The Enemy Within – the 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: of shoes, and ships and sealing-wax, of cabbages and kings… and Jeremy Corbyn’s enemies.”

RIGHTLY or wrongly our print and broadcast media have been tied into knots over Jeremy Corbyn’s so-called ‘Revenge Reshuffle’ and the ensuing sackings and resignations from Labour’s front bench team.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accuses many of the rebels involved in these shenanigans of being linked to the Blairite campaign group Progress.

“We have had a few junior members resign and of course that’s their right but they do all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the organisation Progress.

“I don’t think they’ve really ever accepted Jeremy’s mandate. I’m afraid they have to recognise that Jeremy got elected with the largest mandate of any political leader from any political party in our history.

“I’m afraid they haven’t respected that leadership election result.”

But this watershed for Mr Corbyn’s Parliamentary Labour Party was always a matter of time.

Those right wingers who have taken the fight to their leader believe they were right to do so. But they can hardly complain when he fights back.

Which leaves them with a simple choice: follow the leader and the refreshing new direction the Labour Party is following – supported by half a million paid up members – or resign from the front bench and other positions of responsibility.

Such actions would produce clear red water between Mr Corbyn and his Westminster detractors and neutralise the betrayal narrative.

Take Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk for example, who courted media attention by suggesting that the floods in the north of England would have been preventable if the government were not so generous with foreign aid, particularly to Bangladesh.

Views that would not be out of place in UKIP or the Conservative Party.

Mr Danczuk has certainly been the most vocal opponent of Mr Corbyn.

In the House of Commons he voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

He even suggested he would stand as a stalking horse candidate later this year in a leadership election bid to oust Mr Corbyn.

But poor Mr Danczuk was suddenly discredited and had the Labour Party whip withdrawn over sexual predator allegations after it was revealed he sent sexually explicit text messages to a teenage girl.

Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone says that Labour MPs rebelling against Mr Corbyn need to get behind the leader and has defended his earlier calls for disciplinary procedures against them.

“If Labour looks divided it undermines our chances of defeating the Tories,” he said.

“These MPs like Danczuk, who at least does it honestly on the record unlike some others who are doing nasty snidey things anonymously.”

“They have to decide, ‘do you want another five years of a Tory government or do you actually want to get in behind Jeremy.”

Mr Livingstone, who has been a close ally of Mr Corbyn for three decades, said: “If your local MP is undermining Jeremy Corbyn, opposing the anti-austerity measures that we want, people should have a right to say: ‘I’d like to have an MP who reflects my view.’ It shouldn’t be a job for life.”

He reiterated his support for automatic reselection, saying it was one of the things he disagrees with Mr Corbyn on.

“The Parliamentary Labour Party does not represent the party outside,” he added.

The remarks by Mr Livingstone fuel suspicions among Labour MPs who oppose Mr Corbyn’s leadership that their time in Westminster may be numbered.

The redrawing the parliamentary boundaries, as part of plans to shrink the size of the Commons from 650 MPs to 600, will provide the opportunity to move against some right wing Labour MPs.

Under the Labour rules for boundary changes, existing MPs have the right to be reselected for a new seat if they can claim a “substantial territorial interest” of at least 40% in the new seat.

But reselection battles could be triggered under the current rules in many of the 206 Labour-held seats in England.

Just 36 will remain unchanged while in 54 of the seats the proposed boundary changes will be larger than 40% of the territory of the constituency, potentially opening them up to new candidates.

However, although the voices of dissent within the Parliamentary Labour Party are amplified by the right wing media, an investigation has found that out of 231 MPs, only 28 of them could be regarded as a real threat to Mr Corbyn’s leadership.

Who are they?

For the first time we can name the so-called ‘Enemy Within’… the Labour MPs that Mr Corbyn has most to fear:

Adrian Bailey (West Bromwich West – Majority: 5,651)

Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Alan Johnson (Kingston upon Hull West and Hessle – Majority: 9,333)

A Blairite and vehement opponent of Mr Corbyn, but he is set to retire before the 2020 General Election.

Alison McGovern (Wirral South – Majority: 4,599)

A Blairite and chair of the Progress group. Voted for bombing Syria. Resigned last week from Mr Corbyn’s front bench team.

Ann Coffey (Stockport – Majority: 10,061)

Brownite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter – Majority: 7,183)

Blairite and vocal right winger. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Caroline Flint (Don Valley – Majority: 8,885)

Blairite. Touted as a possible future leadership contender. Voted for bombing Syria.

