Labour has suspended all local party meetings until the high-stakes leadership contest has been completed to curb the levels of abuse faced by MPs, the Huffington Post UK can reveal.
In a dramatic ruling by Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC), local branches were banned from meeting until Jeremy Corbyn’s fate as leader of the party has been decided.
He is facing a challenge from two of his former shadow cabinet ministers, Angela Eagle and Owen Smith.
The leadership contest timetable was confirmed at last night’s NEC meeting, and saw September 21 as the day nominated for the end of the election.
At the same event, committee members voted to allow Corbyn to appear automatically on the ballot paper, rather than be forced to seek the 51 nominations from MPs and MEPs needed like Eagle and Smith.
A special paper on the leadership contest, passed to HuffPost UK, said the move to suspend local party meetings was to prevent further intimidation and violence of MPs and members.
“All normal party meetings at CLPs [Constituency Labour Parties] and branch level shall be suspended until the completion of the leadership election,” it ruled.
Only meetings for supporting leadership nominations, campaign planning meetings for by-elections or elected mayors, plus others agreed by the general secretary, will be allowed.
It comes after complaints of abuse received by MPs over their stance on Corbyn. Yesterday, Eagle’s constituency office was bricked.
The Labour leader himself also revealed he had received a tirade of death threats.
Despite Corbyn himself repeatedly calling for a “kinder, gentler politics”, his shadow chancellor John McDonnell said at a rally that Labour MPs had been “plotting and conniving” against their leader.
“The only good thing about it was, as plotters, they were fucking useless,” he added.