Blairite MP’s shameful secret email shows Left MUST organise

This article is written with a heavy heart for those killed or injured during Wednesday’s terrorist attack at Westminster and for their families. But life and politics go on – and some things do not bear any further delay.

Leeds West Labour MP and diehard Progress member Rachel Reeves is an entrenched opponent of Jeremy Corbyn who announced her refusal to serve on his front bench as soon as he was elected Labour leader in 2015 – not that she had been asked, which speaks volumes.

Progress MP Rachel Reeves

It appears, however, that she is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to try to undermine not only his leadership but also the very possibility of a left-wing leader in future.

The SKWAWKBOX has learned that Ms Reeves sent a secret email to only some Leeds West members, asking them to support a move to rig the selection of delegates to Labour’s 2017 annual Conference – for the specific purpose of preventing future left-wing leadership candidates.

Or, as she disingenuously terms them, ‘divisive candidates’.

The email below was sent – or meant to be sent – only to members considered right wing. The idea of a Labour MP deliberately cutting out a large part of her membership ought to be astonishing and it’s a woeful indictment of the missing integrity of a large part of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) that it is merely appalling and not surprising.

A snapshot of the original email is shown as an image and the text of the message pasted below it in case anyone has difficulty viewing the image.

reeves email

From: Rachel Reeves
Date: 13 Mar 2017 15:50
Subject: Election of local delegates to Labour Party Conference
To: Rachel Reeves <Cc:

Hi all, 

Are you able to make it to this month’s Leeds West CLP meeting this Thursday (16th March) at the Milford Sports Club in Kirkstall, starting at 7.30pm?

The next big challenge for the party is going to happen at local meetings all over the country with the election of CLP delegates to annual conference.

The hard left want to keep polarising figures in charge of the party after Jeremy Corbyn leaves. This will be through the (John) McDonnell amendment that, if voted upon by conference delegates this year, would mean the threshold of MPs needed to nominate a leadership candidate will be lowered from 15% of the PLP to only 5%.

This would make it easier for divisive candidates to be selected for the leadership race, even in the event that they have been unable to gain the confidence of 95% of their colleagues in Parliament.

Caroline Flint explains it very well and with more detail in this article –
http://www.progressonline.org. uk/2016/08/23/credibility-threshold/

This can be stopped, however, if local labour parties vote to send delegates who will not vote for the McDonnell amendment and instead vote to make sure that important issues like Brexit, the NHS and the economy are discussed at conference. 

Leeds West Labour Party meets at the Milford Sports Club, Kirkstall, 7.30pm on Thursday 16th March. If you are able to make it and will support conference delegate candidates who wish to spend more time discussing the issues the public wants us to talk about and not the McDonnell amendment, do let me know. I will be supporting xxx and xxx as our delegates from Leeds West. If you want to talk to either of them directly, please do let me know and I can put you in touch. 

It will be great to see you there next Thursday and, as ever, your support is always hugely appreciated by me and everyone else who wants to see Labour elected to government. It will also be appreciated if you can let me know if you can make it either way for numbers. 

Best wishes and see you soon,


Leeds West members report that the meeting last Thursday was packed with people who had never been seen at a CLP meeting before – and as a result, the delegate selection was won by right-wing candidates.

The email is both extremely arrogant and intensely insulting. A large part – probably a significant majority – of her members are simply written out of the party: ‘the next big challenge for the party‘ implies that those who want a left-wing leadership candidate in future are not part of the party – and in Leeds West, it’s the left-wing members that raise most funds and do most of the campaigning work.

The use of the tired and misleading ‘wants to see Labour elected‘ trope is both arrogant and insulting. Left-wing members are much more serious about getting elected – unlike the right-wingers, they are not prepared to lose the next election in the hope of bringing down Labour’s leader.

The description of other Labour MPs as ‘divisive candidates’ is also both – and shows a lack of self-awareness that is astonishing, as the divisiveness since Corbyn’s election as leader has been entirely on the part of the likes of Ms Reeves.

The secret Blairite email also underscores the importance of the ‘McDonnell amendment’ to change the nomination threshold for leadership candidates. The SKWAWKBOX has been hammering the importance of this amendment for months and calling on Labour members who support the party’s direction as a genuine alternative to organise, organise, organise to make sure genuine delegates are sent to the party’s Conference.

