Thursday, May 17, 2018

Liz Kendall's Leicester West constituency party grows restive

From the Leicester Mercury:
Grassroots Labour members in Leicester have called on Liz Kendall to send a letter of support to party leader Jeremy Corbyn. 
The Leicester West Constituency Labour Party (CLP) passed a motion to applaud the Labour leader’s "long track record of opposing all forms of racism and anti-Semitism". 
CLP members agreed to write to Mr Corbyn expressing their support for him in the anti-Semitism row. 
And they requested that the Leicester West MP - who in 2015 ran for the party leadership against Mr Corbyn - do the same.
The Mercury says Liz Kendall attended the meeting but was not invited to speak on these motions. It also quotes her as saying, albeit between the lines, that she will not be writing any such letter.

An anonymous Labour member told the paper that the motions were not an attempt to oust Liz Kendall but that the constituency party does want her to be more supportive of Corbyn and the Labour front bench.

I have never quite bought Liz Kendall's ubermoderate act. I suspect she thought she had identified a gap in the market at the last Labour leadership election, only to find the gap was much narrower than she expected.

Nevertheless, these events in Leicester West may come to be typical of tensions between moderate Labour MPs and their newly expanded and more left-wing constituency parties.

Meanwhile, I have to confess that Mr Corbyn's long track record of opposing anti-Semitism has rather passed me by.

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