Corbynites accused of trying to parachute loyalists into seats

Speculation swirls that allies of Jeremy Corbyn are set to be parachuted into seats where the Labour MP is stepping down, bolstering support for the Corbynites in the event of a post-election leadership challenge.

Candidates for Labour’s vacant seats were asked to submit CVs by lunchtime yesterday and given the election campaign is already underway, the National Executive Committee can impose candidates.

Sitting Labour MPs are automatically reselected, presenting the temptation to parachute leadership-friendly candidates into seats Labour has a good chance of holding.

The Greater Manchester seat of Leigh, where Andy Burnham is stepping down to concentrate of the forthcoming metro mayoral battle, is a plum berth for someone, inheriting a 14,096 majority.

However Burnham has fired a warning shot to the leadership with an open letter, backing his constituency secretary, Joanne Platt, as his successor. The letter reads:

‘I am in no doubt that Leigh needs a Labour candidate with strong local credentials and that the best person to succeed me is Councillor Joanne Platt.

‘Jo is well-known and well-liked across the Leigh area. She is an excellent campaigner and has been the driving force behind the reinvigoration of Leigh Labour Party in recent years.’

Burnham warns:

‘Were the Party to opt for a candidate with no local ties, I have to make clear that this would not be supported by the vast majority of our members and would go down very badly with the Leigh public. This would run the risk of losing significant support at the Election and it is why it is my strong advice that this course should not be followed.’

There is a similar situation in Liverpool Walton, where Steve Rotheram is standing down to contest the Liverpool mayoral role. The seat – Labour’s safest with an impregnable 27,777 majority on 72 per cent of the vote – is certainly a prize.

Last week, Liverpool’s elected city mayor, Joe Anderson, announced that he was going for Walton, with rumours (now dampened down) that Jeremy Corbyn’s son, 25 year-old Seb, an aide to John McDonnell, was also set to stand.

As the NEC and regional boards begin the process of earmarking candidates for seats this week, they will need to tread softly in case they trigger a local backlash at any imposition of candidates.

Meanwhile, the left needs to be cautious having (rightly) complained about Blairite fixing in the past.  It would be a case of ‘two legs good, four legs bad’ if Corbynites now do the same thing.

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9 Responses to “Corbynites accused of trying to parachute loyalists into seats”

  1. Jason says:

    Well it wouldn’t surprise me. After all they ‘parachuted’ thousands of new ‘members’ to ensure he got the leader’s post so why not – worked once and will work a second time!

  2. Tafia says:

    Corbynites accused of trying to parachute loyalists into seats

    Well that’s absolutely shocking. That has never ever happened under any previous leader – as Jack Dromey and Stephen Kinnock to name but a few will attest.

  3. uglyfatbloke says:

    That’s nothing…Dugdale’s crew is supporting Tory candidates and helping to give may a bigger majority.

  4. any details ugly fat bloke? It is against party rules to support candidates from another party, so lets see the evidence.

    Trevor Fisher

  5. Anon says:

    What Tafia said.

    We also have seen well-respected local male members pushed aside for All Women Shortlists: even local female candidates were ignored for Fabian-approved placements.

  6. uglyfatbloke says:

    Trevor….Ian Murray (an MP no less) is encouraging people to vote tory to keep the nats out which – obviously – will help to improve May’s majority. He’s not alone; the only reason Mundell got re-elected ( and will again) is because the local CLP only campaigns against the nats and will encourage tactical voting against them – as they did last time.
    This is pretty widely-spread. In my constituency it will only be the lib-dems that benefit so I don’t care so much – they are irrelevant and if it keeps a tory out that’s no bad thing. OTH in Moray, Banff, Aberdeenshire and various border areas Scottish Labour are going to help get tories elected and I do object to that. There’s not much point in the wider party fighting the tories if the Scottish party helps them is there?
    If the nats lose seats to the tories (they’re not likely to lose any to Labour) Dugdale, Baillie, Grey etc will be overjoyed and hail it as a great victory over the SNP even though it actually means more power for May.

  7. tafia says:

    trevor – any details ugly fat bloke? It is against party rules to support candidates from another party, so lets see the evidence.

    have you told tony?

  8. John P Reid says:

    Anon ,Fabian approved replacements, I know the Fabians has been taken over by the far left when they backed Corbyn for leader,and the other article on preferred Corbynista candidates however, innqcurate will be toxic on the door step if repeated,

  9. the editors of this site should require claims which are potentially a case of bringing the party into disrepute to be backed up. Ugly Fat Bloke, and the anonymity is also an issue, made the claim and now names an MP as having encouraged voters to vote nationalist to keep the tories out. That is clearly against Party rules, and while the Party is making a pigs ear of its internal disciplinary machinery as the Livingstone case shows, it is a claim which if the media took seriously would do Labour damage. So the site should ensure it is checked out and if false should be removed.

    The claim that in three named seats and the border areas Labour is helping to get Tories elected also needs checking and if false removed to protect what is left of Labour in Scotland

    Trevor Fisher

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