It is ESSENTIAL that the pro-Corbyn membership recognises the importance of party structures and events such as the conference and harnesses its superior numbers to control them. Otherwise, the right-wing will continue to hinder Labour as a strong, electable party for its own ends – as it did at last year’s Conference to the lasting damage of the party by rigging the NEC (National Executive Committee).

Reeves’ email additionally demonstrates the utter hypocrisy of deputy leader Tom Watson’s attempt to smear the Left by accusing Jon Lansman of a ‘takeover’ attempt on Radio 4 earlier this week – for doing exactly what Reeves did.

Except that Lansman isn’t an MP betraying the majority of his members by cutting them out of the process and attempting to disenfranchise them.

It’s unimaginable that Rachel Reeves is the only Blairite MP behaving in this manner. Similar messages will be going out around the country – and as we saw in Leeds West, if they succeed in blindsiding the left-wing majority that most CLPs now have, the right-wing minority will again succeed in creating a completely unrepresentative delegate make-up and doing huge damage to Labour’s chances of being a party worth electing.

Shame on Rachel Reeves for her contempt for the majority of her members. Shame on us if we allow the tactic to succeed enough to corrupt Labour’s Conference so the right-wingers can damage the party again.

They must not be allowed to succeed – and the only way to counter it is to raise awareness and make sure that the pro-Corbyn majority organises and turns up.

And that needs us – to spread the word and shout about it until everyone is listening.

The SKWAWKBOX is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you found this information helpful and can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your support so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.


  1. Rachel Reeves – she of the dead eyes and sepulchral delivery of her monologues – is one of the more frightening of the right wing, appearing to lack even a shred of humanity. . When she speaks her mind it is an unedifying insight into the neoliberal agenda. Her (in)famous contribution in the GE 2015 was the now classic statement that “Labour does not want to be seen as the party of the welfare state”……[she] laid out plans to slash the number of food banks operating in the UK if Labour comes to power. She said she felt it was a sign of the “failed welfare state”….. “We are not the party of people on benefits. We don’t want to be seen, and we’re not, the party to represent those who are out of work,” she said. “Labour are a party of working people, formed for and by working people.” Despite being the Shadow Secretary of State for the DWP, she appeared not to know (or perhaps care?) that many in receipt of benefits are indeed in work.

    This is the sort of MP Labour simply does not need. It seems that Rachel Reeves needs the Labour party more than it her. She has also been an officer in the Labour Friends of Israel, according to Wikipedia.


  2. Surely this is not just being selective of the membership but it is a blatant attempt to rig a vote if one is called at conference? Do the Electoral Commission oversees things like this?

    1. I seriously doubt that they would support any ‘rigging’ However, are they aware of it & how far is it spreading? Very worrying

  3. The efforts by moderates to oust Jeremy Corbyn has hindered Labour from mounting an effective opposition to the draconian welfare reforms. Only Debbie Abrahams, Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, seems prepared to take up the mantle.

    My problem with the moderates is that they’ve demonstrated that they’re all too willing to throw UK’s sick and disabled under the bus in order to win the next general election. Why vote for ‘pale Tories’?

    Disclosure: Since 2012, I’ve been reporting voluntarily to the UN’s human rights office, in Geneva, on the welfare crisis impacting Britain’s sick and disabled.

    On April 3, the pernicious ESA (WRAG) cuts come into effect, and new claimants in this group will be hard-pressed to survive on JSA-level benefits. I am waiting to receive a reply from Penny Mordaunt MP,
    Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work, regarding her plan to offset the basic living costs for these claimants; see: https://twishort.com/ZpClc.

    April is fast approaching and I’m extremely concerned because this plan is not yet in place. Has she misled Parliament and Britain’s 11 million disabled people?

