Eight Labour MPs who should hang their heads in shame

plotters

IN an act of narrow self-interest and political opportunism, eight right wing Labour MPs are using the Brexit vote as a chance to knife their leader Jeremy Corbyn in the back.

MPs Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey yesterday submitted a motion of no confidence against Mr Corbyn to the Parliamentary Labour Party chairman, John Cryer.

Mr Cryer will decide whether it is debated. If accepted, a secret ballot of Labour MPs could be held on Tuesday.

This morning, six other Labour MPs were on record as backing the motion, another 47 are said to have signed support.

The letter, sent to John Cryer, chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) will result in a discussion about Corbyn’s leadership at the next PLP meeting on Monday. It could then lead to a secret ballot of MPs on Tuesday.

Mr Corbyn, a long-time Eurosceptic, defended his conduct in the Euro referendum campaign amid criticisms that he offered no more than lukewarm support for remain, blaming government austerity cuts for alienating voters.

“I’m carrying on. I’m making the case for unity, I’m making the case of what Labour can offer to Britain, of decent housing for people, of good secure jobs for people, of trade with Europe and of course with other parts of the world,” he said last night. “Because if we don’t get the trade issue right we’ve got a real problem in this country.”

Asked about the vote of no confidence, he said: “Margaret [Hodge] is obviously entitled to do what she wishes to do. I would ask her to think for a moment. A Tory prime minister resigned, Britain’s voted to leave the European Union, there are massive political issues to be addressed.

“Is it really a good idea to start a big debate in the Labour party when I was elected less than a year ago with a very large mandate, not from MPs – I fully concede and understand that – but from the party members as a whole?”

The move to oust Mr Corbyn is outrageous, and more than 145,000 ordinary Labour members and supporters have already signed an online petition of total confidence in Mr Corbyn – who already has a mandate as leader from the vast majority of party members.

Yet the  MPs have no mandate whatsoever and most have been plotting their move for a long time.

Indeed six of the eight MPs I named in my investigation back in January entitled The Enemy Within – the 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell accuses many of the would-be assassins of being linked to the Blairite campaign group Progress.

“They all come from a sort of a narrow right-wing clique within the Labour Party based around the organisation Progress,” he said.

“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.”

So let’s shine a searchlight on these shifty eight MPs and expose their real agenda, which has little or nothing to do with the European referendum or its Brexit outcome:

Margaret Hodge (Barking)

A senior Labour MP and the prime mover of the motion to oust Mr Corbyn. She is a Blairite. She also 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.

As chairwoman of the Commons public accounts committee she is the party’s fiercest critic of tax avoidance but today it was revealed she was handed more than £1.5million in shares from a tax haven.

The Times reported the multi-millionaire had benefited from a controversial scheme that lets wealthy Britons move undeclared assets back to the UK without facing criminal action.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn
  • On an official list – leaked from Labour HQ – of MPs ‘most hostile’ to Jeremy Corbyn

Ann Coffey (Stockport)

Co-mover of the motion and a solid Brownite. She 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.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn
  • On an official list – leaked from Labour HQ – of MPs ‘most hostile’ to Jeremy Corbyn

Ben Bradshaw (Exeter)

A Blairite and vocal right winger, openly hostile and an ongoing critic of Mr Corbyn. 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.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn

Chris Leslie (Nottingham East)

Another Brownite and vocal critic of Mr Corbyn. 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.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn
  • On an official list – leaked from Labour HQ – of MPs ‘most hostile’ to Jeremy Corbyn

Frank Field (Birkenhead)

A senior right wing Blairite MP and probably the fiercest open critic of Mr Corbyn. 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.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn

John Woodcock (Barrow and Furness)

Another Blairite and prominent among the attack dogs on Mr Corbyn. He is the former chairman of the Progress group. He voted for bombing Syria. In January he resigned in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s so called ‘purge’ of right wing MPs from his front bench team. Has previously openly mocked Mr Corbyn. In March he tweeted that Mr Corbyn’s performance at the despatch box had been: “A fucking disaster”.

  • One of my original list of 28 Labour MPs who Oppose Mr Corbyn

Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon)

The son of former Labour leader and multi-millionaire European commissioners Neil and Glenys Kinnock. He is married to Helle Thorning-Schmidt, the Danish Prime Minister, and as a fervent Euro campaigner probably had more to lose from the Brexit vote. His father Neil Kinnock has been opposed to Mr Corbyn’s politics for more than 30 years.

Back in March Stephen publicly gave notice of a leadership challenge if Labour failed to come second in the Scottish parliament election (Labour came third) and if Mr Corbyn failed to mobilise Labour voters for Remain.

He is viewed as a potential leadership contender from the right wing of the party.

Angela Smith (Penistone & Stocksbridge)

Another vocal right winger and former party whip. She 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 March she gave notice of a leadership challenge and accused Mr Corbyn of “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” after failing to “skewer” David Cameron over the Budget.

“If Corbyn is not prepared to buckle down and show proper leadership he should just go, and give us a chance to get a leader who can properly take on the Tories,” she said.

But Mr Corbyn still has a number of allies within the parliamentary party, led by John McDonnell, Andy McDonald, Dennis Skinner, Jon Trickett, Catherine Smith, Graham Morris and Diane Abbot.

Outside parliament, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, has been a close ally of Mr Corbyn for three decades, and gave warning to the plotters.

“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 said.

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.

  • An hour after publishing this piece, Caroline Flint (Don Valley) – another from my List 28 – was interviewed on Radio Five Live. She celebrated the capitalist free market and denigrated Jeremy Corbyn as a failed leader.

 

 

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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.

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