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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Is a civil war within the Labour Party inevitable?

As we countdown to Jeremy Corbyn's first Labour Conference the disquiet in his party's ranks are not dying down,  In today's Western Mail the former Foreign Office Minister and retired-Pontypridd MP, Kim Howells warns that there may well be "a civil war inside the parliamentary Labour Party":

Asked how he would respond to recent events if he were still an MP, Mr Howells told BBC Wales' Week in Week Out programme: "I'd be bitterly opposed to the current leadership of the Labour Party.

"I'd be saying things that I believe about the need to win political power and a bunch of old Trotskyites are not going win political power."

The former MP for Pontypridd said Labour has to "start speaking in a language people can understand and convince the electorate".

"There is going to be a civil war inside the parliamentary Labour Party. It's nothing new, it's happened in the past," he added.

"So the party's got to make its mind up - does it really think it's going to win again in the future, with Corbyn as the leader? I don't think so."

Of course Kim Howells is no longer dependent on public opinion to make his living, but many MPs are and no doubt he is reflecting their anxieties in highlighting once more fears of reselections and falling popularity. Nevertheless, Richard Wyn Jones, professor of Welsh Politics at Cardiff University is also worth listening to on this matter.

He has warned of issues between the opposing Labour party in Westminster and the governing one in Wales:

He said: "Welsh Labour has been running Wales since 1999 and the kinds of pressures that you face when governing are very different from ones the Jeremy Corbyn had to face as, essentially, a campaigning backbench MP. And it's easy to envisage that leading to real tensions.

"Now this may well all end in tears. However, I think there's a really interesting phenomenon here and we need to be very careful before we dismiss it."

So the jury is out. We need to see what emerges from the Labour Conference next week.
JC really has his work cut out. If those new members don't see the issues JC campaigned on adopted by the Labour Party they are likely to leave or cause waves. If JCs policies are adopted many Labour 'establishment' figures will cause waves too.
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