WATCH: Jeremy Corbyn ally calls for mandatory reselection of MPs
A close ally of Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour MPs who are unprepared to fully sign up to the party’s programme should face re-selection by local members.
Derby North MP Chris Williamson, who lost his seat in 2015 but regained it in June, spoke out after being appointed shadow fire services minister by the party leader.
He told ITV News that mandatory re-selection - which could see sitting MPs dumped as candidates - would "concentrate minds" among the Labour ranks.
"MPs need to reflect the political programme that is overwhelmingly supported by Labour members and Labour supporters and if people aren’t prepared to do that then it will be up to members in their local constituencies to find someone else who will," he said.
Watch his comments below:
Mr Williamson's remarks are sure to infuriate many of his fellow Labour MPs, who are becoming increasingly concerned that they could face deselection by supporters of Mr Corbyn.
Speaking after his promotion yesterday, he said his "immediate priority will be justice for Grenfell".
"This tragedy reminds me of the Hillsborough disaster," he said. "But this time people will not wait decades for justice. That’s not right. Part of what justice means is preventing this happening again, and that means reinvesting in our public services and retrofitting sprinkler systems, as a minimum."
Labour party chairman Ian Lavery said: "Chris is a first class MP and a true representative of his constituency. He has a reputation as being no fan of neoliberalism and his appointment is a sign that the days of free market Thatcherism are coming to an end."