But crucially, his critics within the Labour Party have every right to fight backby Peter Kellner / July 12, 2017 / Leave a comment
Some of Labour’s finest MPs have been targeted for deselection. They include Luciana Berger (Liverpool, Wavertree, who has also had to endure anti-Semitic abuse), Thangham Debbonaire (who more than doubled her vote last month in Bristol West to 47,000), Peter Kyle (who has already seen off one attempt by Momentum to oust him in Hove), Stella Creasy (Walthamstow’s heroine of various causes including the regulation of loan sharks and the rights of Northern Irish women seeking abortions), Margaret Hodge (Barking’s fiercely effective scrutineer of government waste as chair of the Public Accounts Committee), Chuka Umunna (the Streatham MP who should be discussed as a future party leader, not a potential victim of deselection) and Ben Bradshaw (who survived a nasty homophobic campaign to gain Exeter in 1997 and now has a new kind of nastiness to contend with).
These are among 49 MPs identified by a Momentum group in South Tyneside. Their list has since been disowned, and shadow ministers close to the leadership have been downplaying suggestions that good constituency MPs should be deselected. In practical terms, the leadership would be mad to purge the parliamentary party just now. A new general election could be called at any time, and Labour could win it—but not if it ousts some of its most talented MPs.