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Momentum oust Labour disciplinary chief in first show of strength since NEC victory

Momentum oust Labour disciplinary chief in first show of strength since NEC victory
2 min read

The head of Labour's disciplinary body has been ousted by Momentum in the first major show of strength since Jeremy Corbyn supporters won control of the party's national executive committee.

Members of the NEC voted 22-15 to replace Ann Black as chair of the NEC's disputes committee with Momentum co-founder Christine Shawcroft.

Ironically, Ms Shawcroft was suspended by Labour in 2015 for supporting disgraced former Tower Hamlets mayor Luthfur Rahman.

Ms Black's defeat came just a day after Momentum boss Jon Lansman was one of three Jeremy Corbyn supporters voted onto the NEC following a landslide victory over their moderate rivals, who included comedian Eddie Izzard.

Former NEC chair Ms Black was the only person on Labour's ruling body to receive more than 100,000 votes in a poll of Labour members in 2016, and has come top in every ballot since 2004.

However, she is thought to have angered Momentum by ruling that registered Labour supporters should have to pay £25 to take part in last year's leadership election.

Moderate Labour members reacted with anger to Ms Shawcroft's victory.

Richard Angell, director of centre-left campaign group Progress, said: "The irony of someone who was kicked out of Labour because she supported Luthfur Rahman – the disgraced former mayor of Tower Hamlets – becoming the chair of the Disputes Committee shows the contempt the Momentum leadership have for due process and party democracy."

Progress deputy director Stephanie Lloyd said: "Targeting Ann Black shows the contempt the Momentum-left have for party democracy when things do no go their way. Inevitably the hard-left turn in on themselves and it is pretty unedifying to watch."

It is understood that Labour frontbenchers Jon Trickett and Rebecca Long-Bailey both voted for Ms Shawcroft, although Jeremy Corbyn did not take part in the election.

NEC member Jasmin Beckett made her anger known on Twitter.

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