As the so-called Independent Group attracts more ridicule than serious analysis, mainly due to the slipperiness of Chuka Umunna and the likes of Angela Smith having her “funny tinge” moment live on TV, the question is asked: who is going to resign next?
Ian Austin MP. But no longer Labour
Well, the Tories answered that one this morning as three of their MPs departed the party and crossed the floor. Labour supplied an eighth MP as Joan Ryan, already subjected to a vote of no confidence by her CLP, joined them. Would there be any more?
And Zelo Street can reveal that, yes there will. Well, one more, anyway. And the name in the frame, to no surprise at all, is Dudley North MP Ian Austin. Yes, you read it here first: Ian Austin has resigned from the Labour Party.
So why has no mainstream media outlet picked up on the news? Simples. Austin has done the deed, but appears to be waiting for tomorrow morning to ride the wave of the breaking news cycle. Well, tough titty, eh? Because the news is out here. Now.
Why is he going? Also, Simples. His majority in 2017 was a wafer-thin 22 votes, and I’m reliably informed that he is now getting jittery about possible deselection, as there has been a surge in local party membership, and he fears that means more Corbyn supporters, many of whom will be potentially hostile to him.
So there you have it. The ninth Labour MP to quit is Ian Austin. The PFJ lives!
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