Excl: the 4 MPs Labour expects to jump this weekend

Labour expects four – and possibly six – more MPs are preparing to announce their resignations from the Labour Party this weekend.

Following the resignation from the Labour Party on Wednesday of Dudley North MP Ian Austin, which he announced this morning just in time for the weekend news cycle, the SKWAWKBOX can reveal the names of four further MPs that Labour insiders expect to follow suit this weekend in an attempt to maximise the impact of the dwindling band of malcontents.

Clockwise: Cat McKinnell, Siobhain McDonagh, Phil Wilson, Pat McFadden

Newcastle North’s Cat McKinnell, Phil Wilson – who as MP for Sedgefield hosted a fundraiser last year featuring his predecessor Tony Blair, Mitcham & Morden’s Siobhain McDonagh and Wolverhampton South’s Pat McFadden are all expected by Labour sources to announce their departure.

McDonagh and McKinnell have been threatening their likely departure, bedecked by the usual demands, so heavily now that her going will at least bring some peace.

McDonagh is quasi-royalty among the Labour right, closely connected to former general secretary Iain McNicol – her sister is a peer and former Labour general secretary – deputy leader Tom Watson and former right-wing Shadow Chancellor Roy Hattersley.

Two more MPs – better known than the above – are also thought to be in the frame but their intentions have not yet been confirmed.

Attempts have been made to contact all four MPs for comment.

Update: Siobhain McDonagh has responded this morning with a denial:

Hi! This is news to me! I celebrated the 43rd anniversary of joining The Labour Party last Wednesday. Siobhain

However earlier this week she confirmed to the media that she never stops thinking about leaving.

SKWAWKBOX comment:

If the departures go ahead as Labour expects – ‘quitters’ have shown a propensity for dithering, especially when pre-empted – will be timed to allow the weekend news media to amplify the idea that this week’s resignations somehow signal renewed pressure on Jeremy Corbyn, rather than being the lemming-like culmination of years of attempted undermining by MPs who have never accepted the party’s status as a genuine left-wing electoral force under the Labour leader.

If the tactic looks familiar, that’s because it is. The string of regular resignations during the 2016 ‘chicken coup’ used the same tactic. That it failed then has not taught the figure behind it any lessons.

Except to space them out further, because far fewer MPs are on board now than were after the 2016 referendum – and those prepared to join in appear to be limited to old intakes pining for the the ‘good old days’ of Blair.

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    1. Margaret has said not and Jess is too much of a shrewdie to go. She knows this new group will be a flash in the pan and her only chance of keeping her job is to become a Labour loyalist.

      1. The other thing about Jess is that she does still sometimes attack the Tories as viciously as she attacks Corbyn. Much as she hates him, I think she is genuinely Labour in her core beliefs.

        Every single one of the others, I have never seen them say a single word against the Tories.

        The two I would be hoping for are Streeting and Smeeth.

  1. How many do you think there will be in the end? This is obviously a planned coordinated attack on Jeremy.

    1. The Kamikaze Squad numbered more than 20, so that’s your ball park figure, with an upper-scale of 25, most of whom won’t be missed and we get the benefit of actually putting real persons in their steads, not careerists and the Blair Babe gang.

      On another note, had ‘Open Selection’ been adopted in September, as many fought for, I was always of the opinion that no more than a dozen PLP members would have lost their CLP nominations – so, in a way, the Blairite gang are doing us a favour – they are cowards though without principle, for had they any principles they’d call bye-elections to test TIG popularity with their constituents, of course, this would mean registering as a political Party, or standing on an independent platform.

  2. If Labour has been looking at left wingers with the potential to become MPs, as I believe it ought to have been doing for a long time – and if there are enough of them to make the required impact – maybe now would be a good time to introduce them to the public and celebrate our party’s renewal and return to its roots.

    1. I agree, the Left is a reactive and defensive force. The dominate media atmosphere cowers us. However if the same outcome emerges there will be no real disadvantages.

  3. They tried to eject Jeremy at the start , they couldn’t , so now they’re ejecting themselves instead !
    It’s like a physic to relieve a blockage ; they’ll all be gone and then the rest of us will have a healthy Socialist Party able to restore the country to health and humanity !

    They’ll all team up with the LiBDems and form a larger irrelevance except for Austin who’ll roll along a lone meatball !

