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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Labour MPs plot coup before ballot papers issued

Today's Independent has the extraordinary story that Labour MPs are plotting to mount a coup against Jeremy Corbyn before Christmas, if he wins the leadership in September. And they have not even issued the ballot papers yet.

The paper says that the MP for Islington North has staged a stunning raid on support among constituency labour party organisations in the past week, prompting panic among supporters of the three mainstream candidates, Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall:

Two internal polls also suggested a surge in support for Mr Corbyn, with one even suggesting he could win on 12 September.

Although this result is still seen as a long shot, MPs said in the event of a Corbyn victory they would immediately start gathering the 47 names needed to trigger a coup. One said: “We cannot just allow our party, a credible party of government, to be hijacked in this summer of madness. There would be no problem in getting names. We could do this before Christmas.”

Another Labour MP said a Corbyn victory would cause deep unhappiness among the current shadow cabinet, and suggested that few would want to serve under him.

Of course a coup of this sort could just see Corbyn re-elected in a fresh ballot.  But things must be bad in the Labour Party if they are contemplating this before the result.
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