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Re-selection fodder: Liz Kendall failed to defend Labour against criticisms by Theresa Villiers on the BBC’s Politics Live. Time for her to go?

The Labour Party has triggered a process that could allow constituency members to remove MPs they believe are not properly representing them in Parliament and on the media.

The party has begun the first phase of a re-selection “trigger” process, asking MPs to confirm whether or not they wish to stand for Parliament again, with a deadline of July 8.

It seems likely that this deadline is to allow the party’s National Executive Committee to agree a timetable in which constituency members may decide whether they wish to hold a selection process or retain incumbents unchallenged.

But it may be impossible for the process to conclude in time for an early election to be forced through a “no confidence” vote before the current deadline for Brexit (October 31). It is possible that the Labour leadership is expecting that deadline to slip.

If MPs say they want to stand again, then constituency members may remove them. This would be done with a process that requires one-third of each constituency’s rank-and-file members to demand that the incumbent must stand for re-selection.

But local meetings are not held in August, and many CLPs don’t hold them in September either, due to the proximity of the party conference. So, according to LabourList, it seems likely the next stage of the selection process won’t happen until October.

That blog is suggesting that many incumbents – even those with an expressed anti-Corbyn view – may be in no danger as a majority of party members may vote them back in, despite having triggered the re-selection process.

Some should definitely be looking over their shoulders, though. For example: Liz Kendall.

Labour’s MP for Leicester West appeared on the BBC’s Politics Live on June 25, in which she very clearly failed to stand up for her party and its leader in the face of criticism from the Conservative Theresa Villiers. I commented on this:

The responses were telling:

“Time for Leicester West to get her deselected then,” tweeted ‘Cool Daddy’.

“Let’s see if she stands for re election,” added Christine Abram.

‘Leicester Worker’ stated: “Looking forward to seeing whether or not she wishes to stand as a Labour candidate again.”

Many pointed out that Ms Kendall was a candidate in the leader election when Jeremy Corbyn won the support of 59 per cent of party voters. Only four per cent supported her:

“Liz 4% Kendall hates the idea of a Corbyn government it seems,” tweeted Anne Fallon. That’s not a good look for someone who may need to seek the support of her constituency party members in the near future!

And the obvious failure to address the issue at hand at the time was also covered:

“Kendall was as weak as water let Villiers get away with that unforgiveable” was the slightly incoherent response from Patricia H.

Ashok added: “The line on the dangers of a corbyn led government should be challenged by all MP’s especially considering the mess of he have made of the country over the past few years.”

And ‘Time for Change’ stated: “All Labour MPs who appear on shows like should be supporting Labour Party and attacking opposition. Anything less is a failure and they need to be deselected.”

Will the people of Leicester West seek a new representative, who is more capable of putting forward the case for Labour policies, its members and leader – or will they bottle it? And what about other constituencies with anti-Corbyn (or indeed anti-Labour) Labour MPs?

We’ll find out as this process goes on.

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