    1. Samuel, I agree 100%. I’m seriously disabled, I care for my partner who is seriously disabled and also has dementia, I’m getting worse and for the first time Labour has a leadership that is speaking up and out for disabled people, yet the likes of Reeves, Heidi Alexander, Watson, Spellar, Cryer, Austin, Mann & Dugher etc are literally throwing us under a bus because they do not like the democratically elected leader of our party, they think more about themselves than they do about the people they are supposed to represent and I fiercely oppose them. Reeves talks about the NHS, yet while Corbyn has been trying his utmost to pressure the Tories into funding it properly, her and her cohorts are doing their level best to wreck Corbyn’s leadership and destroy the NHS. While Corbyn recognised what the Tories and Liberal Democrats were doing with their welfare reforms bill, Reeves and her mates abstained allowing it to pass, while Corbyn and McDonnell voted against. I know who has got our best interests at heart and it isn’t Reeves or her narcissistic mates. If these people spent as much time promoting Corbyn’s popular policies and backing the leader instead of undermining him and trying to destroy Labour, the party would be flying high in the polls now. It is not Corbyn’s fault, it is the fault of these people that care more for their careers than they do their constituents. Personally, I would urge their CLPs to deselect them.

  4. In the interests of transparency, would it be a good idea to identify the links between all these players. Rachel Reeves’ sister Ellie, was a former NEC member deposed last September by the member’s vote .. and Ellie is married to John Cryer MP who was one of the ‘screamers’ at JC in the last PLP meeting (his father must be turning in his grave).

  5. If people do not like a leader and I disliked Blair , but her was elected leader so I voted for him, I voted for Miliband yet I dislike him as I disliked Blair, but it was my duty as a labour ex member to vote for them. Now Corbyn is elected whether I like him or not the membership voted him in so I back him.

    Sadly these people are without doubt Blair rites , her Flint Chuka Benn and Kinnock are in labour , like many others for themselves sadly I’m now a non voter.

    But we should have sorted this out when we had a labour left leader in the 1960 and 1970’s it’s to late now the Progress group have placed so many right wingers in to seats the left just shrugged and said fine , we have little choice now. The right will try to make a take over of the party and the left will be shown the door, a party of socialist become Tory Lite . Darling and Reeves lost labour an election by saying we will cut harder then the Tories, meaning vote Tories if you dislike cuts , sadly people did.

    1. interesting view of history. Our leaders in the 70s and 80s were Wilson and Callaghan. Wilson was hardly left wing. Callaghan was a union man, who ended up causing the winter of discontent by his attacks on unions. Actually when we did get a true left wing leader in the early 1980s we got absolutely smashed by the Tories – although they had just won the Falklands. However we will still roundly beaten with a ‘then’ left wing Kinnock in 87, who then realised the truth that to win power you need to become more democratic. This was finally achieved by Blair in 97. I am not a huge Blair fan for many reasons – however it is interesting that his democratic view won 3 elections, whilst the times we have had a left wing view in 83, 87 and 92 we got beaten.

    1. No, Matthew. Members have a right to organise to get their people to a meeting – on either side of the debate. *MPs* do *not* have the right to try to blindside their members by cutting them out in order to disenfranchise them. If she’d written to all of them to make her case, fair enough. This wasn’t that.

      1. Sorry, I don’t buy it. I’m sure Momentum-supporting MPs (those there are) are doing the same in their constituencies organising for the other side. And if someone like Chris Williamson were still an MP, then he’d have no qualms about organising like this.

        You’re sore because your side lost this one.

        If there was evidence that all members had not been informed about the meeting, as required under party rules, it’d be a different matter. But all members don’t have a right to receive MPs’ emails.

      2. Depends if you want to win. As the McDonnell 5% amendment will be Labour’s Jonestown Massacre the stakes are high.

      3. Mathew you are wrong. If Reeves can treat her CLP like this, it speaks volumes about how she would treat the electorate.

  6. Isn’t that just lobbying and organising for a meeting? It’s how all politics works, surely? Every political party, every legislative body, in every democratic country, works on this basis. You mean, I think that you disagree with her objectives; and that is your right, and also just a normal situation. Nothing to see here, really.

    1. No. Lobbying and organising would be writing to all your members and making your case. Nothing wrong with that. For an *MP* to be abusing her position by writing to some members and cutting others out of the process, in order to blindside the ‘others’ – a majority, apparently – out of the process is shameful.

