One fictitious storyline which was invented soon after Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader was the idea that increasing democracy and accountability in the party would mean lots of Rotten Lefties™ roaming the country, deselecting unsuspecting Labour MPs in acts of petty vindictiveness, purely because of ideological differences.
Ellie Reeves - Still an MP
Sadly, this storyline turned out, like so much else about Jezza, to suffer from the problem that it was not grounded in fact. But, following votes of no confidence in a number of Labour MPs - like the appallingly disloyal Kate Hoey - the spectre of Lefty Deselection was once again raised, despite party members doing no more than exercising their rights.
Also, for some reason - I’m sure our free and fearless press will have their excuses ready - the votes of no confidence passed by local Conservative associations in their MPs appears not to be given the same prominence. It’s only Labour no confidence votes that count for many in the press - even for the supposedly left-leaning Guardian.
Hence the paper telling earlier today of “A pregnant Labour MP is facing the threat of a motion of no confidence in her constituency after she signed a statement criticising her party’s decision to readmit Chris Williamson”. She is? Who? Where?
“Ellie Reeves was one of 121 MPs and peers who backed calls for the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to immediately remove the whip from the backbencher … Now, the constituency Labour party chairman in her Lewisham West and Penge constituency, John Clark, has reportedly received an email from a member who has requested a motion of no confidence in Reeves, who has been MP for the south-east London seat since 2017”.
As Fred Flintstone might have said, Hold it … HOLD IT! This is over one email? ONE EMAIL? The email said what, exactly? “I would like to put forward a motion of no confidence in Ellie Reeves our MP for signing Tom Watson MP letter regarding Chris Williamson MP at our next meeting and also start the new trigger process to deselect our MP which you should have received from Jennie Formby”. That’s it, is it? Ri-i-i-ight.
Well, it won’t be going anywhere soon, then, will it? The Guardian report admits “Such a motion would not be able to begin the re-selection process, given that a trigger ballot can only be forced if the move has the support of a third of local party branches or affiliated trade union branches … A Labour party source said: ‘No motion has been formally moved or tabled. And in any case, motions of no-confidence have no formal standing and do not result in trigger ballots’”. So there isn’t going to be a deselection.
That did not stop Jonathan Ashworth, Tom Watson and Jess Phillips from acting as if this was an actual, real deselection threat. It really isn’t. The whole story was over-inflated by Politics Home, who claimed an “exclusive” for it, and then the Guardian showed why even Labour MPs cannot trust its journalism without double checking first.
The myth of dastardly Corbyn fanatic leftists targeting anyone of inconvenient view is just that. The real question is why the Guardian bothered to run this rubbish in the first place.
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