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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Labour civil war moves to the constituencies

For all intents and purposes, the struggle for control of the Labour Party was over once Momentum secured an effective majority on the party's National Executive Committee, however the real contest has just begun.

As the Guardian reports, the direction of any future Labour Government depends on the make-up of the Parliamentary Party and it is in the constituencies that battle lines are being drawn. They say that Labour-supporting trade unions are quietly affiliating scores of branches to the party in key constituencies in a bid to influence future reselection battles:

In what one senior Labour figure called a “cold war arms race”, the GMB union has been encircling supportive MPs with newly affiliated branches, all of which would have a vote in any “trigger ballot” to reselect the sitting candidate. Decisions to affiliate branches are taken at regional level.

Several MPs have also told the Guardian that Unite, whose leader Len McCluskey is a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, is actively signing up new, small-scale branches – although Unite denies the claims.

This unspoken civil war is set to intensify over the next few years as local parties decide who will represent them at the next General Election. If the Corbyn project is to succeed then he needs to have MPs sympathetic to his point of view so as to elect his chosen successor. This is when things really do start to get interesting.
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