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Labour MP accuses Corbyn allies of 'holding a baseball bat' by threatening deselection

John Ashmore

2 min read

A prominent Labour MP has hit out at allies of Jeremy Corbyn, accusing them of "holding a baseball bat" by threatening to deselect colleagues.

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting hit out after Labour frontbencher Chris Williamson twice this week called for the introduction of mandatory reselection

A source close to Jeremy Corbyn also told PoliticsHome the Labour leader was favourable to the change in order to "democratise" the party.

In a hard-hitting interview for the House magazine, Mr Streeting urged the party to rally round rather than getting bogged down in internal battles.

"One of the things we need to do to build a greater sense of unity is to drop all this nonsense about deselections, rule changes and sacking party staff," he said.

"We have a simple choice: do we want to spend this parliament fighting the Tories or fighting among ourselves? You don’t offer an olive branch whilst holding a baseball bat.”

His intervention came after Mr Williamson yesterday warned Labour MPs they faced being booted out by their local members in order to keep the party "fresh and updated".

In a highly provocative move, the recently appointed Shadow Fire Minister put out a statement directly attacking some of his colleagues.

"There are interest groups and individual MPs in this party who think it's their God-given right to rule," he said. "No MP should be guaranteed a job for life and it's crucial that we all get with the times. MPs elected in earlier phases of this party run the risk of failing to understand what is really going on out there in society.

Elsewhere, supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have taken the reins at Luciana Berger’s constituency Labour party and told the Liverpool Wavertree MP to apologise for criticising the leader in the past.


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