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Monday, August 22, 2016

Labour MPs back away from open rebellion if Corbyn wins

It was less than a month ago that some Labour MPs were briefing that if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership contest in September that they would elect their own leader and launch a legal challenge for the party's name. Alas cold reality, not least through speaking to their own constituency members appears to have modified that stance.

According to the Independent the plan now is one of non-cooperation and a work-to-rule. The paper says that Labour MPs might try and use the Co-Operative Party,  a political group affiliated with Labour, as a means to oppose Mr Corbyn.

One Labour MP is quoted as saying: “People are not going to suddenly change their view of Jeremy just because September the 24th occurs. People still have that view, and all the problems still exist.

“Things are going to come up where the divisions are insurmountable. People are not going to suddenly just take a lead from Emily Thornberry on Brexit.

“They are not going to suddenly just take a lead from Clive Lewis on defending the country, or the situation in Syria.”

“It’s really not clear cut what’s going to happen. There are still tensions between different groups.

“A lot will depend on how Jeremy would act after a victory. There is talk of him trying to push out [Labour chief whip] Rosie Winterton.

“For a lot of people that would mean mandatory reselections are getting closer and at that point the PLP could be more galvanised.”

So business as usual then? The so-called Labour rebellion will fizzle out and, apart from a few grumbles here and there, the Parliamentary Labour Party will sullenly go about their business, trying to ignore Jeremy Corbyn as he consolidates his position and that of his successor. Of course, once the reselections start all bets will be off.

Meanwhile, the Western Mail speculates that the general secretary of Welsh Labour and the head of its press office are on a “hit list” of party staff members whose jobs will be at risk if Jeremy Corbyn is re-elected.

They quote party sources as claiming that David Hagendyk and Huw Price could be “purged” as part of an initiative aimed at bringing the party more under the control of Mr Corbyn’s left wing supporters.

Has the civil war within Labour only just begun?
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