A couple of weeks ago, South Tyneside Momentum published a list of Labour MPs whom the organisation thought were no longer welcome in the Labour Party. ConservativeHome’s exclusive report of the in-fighting made front page news in The Times and forced Momentum into a somewhat incoherent retreat.
But despite Corbyn’s vanguard attacking what it called “ridiculous claims…that we are promoting deselection” and claiming that “we continue to fully support our Members of Parliament”, I can reveal yet another Momentum branch which is using its official platform to call for a purge of non-Corbynite Labour MPs.
Last week, the official Facebook page of Momentum Redcar, Middlesbrough South and East and East Cleveland quoted approvingly from Ken Loach’s call for a deselection purge at the Durham Miner’s Gala, linking to a report that he wanted ‘Labour MPs behind ‘disgusting’ Corbyn attacks to be driven out’.
Notably, this branch of Momentum is brand new – set up since the election to help fight a newly Conservative seat, and will therefore be at the heart of Corbyn’s new battleground campaign. It evidently has prominent backing – Corbynite standard-bearer Chris Williamson MP is speaking at its formal launch event.
So again we have the sight of an official outlet of Momentum making perfectly clear what future they want for Labour MPs who dare not to agree with their leader at all times. How long can Momentum HQ pretend that deselections are not the organisation’s objective? And how long will members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, cowed by the dominance of Corbynism, continue to pretend this isn’t a problem?