On Sunday the SKWAWKBOX revealed a strong letter of complaint sent to Labour MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark (BOS) Neil Coyle – signed by a huge number of the very people who had campaigned to help him win re-election – after his negative comments to the Daily Mail following Labour’s General Election surge under Jeremy Corbyn.
Coyle was also forced into an embarrassing apology to a neighbouring MP for angering her constituents, many of whom had campaigned for him.
That letter appears to have been just the tip of the iceberg, as the article triggered an avalanche of offers of further letters and emails of complaint that had been sent by Coyle’s own members to him and to the party leadership – some on condition that they be used only for background, but others for publication in full, with only personal details removed.
Coyle – already under investigation by the Labour Party over a string of bullying allegations before Theresa May’s General Election announcement intervened – seems to be less than popular with his own members.
Below are two of the letters. The first was sent to Coyne himself by one of his members and the second to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn by another. While both are polite, taken together they paint a bleak picture of life in a CLP (constituency Labour party) saddled with an entrenched anti-Corbyn MP.
I am overjoyed by the election results that the Labour Party achieved nationally. Like you I am surprised at the large majority achieved in BOS. Congratulations.
I hope you will publicly recognise that, in addition to young people support and our social media strategy, your large majority is greatly due to Corbyn’s message and personality, which were finally able to reach households unfiltered from the usual main stream media pro-Tory bias, reinforced by vocal Labour party critics.
It would be nice if you could visibly acknowledge the impact of a significant number of volunteers, young and not so young, that joined BOS campaigning, who like me, put political differences aside and fought for your seat.
In view of Corbyn’s message today on Marr and the Sunday Mirror, I hope you find in your heart to assert your support for the leadership, staunchly promote their Labour program and work with them to achieve a Labour government lead by Jeremy Corbyn.
Written 11 June, the weekend after the election result and before Coyle’s appearance in the right-wing Daily Mail, the email’s hopes were clearly forlorn. But the letter sent to Jeremy Corbyn after Coyle’s Mail article is harder-hitting and brutally frank:
The letter portrays Coyle as a thorn in the side of the members of Bermondsey and Old Southwark Labour, as negative, divisive, self-indulgent, ill-disciplined; as confused by policy and completely out of step with the membership.
As having promised to his members that he would support Corbyn.
And as having lost the confidence of those members so completely that they now consider him an embarrassment and see replacing him as the only option.
Opinions can, of course, vary and it’s clear that Coyle has the support of at least what other members describe as a controlling ‘clique’. But to judge by the rush of responses to Sunday’s article, it seems a majority of his CLP are desperate to replace him with a good MP that they can support wholeheartedly.
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