So Ian Austin has gone, claiming to be ashamed of the party - and the party leader - on whose manifesto he was so happy to stand in 2017. The question now being asked is this: are there more out there who will follow him? And what clues do we have? What straws are there blowing in the wind? Zelo Street has been looking at the two who may be next.
One MP who has been touted as a potential resigner - but who will probably not be going anywhere - is Birmingham Yardley’s MP Jess Phillips. Sure, she is critical of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, and many diehard Jezza supporters dislike her, but those are not reasons for throwing in the towel. She’s staying put. But being noisy with it.
A more compelling case for putting an MP on resignation watch can be made for Margaret Hodge, who infamously lost it with Corbyn very openly in the Commons, when there just happened to be plenty of witnesses. She accused her party leader of being a racist and an anti-Semite, which is quite a reach, given the decades of work Jezza has done to fight, er, racism and anti-Semitism. She may well be next. Why so? Ah well.
Margaret Hodge is 75 next September. Whichever way you slice it, she is coming to the end of a long and varied career in politics which began back in 1973. More than 45 hears’ public service which - overall - offers more positives than negatives, and recently helping to put the final nail in the coffin of the Garden Bridge that never was.
Who might leave Labour at the same time as Margaret Hodge, or maybe slightly ahead of, or behind, her? Well, there’s another strident Corbyn critic waiting in the wings, and that is the MP for Bassetlaw John Mann. Mann, an appallingly immodest man with much to be modest about, is an unsympathetic character, a thug, a bully, and not particularly clever.
Mann has been hot on anti-Semitism, providing someone else points it out to him first. He is then an implacable foe, and as former London Mayor Ken Livingstone discovered, a shameless self-publicist. Also, Mann is a perennial back bencher, which tells you all you need to know about how much of a loss he will be to Labour when he jumps.
How can I be certain that Margaret Hodge and John Mann should be put on resignation watch, if they are not already? Simples. Have a look at both MPs’ Twitter bios. Whereas Jess Phillips (for instance) has “Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley”, Ms Hodge chooses “MP for Barking & the heart of Dagenham” and Mann uses “First elected MP for Bassetlaw in 2001”. He is also “Not afraid to say it how it is”.
Well, Zelo Street is not afraid to say it how it is either, and how it is is that my Occam’s Razor is pointing at him, and Ms Hodge, as the next two out the door.
You read it here first. Tomorrow’s papers may being interesting news.
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