There are allegations of direct interference from Jeremy Corbyn’s office in the process to select a candidate for the Manchester Gorton by-election.
Local members report they are being called and urged to back Sam Wheeler, a Corbyn loyalist, from ‘the leader’s office.’
This would mark a new departure in terms of leadership interference in a selection battle.
Although both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown exerted influence behind the scenes to support favoured candidates, they were never as blatant as Jeremy Corbyn appears to be in Gorton.
After struggling to insert favoured candidates in both the Copeland and Stoke Central by-elections, it seems the Corbynistas are going all-out to shoe-horn Wheeler into the nomination.
This comes as the Guido Fawkes website reports comments Wheeler made in a blog, where he claimed the armed forces helped to ‘to shore up a waning sense of national identity and importance.’
There are also rumours flying around that a deal among Asian Muslim hopefuls to unify behind a single candidate have foundered.
Favourites for the nomination include North West MEP, Afzal Khan, a former Lord Mayor of Manchester and local councillor Mike Amesbury, a former senior adviser to Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner.
Both men have long associations with the seat and would be strong, locally credible candidates, who, while not Corbynistas, are certainly not opponents of the leadership.
This makes the attempts to push Wheeler all the stranger.
Indeed, Amesbury helped pioneer Labour’s attack on the government’s grammar schools proposals and now serves a key campaign lieutenant for Andy Burnham.
The longlist is being drawn up today with shortlisting on Monday.