Len McCluskey warns anti-Corbyn MPs could be de-selected

Posted On: 
26th June 2016

Len McCluskey has warned Labour MPs trying to unseat Jeremy Corbyn that they could be booted out by their local party members.

Len McCluskey has blasted rebel Labour MPs
Credit: 
PA Images

The Unite boss said that his union has so far resisted calls for the party's rulebook to be changed to introduce mandatory reselection of sitting MPs.

But writing for The Guardian, he said that could change if the rebels force a "divisive and unnecessary" leadership election.

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He said: "If enough MPs want one, then bring it on. I am sure that Corbyn will secure a fresh mandate. But let me make two things clear.

"First, if anyone is undemocratic enough to think that there can be a new leadership election with the existing leader kept off the ballot, then they are setting the Labour party on course for a split.

"And second, Unite has hitherto opposed any plans to change the party rules governing mandatory re-selection of Labour MPs. That, too, we have looked on as a divisive distraction.

"But those MPs who have missed no opportunity to tweet and brief against the party’s elected leader over the last 10 months will find that their disloyalty finds no favour with party members and will make this an increasingly difficult line to hold."

Mr McCluskey accused Hilary Benn - sacked by Mr Corbyn just before 1am today - and the Shadow Cabinet members who have quit today of "letting the Tories off the hook" as the Brexit fallout continues.

He said: "Corbyn is a brave and principled man, better placed to address this crisis in Labour’s heartlands than any of his critics. Of course he needs to broaden his message so Labour can reach out with a radical message of change for all working people, including those “left behind”. But does anyone belief that refried “new Labour” will work better?

"I would like to see all Labour MPs playing a full and constructive part in this urgent work of communication. However, if people want to resign, so be it. Labour has plenty of talent to bring forward, women and men committed to the sort of alternative the party voted for last year. The truth is that some of those trumpeting their resignations owe their stature to being in the shadow cabinet, not the other way around."