Labour MP hits out at 'hard-left cabal' after losing vote of confidence
A moderate Labour MP has condemned a "cabal of hard-left members" after losing a vote of no confidence in her performance by local party members.
Actvists in the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency Labour party said they were unhappy with Anegla Smith's criticism of Jeremy Corbyn.
The motion of no confidence was passed by 27 votes to 20 at a meeting of the CLP's general management committee on Friday night.
It is understood local Labour officials will now write to Nick Brown, the party's chief whip at Westminster, asking for Ms Smith to be kicked out of the party.
In a statement, the MP said: "I take my responsibilities as a member of parliament very seriously and my first priority is always to do my job, to the best of my ability.
"It is frankly astonishing that a cabal of hard-left members have absorbed everyone's precious time and energy on a divisive motion of no confidence.
"Given that the country is facing its biggest crisis since Suez, one would have thought their attention would be better focused on the huge decision facing the country, a decision that will affect the lives of every one of my constituents for years to come.
"I wil continue to prioritise our area and my constituents and will not be distracted by political posturing such as this."
Ms Smith is the latest Labour critic of Mr Corbyn to lose a confidence vote in their constituencies.
In September, Enfield North MP Joan Ryan, who is also chair of Labour Friends of Israel, said she had been the victim of "a well-organised, secret and long-planned divisive campaign led by party-within-a-party Momentum".
Later the same month, former Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie lost a vote after being accused of "disloyalty and deceit" by local members in his Nottinghama East seat.
Moderate Labour MPs rallied round Angela Smith last night on social media.
Mary Creagh tweeted: "Sorry to see my friend & Yorkshire neighbour and fellow eco champion @angelasmithmp being treated like this."
Chuka Uminna said: "The hard right - Boris, Rees-Mogg, Farage & co - are in the midst of an attempt to hijack UK politics and some @UKLabour activists think the priority should be passing votes of no confidence in centre-Left MPs fighting these Brexiters in Parliament. Utterly disgraceful."
Chris Leslie added: "Appalling. Another centre left MP being told she’s unwelcome, when Labour should be a broad church."