, including founder Jon Lansman, were elected to Labour’s national executive committee last week.”

It all seemed a bit familiar, so I got on a search engine and found this, from the Daily Mail website, dated July 7 last year – six months ago:

Hard left activists have drawn up a deselection ‘hit list’ of nearly 50 Labour MPs who have criticised Jeremy Corbyn.

A Momentum group in South Tyneside has published a list of politicians who they say should ‘join the Liberals’.

They include Chuka Umunna – who led a revolt against Mr Corbyn over leaving the EU single market – Chris Leslie and Jess Philips.

The list emerged as it emerged that another moderate MP had been ordered to apologise to Mr Corbyn after a hard-left clique took over her local party.

Luciana Berger, who is currently on maternity leave, was told by one newly-elected member of the executive in Liverpool Wavertree that she should ‘get on board quickly’ or face being axed.

The similarities are obvious – not just the names of those involved, like Chris Leslie and Maria Eagle (whose name is on the list published in the Mail‘s story, but also the language: In the Times story, moderate MPs are being told not to “rock the boat”, while in the Mail, Luciana Berger was allegedly told to “get on board quickly”.

Snap reaction: This is fake news. The Sunday Times has resurrected an old allegation about Momentum – most probably in response to the victory of Momentum-backed candidates including the organisation’s founder, Jon Lansman, in elections to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee last week.

Is there anything to it? Doubtful.

I’m sure a leading Labour figure ruled out mandatory reselection of MPs in an interview last week (although I admit I can’t find it at the time of writing), and the commentariat seemed to be taking that person at their word.

In the Labour Party, it seems, the ceasefire has been holding.

But that could change if these Murdoch rags stir up submerged animosities. Let’s hope nobody lets that happen.

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.

1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.

2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical

3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com

And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


3 thoughts on “Did strapped-for-a-story Sunday Times resurrect six-month-old Labour deselection twaddle?

  1. Stu

    All of this seems to come from Conservative HQ as I’ve noticed a marked increase of anti – Corbyn trolls in comments sections.
    The BBC is the worst culprit, not only with their biased content but are very selective about what stories you can comment on.

  2. Allan Howard

    I just did a search (with duckduckgo) to see who ran with this faked news, and as I expected, all the usual suspects were on board – ie the Mail and Express and the Sun etc – but in the process of checking them out, I came across a link to another ‘article’ in the Express, which I hadn’t come across before with the headline ”’Hope your baby dies” Tory MP’s pregnant wife faces vile threats from Corbynista trolls’, dated December 18th 2017. I then did a search to see who ran with it, and yet again it was all the usual suspects – ie the Tories/Establishment’s black propaganda rags. There really are no limits to which they will not go to smear Jeremy Corbyn and Momentum.


    The term ‘Cui bono’ comes to mind!



    Apparently the MP in question – who wasn’t named in the articles – had death threats made against him (on twitter) incuding one “thug” who said they would “spear him when he’s out jogging”, and another who said he would ” “put your head on a spike”. And all this because apparently the MP heckled Jeremy Corbyn about his age.

    The reason given by these so-called newspapers for not naming the MP concerned is “to protect his family from further abuse”, as if to say that anyone who had it mind to make threatening and abusive comments couldn’t just do a search for articles coverng said incident at the time it happened, as I myself just did, and ascertain that it was Tory whip Andrew Griffiths (it was reported in the Mail and the Sun, to name just two).

    The point is of course that those who concocted and contrived this odious falsehood and smear know full well that it would just take a simple search to ascertain who the MP is, but knew of course that by omitting his name on the grounds of ‘protecting his family from further abuse’, it gives the story additional weight, and also gives the impression that there are hundreds of psychotic Corbyn-supporting ‘Momentum thugs’ out there just itching to make death threats against HIM and his family, should they learn of his identity.

    Funny isn’t it, how there’s all these hundreds of Corbyn supporters abusing people and making death threats and, in effect, doing everything they can to undermine the support he has amongst the electorate.

    Dirty tricks? Perish the thought!

Comments are closed.