The Labour right and the mainstream media are in lockstep this morning with claims that the motion at Labour’s annual conference to create a second deputy leader position has been withdrawn because the leadership fears a ‘moderate’ winning. It’s pure fantasy – the idea that a SIM (self-identified ‘moderate’) would have the slightest chance of winning with the vast majority of Labour’s membership firmly on the left is delusional.
Wirral West, the constituency party (CLP) whose motion was up for debate this morning ‘remitted’ (withdrew) it. A Wirral West delegate told the SKWAWKBOX this was entirely because the CLP’s delegates have become convinced that in the light of recent developments there is a high chance of another snap general election and were worried that a new deputy election would become focused around the Brexit issue and become an electoral hindrance.
Labour’s leadership had backed the motion, but the Wirral West delegate who stood to remit it told Conference:
There have been some disturbing reports that this rule change had widespread support on the NEC because those who want to divide our party, and undermine Jeremy Corbyn, want to use this contest to do so…making the election about Brexit, a new centre party or whatever new project they think up to sow disunity and trash the Labour brand in the media.
I say to those people…the membership, and the voters, are sick of your sectarian games.
A Conference Arrangements Committee (CAC) member told the SKWAWKBOX that the issue could come back before Conference as soon as next year:
The NEC could bring it back next year or so could any CLP. No three-year rule applies in this instance.
Of course, if Tom Watson and his supporters want another deputy leader election or a female deputy now, he’s always free to ‘test his mandate’ by resigning and triggering an immediate election any time he wishes.
As usual, the mainstream media line – and the claims of the defunct Labour right – are a long way from the facts of the matter.
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