.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, October 12, 2015

Are Corbyn's allies planning a purge of right wing MPs?

The Times speculates that Jeremy Corbyn may be planning a purge of moderate MPs, following a challenge by senior Labour figures who want him to come clean about the role of a new hard-left organisation aligned to the party:

Mary Creagh, a shadow cabinet member until last month, and the former home secretary Lord Blunkett, raised questions about Momentum.

The organisation, which describes itself as a “successor” to Mr Corbyn’s leadership campaign this summer, was launched last week with his backing and that of the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell.

It announced its goals to “organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement for real progressive change” and to “make Labour a more democratic party, with the policies and collective will to implement them in government”.

When asked yesterday whether she feared a purge after the creation of the organisation, Ms Creagh, who is the MP for Wakefield, said: “I think it’s not impossible and I think it’s important that Jeremy makes clear what the purpose of this new group is . . . because if the Labour party descends into factionalism and infighting it’s our electoral chances that are harmed.”

She added: “The only grassroots movement that I ever wanted to join was the Labour party . . . I fail to see why we need a new movement.”

Her fears of a purge are shared by other senior figures in the party. Ms Creagh, who stood for the Labour leadership, told Sunday Politics on BBC One that she would be “concerned if it [Momentum] did have those malign intentions”.

Lord Blunkett also aired his concerns about the group, which he described on Sky News as a “party within a party”. He said of Mr Corbyn: “We’ve still got to find out, four weeks on, precisely what the cut of his jib actually is, to be honest with you.

This is particularly pertinent of course because of the row that has broken out amongst Labour MPs over the party’s stance on extended military intervention in Syria. Corbyn has made clear his robust opposition to armed intervention in the region and yet more than 50 MPs are understood to be ready to vote for British military action to protect civilians.

There are also reports of an early vote, supposedly to be held before Christmas, on whether to renew Trident. This is another controversial issue for Labour, as Jeremy Corbyn is expected to oppose replacing the nuclear-armed submarines, but the renewal of Britain’s deterrent is likely to be supported by many of his shadow cabinet colleagues and backbench MPs.

The paper says that a government source familiar with the matter has acknowledged that senior Labour figures were pushing for an early vote to end uncertainty on renewal of the deterrent.

Things really are starting to get interesting now.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?