Many Labour members “hate” their MPs and want to get rid of them as revenge for trying to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader, a senior party official has said.
Ann Black, a member of Labour’s ruling National Executive Committee (NEC), hit out at Momentum for its campaign to change party rules to make it easier to deselect sitting Labour MPs.
“Underlying the whole open/mandatory reselection argument is the fact that a significant number of members hate Labour MPs, individually and collectively, especially for trying to get rid of Jeremy in 2016, and would be happy to purge the lot of them,” she wrote on her blog.
“This is not the kinder, gentler politics which Jeremy promised in 2015.”
Black, who will not sit on the NEC in future after failing to win reelection from party members, said it would be “now for others to find a way back from the edge”.
A Momentum source said Black’s attack “sounds like a Daily Mail headline”.
Under the current “trigger ballot” rules an MP needs the backing of 50% of their local branches to automatically stand for parliament again.
Momentum argues the process needs to be more “open” to allow a “new generation” of MPs to come through.
But many Labour MPs think such a change is designed purely to make it easier to replace them with pro-Corbyn loyalists.
As HuffPost UK revealed earlier this week, Labour party members and trade unions are set to be handed new powers in the reselection of sitting MPs in a compromise plan.
The proposed reforms seek to curb perceived unfairness in the system, whereby unions can in theory outvote local members by creating limitless numbers of new ‘branches’.
But they also aim to open up Westminster selections by giving more trade union members more of a say.