Labour right ready to swing axe if or when Starmer loses Yorkshire by-election after disasters in Hartlepool and Chesham. Will a left challenger step up?
The Labour right has lined up a prominent peer to tell Keir Starmer to quit if, as they and many others expect, Labour loses Batley and Spen in the impending by-election.
The catastrophic loss of Hartlepool and last night’s worst-ever Labour by-election result in Chesham and Amersham have pushed the right to the brink and the right-wing PLP can easily muster the 40 nominations needed to force a contest if Starmer ignores the order.
The contest may represent a last chance for the left to mount a bid to rescue the party from the disaster that it has become under the right. Many expected the right to wait until after September’s conference to wield the knife, as the right is planning to force through a reversion to old rules for leadership contests that would give a couple of hundred reactionary MPs as much voting power as the entire membership.
However, the situation has become so dire that the right is lining up the move early, on the assumption that enough left-wing members have quit in outrage at the right’s war on free speech and party democracy and out of the right’s desire to try to reboot their failed image by welcoming a new leader in Brighton in September.
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