Catherine McKinnell (Newcastle North – Majority: 10,153)

Did not vote to bomb Syria but resigned from Labour Shadow Cabinet last week citing division among Labour MPs

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East – Majority: 11,894)

Brownite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times

Chuka Umunna (Streatham – Majority: 13,934)

A Blairite and former leadership contender. Voted for bombing Syria.

Dan Jarvis (Barnsley Central – Majority: 12,435)

Blairite. A vice chair of the Progress group. Voted for bombing Syria.

Frank Field (Birkenhead – Majority: 20,652)

A Blairite with a huge parliamentary majority. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times. A vocal critic of Mr Corbyn.

Gisela Stuart (Birmingham, Edgbaston – Majority: 2,706)

Blairite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Graham Jones (Hyndburn – Majority: 4,400)

Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East – Majority: 14,333)

Voted for bombing Syria. Although in the Shadow Cabinet, a leaked email reveals her private fears that Mr Corbyn’s “hard-Left agenda” is out of touch with the views of voters. She earlier told activists in her constituency that Mr Corbyn would cause ‘division within the party’, and make Labour unelectable.

Helen Jones (Warrington North – Majority: 6,771)

Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Ian Austin (Dudley North – Majority: 4,181)

Brownite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Jamie Reed (Copeland – Majority: 3,833)

Blairite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Jenny Chapman (Darlington – Majority: 3,158)

Blairite. A vice chair of the Progress group.Voted for bombing Syria.

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness – Majority: 795)

Blairite. Former chair of the Progress group. Small parliamentary majority. Voted for bombing Syria. Last week resigned in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s so called ‘purge’ of right wing MPs from his front page team. Has previously openly mocked Mr Corbyn.

Kevan Jones (North Durham – Majority: 12,076)

Brownite. Quit the Labour front bench last week and was described by John McDonnell as being “part of a narrow right wing clique”. He also voted for bombing Syria.

Liz Kendall (Leicester West – Majority: 7,203)

Leadership contender. Blairite. A vice chair of the Progress group.

Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Margaret Hodge (Barking – Majority: 16,555)

Blairite. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

Mary Creagh (Wakefield – Majority: 2,613)

Voted for bombing Syria and a high profile vocal critic of Mr Corbyn.

Michael Dugher (Barnsley East – Majority: 12,034)

Voted for bombing Syria. A vocal critic of Mr Corbyn and was sacked from his front bench team last week.

Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East – Majority: 10,767)

Sacked from Labour Front Bench last week for briefing against Mr Corbyn. Voted for bombing Syria.

Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden – Majority: 16,922)

A Blairite who voted for bombing Syria.

Stephen Doughty (Cardiff South and Penarth – Majority: 7,453)

Publicly quit the Labour front bench on live TV last week and described by John McDonnell as being “part of a narrow right wing clique”. Also voted for bombing Syria.

Tristram Hunt (Stoke-on-Trent Central – Majority: 5,179)

Blairite. A vice chair of the Progress group. Touted as a possible future leadership contender. Voted for bombing Syria and was one of 20 rebels who did not oppose George Osborne’s law banning the government from borrowing to fund infrastructure during normal times.

In addition the following senior Labour MPs have sharp ideological differences with Mr Corbyn, but for reasons of party loyalty are not seen as a threat:

Angela Eagle (Wallasey), Maria Eagle (Garston and Halewood), and Gloria De Piero (Ashfield) are all Blairites and each voted for bombing Syria but are reportedly happy in the Shadow Cabinet

The same is true of former Cabinet ministers Blairite Margaret Beckett (Derby South) and Brownite Yvette Cooper (Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford) who both voted for bombing Syria.

Liam Byrne (Birmingham Hodge Hill) the founder of the Progress group, who was once bracketed with Tristram Hunt as an opponent of Mr Corbyn, has yet to rebel against his leader.

Footnote: For a good background to the reshuffle and the Labour rebels, read this from Evolve Politics: http://evolvepolitics.com/labours-right-wing-dissent-only-strengthens-the-tories-and-whats-worse-thats-their-aim/

 

 

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Author: seagullnic

Writer, editor, lecturer and part-time musician. Passions in life: my family, Bob Dylan, music of many genres, Brighton and Hove Albion FC, cooking plus good food and wine.

11 thoughts on “The Enemy Within – the 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn”

  1. It seems to me many of these people, (though I don’t believe all) are career politicians and it doesn’t matter if they’re in government or not they still have that career and continue to make network connections for their future.

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