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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Labour MPs are revolting

Harriet Harman is absolutely right in her determination to rid the Labour Party of the odious Phil Woolas, whose disgraceful racist literature brought the art of politics to a new low. It is funny how it is always the Liberal Democrats who get accused of fighting dirty, when the real culprits are the likes of Phil Woolas, who often hide behind their criticism of the Liberal Democrats to hide their own activity.

However, Harriet Harman's criticism has not gone down too well in the Parliamentary Labour Party, many of whom it seems are clubbing together to support Woolas in his appeal. Mutinous Labour MPs have defied their party leadership by launching a formal fighting fund, with its own bank account, and have asked their colleague to donate at least £100 each.

The Daily Mail reports that Ed Miliband, who supported the decision to axe Woolas, was forced to cut short his paternity leave to try to defuse the crisis:

But Mr Woolas’s backers were adamant. One Labour MP is said to have called on Miss Harman to resign and another, John Mann, said: ‘A period of silence from ­Harriet Harman would now be very welcome.’

Miss Harman was also challenged at a meeting of the shadow cabinet yesterday, at which at least one shadow minister told her she was ‘wrong’ to say Mr Woolas could never be readmitted to the party.

Sources close to Mr Woolas claim his supporters in the shadow cabinet include Ed Balls, Yvette Cooper, Peter Hain, Andy Burnham and the shadow health secretary John Healey.

It seems that Labour are not going to easily learn the lesson of this fiasco and that we will see similar campaigns run in the future by local Labour Parties and their candidates.
I find it hard to see how Peter Hain, with his record on anti-racism and anti-fascism, would back Woolas on this.
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