Over the last few days, Labour’s hard right in Brighton has mounted an attack campaign on social media against prospective left candidates in the selections for the next set of local elections – apparently fearing a ‘Momentum clean sweep’.
A toxic fringe publication published a tweet mocking Momentum’s candidate preparation process for its ‘form-filling’:
This tack was deeply dishonest, as it omitted the end of the Momentum message from its quotes that would have cast a very different light on the document, as one of the local Labour branches pointed out:
Amusingly – as will become clear below – a couple of Progress/OFOC ‘ultras’ condemned the idea that a branch account was ‘being used to fight a factional battle’:
The right-wing tweets has garnered little attention, but anti-Corbyn local MP Peter Kyle and his office manager Chris Henry attempted to reinforce their message with their own – similarly unsuccessful – contributions:
So far, so Blairite – but an email leaked to the SKWAWKBOX makes these contributions appear not only bitter but extremely hypocritical.
Some three weeks ago, Henry emailed a selection of councillors and applicants – Progress’ preferred ‘slate’, apparently – with an invitation to attend a meeting at 99 Church Road:
The meeting – more important, according to Henry, than attending the main CLP (constituency Labour party) meeting and attended by a Progress deputy director and a former deputy director of communications for Tony Blair – included such delights as writing a speech for hustings, how to answer ‘tricky questions’ and how to write emails and leaflets.
Not only that, but the venue for the meeting – 99 Church Road – was Peter Kyle’s constituency office.
The ‘centrist’ MP sent his tweet after being copied in on the email arranging the training for the right-wing protégés – so presumably he would tell them that if they’re tempted by generic Progress-provided speeches and answers to ‘tricky questions’, politics isn’t for them either.
Chris Henry and Peter Kyle were contacted for comment but did not respond by the time of publication.
Apparently, if you’re Blairites, a branch account shouldn’t be ‘used to fight a factional battle’ – but it’s perfectly ok to use an MP’s constituency office for exactly that.
It also appears that while it’s ok to dishonestly present Momentum examples as if they are ‘fill in the blank’ forms, it’s also perfectly fine for right-wing applicants to be given coaching on answering those dastardly ‘tricky questions’ – and even how to master such advance techniques as writing an email.
Here’s hoping the Brighton Labour members do what the right clearly fears and sweeps them and their trainees off the board for the sake of the Party and their city.
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