  4. Within reason, I don’t think it matters that much how many leave. I can still think of quite a few that I’d like to see the back of.
    Let the quitters compete with (and take votes from) the other neoliberal warmonger parties and see how they get on. Labour will still be a genuine alternative to the Tories, LibDems and whatever this proposed new party ends up being called.

    1. I think you’re far too sanguine.

      Simple question : Even given defections from the Tories, who do you think will be losing the most votes from this propaganda stunt backed by the MSM?

      1. I think the Independent Group will take more votes from the Tories and LibDems than from Labour, because they won’t be competing with Labour, because they won’t have any left-leaning policies.

      2. I agree with Dave G. They are a threat to Labour only for so long as Brexit is an issue, as they can siphon off support from Labour people who think Corbyn should be opposing Brexit wholeheartedly.

        As soon as that is done and dusted, they have only their domestic policies to fall back on. Their association with Tories and their support for austerity and privatisation mean they are very little threat to Labour. I would not expect any of them to succeed in preventing the election of an official Labour candidate in their constituencies, let alone win themselves.

      3. I think that you have only a partial view of where the votes needed for a Labour victory come from.

        The danger is the perception – avidly pursued by the propaganda press – that the Squitters = the nicey-nicey moderate progressive vote.

        Both the Tories and Labour have been losing vote share since the last GE – but the existing damage to Labour has been worse.

        What could turn things around is Labour coming firmly out against Brexit, and cutting the legs off the Tories and the Squitters.

      4. Anna Soubry has announced that the Funny Fringe Group will support May in the event of a motion of No Confidence.
        Just what the Labour voters are crying out for.

  5. Back to the central issue. I don’t know how many are familiar with the work of Professor Harvey Goldstein – a noted statistician working mainly in the field of education, but he has put his considerable academic expertise in the analysis of evidence to the task of demolishing claims about ‘antisemitism’ in the Labour Party. It doesn’t say anything particularly new, but has weight because of its source :


    1. As an alarming addendum, the Graun is carrying a story that suggests that, despite the Squitters quitting, elements within the Party are still busting a gut to placate the ‘antisemitism’ scammers, rather than confronting them with the sort of analysis put forward by Goldstein.

      Will they never learn?

      1. For God’s sake stop mentioning the Guardian. We don’t need the Guardian.

      2. Know your enemy. Stuffing fingers in ears isn’t going to solve the problem – and a lot of Labour voters read it.

        It’s a litmus for right wing manoeuverings.

    2. Thanks for the article link.

      The point about Corbyn and his loyal team not challenging the criticisms sufficiently is right. And for those of us who go campaigning and will have to defend the party some statistics would be useful. As regards thi,s I have found David Rosenberg’s article helpful, as while I have heard someone in the party allude to them, I had read not read an article of Formby’s findings:

  6. The Guardian keep saying that the case against Ian Austin was dropped – in Friday’s liveblog and again in an article by Dan Sabbagh published 00.06 Saturday. Surely it must be deliberate untruth rather than ignorance?

  7. I wonder how many members at CLP level on the right of the Party will be encouraged to leave Labour because of the action of the Squitters? Unlike the SDP these people are not being provided with an alternative Party structure to join .I suppose a handful of the Squitters’ close aids from the local party have gone with them but the remaining hoi polloi seem to have been dumped. Hardly encouragement to join up to any new party of the Centre if and when it eventually appears. Still there’s always the Lib Dems they will take anyone,

  8. It is best to have as many Squitters as possible since otherwise they will form a “party within a party” if we win the general election undermining at every turn Corbyn or whichever leftist might have replaced him by then.

    It is a pity we did not adopt Open Selections which would have encouraged more to go. This being so, standing firm against the arrogantly-titled “People’s Vote” would be a good way to encourage more of the Hard Right to jump ship.

  9. TBH it’s been coming and I’m glad its finally arrived, as more go more will feel isolated hopefully Watson one of them. There’s obviously going to be a lot said and MSM are going to be in their element. The insistence there’s not going to be by-elections and General election might work in our favour. For me, Labour have to get these replacements in, keep working hard and stay united behind Corbyn

  10. No loss. There are about 40 backbenchers who have never supported Corbyn’s leadership and who have done nothing but undermine him ever since he was elected. So their contribution to the Party is ZERO and their departure, far from being a loss, is a golden opportunity to replace them with new candidates who are in contact with their constituencies and the grass roots membership. Onwards and upwards!

