Momentum chief Jon Lansman: Labour MPs who listen to their members will not be deselected
Labour MPs who work hard and listen to their members will not face the threat of deselection, Momentum boss Jon Lansman has declared.
The veteran left-winger, who was elected to Labour's ruling national executive committee last week, insisted the pro-Jeremy Corbyn group would not "nationally" campaign to unseat any Labour MP.
But he insisted that they cannot expect to be able to automatically stand as candidates at the next election if they fall short of the standards expected of them.
In an interview with The Independent, Mr Lansman said: "Momentum nationally is not going to campaign to deselect any MP and we will stick by that.
"We are not going to campaign to deselect any individual MP.
"We have made it clear that we are not going to campaign to deselect anyone, at all, anywhere."
But he stressed that Labour did operate a "trigger ballot" system which allowed local party members to deselect a sitting MP if they wish.
Mr Lansman said: "No Labour MP that works hard and campaigns and listens to their members has anything to fear from the selection process.
"I would hope that at least all our MPs hope to perform well and if they don’t aim to perform well it wouldn’t be surprising if local members took some action. But that’s up to local members."
His comments follow a report in the Sunday Times - strenuously denied by Momentum and Mr Corbyn's office - that a hit list of 50 moderate MPs had been drawn up as possible deselection targets.
Labour MPs gave a cautious welcome to Mr Lansman's statement.
Bermondsey and Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle said: “This is welcome news, but inconsistent with his recent calls for the selection process for Labour candidates for London councils to be re-run.
"Lansman’s real challenge is in ensuring Momentum members at local level adhere to his commitment."
Former Shadow Chancellor Chris Leslie said: "The Momentum leadership are constantly obsessing about process.
"It is an attempt to instil fear into every single member of the PLP, whether they are on the frontbench or the backbench, that the threat to their job is always there if they dare disagree.
"It’s a constant drum, it’s very passive aggressive."