Labour Failing To Cope With Large Scale 'Entryism' Of Far-Left And Green Members, Insiders Claim

Their aim is to #KeepCorbyn but insiders say they should be barred
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Members of far-left parties and the Greens are defying Labour’s rules to join the party to defend Jeremy Corbyn, insiders claim.

Party staffers have told HuffPostUK that Labour HQ cannot cope with the huge influx of new members to root out those who ought to be ineligible to sign up to the party.

The Alliance For Workers Liberty has urged its members to “Flood Into The Labour Party!”, while the Socialist Workers’ Party, the Trade Union and Socialist Coaltion and the Communist Party of Great Britain have all urged their members to mobilise to protect Corbyn’s leadership.

But under Labour rules, anyone who does not “support the aims and values” of the party can be expelled, and no member of another party is allowed to join.

Leftwingers have long complained that they are victims of “purges” by Labour’s Compliance Unit, but ‘moderate’ MPs now believe that the massive influx of new members has left the party unable to check their status.

Labour general secretary Iain McNicol
Labour general secretary Iain McNicol
Gareth Fuller/PA Archive

General Secretary Iain McNicol last week revealed that a huge 128,000 people had joined Labour in just 10 days, taking its total membership to over half a million for the first time in decades.

Former Shadow Business Secretary Angela Eagle is set to launch her leadership challenge on Monday.

Unlike the Tory party, which insists that new members cannot vote in a leadership election until they have been in the party for a minimum of three months, Labour no longer has such restrictions.

Under changes introduced under Ed Miliband, new members will be allowed to vote in Labour’s leadership election straight away.

One Labour party staffer told HuffPostUK: “Many of those joining the Labour Party are doing so because they want to see a strong Labour Party. But infiltration is happening, and on a large scale.

“The Party will do its best to apply the rules, but the scale of new membership applications makes it incredibly difficult do so.

“There’s a real danger the process will be swamped. Jeremy Corbyn needs make it absolutely clear that the Labour Party has no place for people who do not believe in our aims and values.”

Socialist Worker Party supporters and others backing Corbyn in Parliament Square
Socialist Worker Party supporters and others backing Corbyn in Parliament Square
Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Last August, during the surge in members in the last leadership contest, the party excluded more than 1,200 people for membership of other groups or for not complying with the ‘aims and values’ of the party.

Critics claim that if a similar ratio of infiltration applied in 2016, then there could be more than 1,900 people set for exclusion this time. But with many far-left groups explicitly urging their supporters to join Labour, the figure could be even higher.

The Alliance for Workers’ Liberty, which has backed candidates in elections against Labour, has urged people to join Labour through its website.

“Join now! Get your friends and neighbours to join! Push back the Blairite “entrists”!” one post said.

Workers Liberty

The SWP has also arranged a string of ‘StandWithCorbyn’ events, while the Trade Union And Socialist Coalition has also backed Corbyn.

The Morning Star Editor Ben Chacko’s political report to the Communist Party declared one of its priorities must be “Defending the socialist leadership of the Labour Party at all costs”.

Labour staffers also point out that a string of Green Party and other party members online have been encouraged to join the party at the same time.

Corbyn has long said that he does not support ‘infiltration’ and has always upheld party rules.

His allies point out that most of his party membership support in his 2015 landslide leadership election victory came from existing as well as new members.

Many Corbyn supporters claim that the #SavingLabour campaign to sign up members to oust Corbyn is also attracting people who are not checked.