  11. It seems that only Jeremy Corbyn knows that if the Labour Party openly support & campaign for a 2nd referendum it would be seen by many, especially ordinary low paid workers, as a betrayal. It would also be seen as evidence that the New Independence Group & all the other Blairites, were right.

    1. Any such referendum can only be called by the Prime Minister and the decision on the wording of the question is reserved to the Electoral Commission. Moreover any such referendum would be sure to create civil unrest, and with the intervention of Farage & Co is certain to reconfirm the “leave” result with an increased majority. So the real question is: since the “People’s Vote” crowd know all this perfectly well, why are they insisting on a second referendum? The obvious answer is: their real aim is not to have a referendum at all, but to undermine Corbyn. The longer Corbyn holds out against a referendum, the better.

      1. No. Nothing in general to do with ‘undermining Corbyn’ – even if the Squitters use it.

        The point is to get Corbyn to do the obvious and align with the grass roots. Brexit will damage the most vulnerable, not the 1% who’ve got their funds odffshore.

  12. Reality is our AS problem is leaving the party and starting their own brand of racism,
    The work has been done and the results are in, 0.0023 % of members kicked out 12/550,000
    Safest country in Europe for the Jewish community thanks to JC and Labour movement
    Cable Street is part of our proud history
    There is a substantial part of the Jewish community who support JC and Labour and who suffer vile abuse from conservative/Israel apologists behind AS claims against JC and Labour
    Time to stand up and fight lads and lasses
    Pray Hodge and Streeting are next to leave

    1. Yet many in the hierarchy insist on apologising for this confection of inaccuracy and downright lying.

      The notion of ‘antisemitism’ is now so manip[ulated and scary for some that even ‘The Canary’ is paying obeisance (re. Hatton’s remarks as a slur on the Jewish community rather than a suggestion of where effective advocacy for Palestinians might come from, given the Lobby’s sensitivity to the effectiveness of existing Jewish opposition).

      It will be interesting to see the result of Jackie Walker’s case. If she is suspended, then the Party is definitely in the hands of the pro-Israel lobby, aided by political cowardice.

    1. I just did a search re >5,000 cases of alleged anti-semitism< and found the following BBC article. I'm pretty sure Luciana Berger has disseminated this falsehood as well, but the only article I've found so far has John Mann spreading his vile 'anti-semitism' smears. I did actually attempt to find the original Mail on Sunday article, but gave up after reading through several pieces of abhorrent black propaganda lies and falsehoods:

      'Writing in The Mail on Sunday, the Labour MP John Mann says there could be up to 5,000 cases of alleged anti-Semitism which need investigating by the party.'


  13. Just happened to come across this article about George Galloway getting tough with twitter users accusing him of anti-semitism. The article doesn’t appear to be dated, but looks like it must have been from February 2015 (when he was still an MP). I don’t know what the outcome of it all was, but I assume it shut them up AND deterred others from making such comments. And given what Rachel Riley said about him recently – ie called him anti-semite scum – I can only assume he is going to sue the socks off her for defamation. Let’s hope so anyway:


  14. I posted a link to this story in another thread yesterday, but it has occured to me that it could all be, in effect, complete fabrication on the part of Rachel Riley and Tracy Ann Oberman. They can make such claims knowing: 1. It will be widely covered by the MSM, as it HAS been; 2. It will then have done the damage they seek to do, and it matters not a jot that no-one ends up being prosecuted, or was ever likely to be, because as THEY know, the readers/viewers don’t tend to suddenly think to themselves five or six months later: “Oh, I wonder if any of the people that allegedly tweeted anti-semitic comments to Rachel Riley were ever prosecuted?”.

    No one does of course, and THEY – including their lawyer – know it. And the fact that Riley hasn’t done it long before now tells you all you need to know:


  15. In a recent article in the Daily Mail they repeat the falsehood that Ken Livingstone said Hitler was a Zionist (the article is primarily about the Jewish Labour Movement saying they may quit the Labour Party, with a piece at the end about Derek Hatton). Take note of how the DM says Hatton “attacked” Margaret Hodge:

    News that the Militant Tendency firebrand had been readmitted to Labour after 34 years emerged on the same day that seven MPs walked out over Jeremy Corbyn’s attitude to anti-Semitism and Brexit.

    Now it has been revealed he attacked Jewish MP Dame Margaret Hodge last year, claiming her criticisms of the Labour leader were ‘nothing to do with anti-Semitism but all to do with trying to remove Corbyn’. He also backed Mr Livingstone after he claimed that Hitler was a Zionist.


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