    2. No you are wrong , MP’s have privileged access to membership lists and hence the email/contact details in their CLPs. If I for example wanted to send an email to all the membership in my CLP I would have to go through my CLP Sec to ask to do it as I don’t have access to all their email addresses . It would then inevitably be vetted etc and hence would be above board and visible.
      What she has done is rigged the selection process by a dishonest and underhand way . It makes my skin crawl just reading the sections of her email , like we on the left don’t want an elected Labour , we want that as much as the right of the party do . It is time that a fair and just system was put back in place as it was before Kinnocks amendment that saw this 15% rule . Talk about disenfranchising the membership , bet she’d have no qualms asking us for money or time canvassing eh ?

      1. But she did not use the whole CLP list – she used her own list – which I am pretty sure she has picked up from people who have replied to her, and who she feels support her point of view.
        Her appeal is for people to come out and support – not to change their minds…

      2. Exactly. And that’s not her place as the MP – in principle, at least – of the whole membership.

    1. Whilst I can understand your sentiments , and it’s something I have wondered about , I ask why should we ? We really do have the basis of a proper socialist Labour party , that’s what was set up originally in Bevans time and by the Unions originally .Why should we give up on our roots because of a right wing coup insurgency . If they, despite many olive branches and appeals for unity from the left leadership and from the left of centre moderate membership who are the majority , keep rebuffing those overtures , then surely it is they who need to set up their own right of centre party. Perhaps a good name would be ” Progress ” . I’d be very happy to set them free from the shackles of a socialist Labour party as they no doubt see it . Then the electorate gets a real choice of alternative Govt ,not just more of the same , then we’d see who they’d vote for , Corbyns Labour or the Progress party ( subsidiary to and wholly owned by J Sainsbury where you pound is worth more and you rights are worthless ) .

  7. Great stuff Rachel. They don’t like it up em these armchair ultra leftists.

    1. Of course there is, Andy. Momentum is not anyone’s MP and they represent their own agenda. I have no issue with Labour First etc organising – except wanting to defeat them. It’s what they’re for, just for a cause I think stinks.

      Ms Reeves is the party’s MP. She owes *all* its members the same openness and consideration, not to be bypassing them, cutting them out in order to disenfranchise them. It’s a disgrace.

      1. and Rachel gives all members the same openness and consideration. Anyone can come to the GC and talk to her or raise motions or do anything that they want. Rachel does not hide away or bypass people.

      2. I think the real difference is that you support what Momentum and don’t support MPs like Rachel Reeves. It’s a double-standard. Politicians have always tried to organise support for their proposals, no matter who they are. Tony Benn used to do it to and Corbyn was often one of his inner circle.

      3. Rachel Reeves absolutely does hide and bypass people and issues she doesn’t want to address. I have emailed her and written to her repeatedly about issues of policy and her stance on them. She has not replied for nearly 2 years now. I have also questioned her at CLP – her usual response is to sidestep the question, and in fact respond untruthfully on occasion. On one occasion, she sent an email to all Leeds West members saying she had never attacked Corbyn in the media, but was calling on him to resign. I sent her a video clip of her on Daily Politics a couple of months earlier, saying that Corbyn was losing the party votes and attacking him over Trident. I asked for her to be truthful with the members and apologise for what she had told them in the email. No answer. She also emailed all LW members asking them to vote for Ellie Reeves in the NEC elections, and didn’t mention that Ellie is her sister. Dubious at best, I’d say. I challenged her on that, too. No answer. The list of ignored letters and emails is a long one. She does the same to many other members in her CLP. She has attacked Corbyn over not delivering a victory for Remain in the referendum, but did not manage to do so in her own constituency. And as Brexit draws closer, and will massively affect her constituents, does she do anything locally to address these issue? Well, she spends a lot of time promoting her book. Rachel Reeves’ main priority is ensuring that Rachel Reeves remains and MP for as long as possible.

      4. Again, I’d be very interested in copies of anything you still have. Good work holding her to account!

      5. Let me know how to email you. I’ll pass the emails that I sent to Rachel Reeves onto you.

    1. I wasn’t around when Rachel arrived – however the thought that she was ‘parachuted in’ is bonkers. As I understand it Leeds West decided to have a women only shortlist, and as happens elsewhere, this attracted many excellent candidates to consider the constituency, even ones who may not have originally done so.
      Those who know Rachel, know that she is a very intelligent committed individual. She is thoroughly committed to getting Labour elected – she may have differences in opinion on how to do this from others, but anyone who tries to paint her as pale Tory does not understand her.
      She has always earned the praise and support of her predecessor – John Battle – who should be beyond reproach for his work towards the party and those who we particularly stand for.
      I find it sad, that often when some people dislike someone, they try to make out that their level of intelligence and education is wrong – I expect that sort of thing from Trump in the USA – but not from Labour party activists in the UK!

