Labour MP Simon Danczuk has hit back at claims he is in the “crosshairs” for deselection by pro-Jeremy Corbyn trade unionists.
Channel 4’s Political Correspondent Michael Crick this afternoon tweeted that a pro-Corbyn organiser for Unite – Britain’s biggest trade union – wanted to cull “careerist” MPs.
Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt was one of those identified, as well as three MPs based in Lewisham, South East London: Vicky Foxcroft, Jim Dowd and Heidi Alexander.
Mr Danczuk was also cited as facing deselection as a Labour MP, with the unidentified organiser telling Mr Crick the Rochdale MP has "made such vicious anti-Corbynite statements that he's somebody in our cross-hairs"
Speaking to The Huffington Post UK this afternoon, Mr Danczuk did not seem worried by the threat.
He said: “I am disappointed that comrades should talk in such a vicious way.
“After the leadership election – whoever wins – we will all have to come together to take the fight to the Tories.”
Pro-Corbyn Unite organiser on plans to cull "careerist" MPs. Tristram Hunt wld be "wonderful scalp," he says. Simon Danczuk "in cross-hairs"— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) September 2, 2015
Unite organiser from SE London says Simon Danczuk has "made such vicious anti-Corbynite statements that he's somebody in our cross-hairs"— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) September 2, 2015
Unite SE London organiser also names 3 Lewisham MPs Vicky Foxcroft, Jim Dowd & Heidi Alexander as de-selection targets after Corbyn victory— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) September 2, 2015
Mr Danzcuk has been one of Mr Corbyn’s most vocal critics, and said he would not put up with the “crazy left wing policies” of the Islington North MP.
He even suggested the veteran MP could face a coup on “day one” of becoming Labour leader.
The comments will risk further stoking up tension between Corbyn supporters and those within Labour who do not share his views.
Some Labour MPs who are against Mr Corbyn becoming leader have been branded ‘Red Tories’ on social media sites by some of the leadership candidate’s more tribal backers.
Lewisham Deptford MP Vicky Foxcroft was only elected to Parliament in May, having previously worked for Unite. She is backing Yvette Cooper for the leadership.
Jim Dowd has been MP for Lewisham West and Penge since 1992 and served as a Government whip under Tony Blair from 1997 to 2001. He nominated Liz Kendall for party leader.
Heidi Alexander was elected Lewisham West MP in 2010 and is backing Andy Burnham’s leadership campaign.
A spokesperson for Unite said: "A Unite member in London, not a supporter of Labour, has been speculating about the deselection of local Labour MPs. This is not Unite policy at all, either in relation to the MPs named or in general, and his remarks have no authority from the union. They are designed to help Labour's opponents and should be entirely disregarded."