Labour sources say deputy leader hopes move will allow allies to lie low and escape ‘trigger ballots’
Labour sources say that the sudden rush of moves by peers to attack Jeremy Corbyn is driven by Tom Watson’s fear of Labour’s impending ‘trigger’ votes process.
One source told the SKWAWKBOX:
Tom has drafted in the peers for his ‘Project Anaconda’ because he wants to take the heat off his pals in the PLP until the trigger votes are over. Peers don’t have to worry about selections and he hopes keeping his MPs’ heads down and noses clean will give them their best chance of surviving triggers. Once those are over, normal service will resume. Until then, there’s a fair bit of panic.
‘Project Anaconda’ is name given long ago to Watson’s attempts to undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, after the snake that squeezes progressively tighter.
Labour’s NEC recently invited MPs to indicate whether they wished to stand again at the next general election, as the first phase of the party’s ‘trigger ballot’ process. Trigger votes allow local Labour members to decide whether they want to have a full selection contest to choose their next general election candidate.
Only one in three branches in a ‘CLP’ (constituency Labour party) need support a new contest to ‘trigger’ one, since a rule-change agreed at last year’s annual Labour conference in Liverpool.
Tom Watson was contacted for comment but did not respond.
Yet again the Labour right – in the Commons and a few ‘usual suspects’ in the House of Lords – are painfully transparent in their tactics. If only they’d devote that energy to fighting Tories.
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