Labour councillors accuse Momentum of 'aggressive purge' in seat selections

Posted On: 
28th November 2017

Supporters of Jeremy Corbyn have been accused of mounting an “aggressive purge” on moderate Labour councillors and forcing them off ballot papers for re-election.

The Momentum group was born out of a campaign to get Jeremy Corbyn elected as Labour leader
Credit: 
PA Images

About 10 councillors in the London borough of Haringey have been deselected by local Momentum supporters or been pressured into not standing again for their seats due to “narrow factionalism”, according to the Times.

Other councils across the country are seeing similar processes with moderates left outraged at the changing face of the Labour party , the paper adds.

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Tim Gallagher, a Haringey councillor who had decided not to stand again, said he and his colleagues had been written off as “zombie Blairites”.

He said the local party had become “inflamed with division, distrust, and what at times feels like real hatred”.

And he added: “Nothing excuses the aggressive purge that has taken place of all councillors not deemed to fit a flat-pack ideological mould.”

Other councillors across Manchester, Southwark and Leeds have also been deselected or face similar pressures to move aside, the Times said.

Under new rules councillors who previously faced an open contest to stand again for their seat now only do so if they lose a vote for automatic reselection.

A spokesperson for the Momentum group said: “We think it’s fantastic that hundreds of thousands of people new to politics have felt so inspired that they’ve joined the Labour party.”

They added: “We should trust local members to be the best judge of who should represent their community.”

It comes as US bank Morgan Stanley warned that a Government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be a greater threat to the asset market than Brexit.

Graham Secker, chief European equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, reportedly told clients: “We could see the biggest shake-up in the political backdrop since the 70s. This is much more scary from an equity perspective than Brexit.”