      1. For the record, I have no opinion on her intellect or education. I do have an issue with her morally and this move was unconscionable.

      2. not sure what your moral view is about someone going on maternity leave – of course you may be a misogynist like a few people on this site.
        If people do not have a problem with her intellect or education, why make a comment about her being an oxford graduate above – you cannot make a comment like that, and then complain that it was taken out of context.

      3. Oh, do go and procreate, Iain. Any more bullshit like that and I’ll flag you as spam and spoil your trolling here.

      4. What is your evidence for alluding to “Skwawkbox” or any of its readers being “misogynist”?

        I am continually amazed at how “moderates” like you think throwing around malicious and plainly unsubstantiated allegations damages the credibility of your victims more than it damages your own.

      5. Speaking of Trump, Reeves spoke at CLP at length about what a dangerous, misogynist, unstable individual he is, dangerous for a whole range of reasons. I asked her if she was still committed to renewing Trident, and tying UK foreign and military policy to that of the “dangerous” Trump regime and to the regimes that follow his for many years. She was a bit taken aback, but then managed to replied that renewing Trident is “Labour policy”. I said, put aside Labour policy, is she comfortable with tying the UK to Trump through Trident. “Labour policy”. She repeated this 3 times. And in fact, renewing Trident is not “Labour policy”, which is to review the issue when in government – I have this in writing and verbally from the NEC. Reeves has used this line repeatedly to justify her stance at CLP meetings, and she knows its not true. I’ve pointed it out to her in 4 emails and letters over the last 18 months. No reply. She may think Trump is a dangerous, unstable leader, but she hasn’t the courage, commitment or principles to do anything practical to protect us from him.

  8. I am not sure if she is out of order in drumming up support for her candidate but it does emphasise the fact that left is not organised and is losing on many fronts. It is unable to produce results. Urgent need to get together and work out a coherent strategy.
    Blarites are not giving up. They seem to have new momentum.

    1. I’d say the opposite, actually. I think they’re getting more desperate – perhaps because they can sense Coyne is dead in the water. So the left needs to organise to finish them off. But on your first point, an MP is supposed to represent her whole membership, so to contact some to ask them to help her disenfranchise the rest is unforgivable.

      1. not sure that Rachel was asking anyone to disenfranchise anyone. As I understand the email above, she was seeking support to stop an amendment that would allow fewer MPs to trigger a leadership contest. This has nothing to do with CLPs or general members.

      2. Have you actually read the article? It was ALL about winning a vote at a CLP and blindsiding a majority of its – and her – members.

    1. not sure what you mean by that – there are some MPs who have tried to placate Jeremy to gain front bench exposure – I would describe that as careerist. not sure how you can describe what Rachel has done as careerist.

      1. Iain with respect , it’s means MPs who are out for themselves at the expense of all else , which in my view over this issue of disenfranchising from her privileged position within her CLP a lot of the members in it , is what she is . Those same members on the left who pay their dues , who would fight for the principles of Labour , just the same as those on the right of the party ,they expect and demand fair and just consideration from their LABOUR MP . This divisive behaviour from her is exactly what I would call a careerist MP. Hope that makes you more sure of what I mean. No doubt she is not the only MP in the PLP playing this game ,.She has been caught and should now quite rightly answer for her actions to ALL of those in her CLP. I hope they ask for an explanation . A unifying MP would not behave in this way , yes there are other forces at play within the CLP structure , Momentum / Progress etc BUT they are on a slightly more level playing field .When the MP wades in against one section of the membership then that is a magnitude different . Reeves should have the courage to face all of her CLP and the ability to win the argument without this disenfranchising behaviour .
        Note whilst we continue to rip ourselves apart and some of the PLP help it along , the Tories continue to rip apart the very people we should be representing .

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: