Bermondsey and Old Southwark trigger ballot taking place – but many members not told
Neil Coyle has more reason than many MPs to fear deselection. In 2017, Coyle was the subject of a letter of complaint signed by a huge number of local and neighbouring members over his conduct in the wake of the general election result. The letter to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn described Coyle as a ‘constant irritant’, criticised his comments in the right-wing Daily Mail and detailed a litany of other frustrations.
More recently, Coyle claimed Labour members ‘overwhelmingly’ want a further EU referendum – but a vote showed not even his own local members do.
Last year, after right-winger Ian McKenzie was suspended from the party for comments about the rape and murder of front-bencher Emily Thornberry and other complaints, Coyle was seen enjoying a cosy drink with the Labour First hatchet-man.
So he will be rightly concerned about trigger-ballot meetings arranged among local Labour branches, which – if he loses – will force him to fight a full selection contest against other prospective candidates. But it seems the executive of his CLP (constituency Labour party) is not giving members the required opportunity to have their say.
Local members report that many have received no notification of the trigger meeting of Newington branch. However, Coyle has been using calls, texts and a non-Labour email address to inform members he thinks support him about the meeting details:
The CLP is sending emails to members without problem about other events – such as a quiz taking place the night before the trigger meeting and only a minute’s walk or so from the venue:
Bermondsey and Old Southwark members – or at least some of them – appear to be suffering deprivation of their democratic rights. However, the CLP secretary failed to engage when asked to comment. The Newington branch secretary identified by members denied being the branch secretary and declined to make any comment on the record.
Meanwhile, Coyle’s team continues to hit members they think are supportive with calls, texts and emails.
If you are a Newington branch member, make every effort to attend Penrose TRA Hall, Penrose Grove, Walworth, London SE17 3EZ this Saturday 7th September at 11.00am – and make sure to bring ID and your membership card.
If you are a member of a different branch of the CLP, find out urgently when and where your trigger meeting is taking place and make sure you don’t miss it. Bermondsey and Old Southwark members – like Labour members around the country – deserve to have their democratic say about who represents them.
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