18 July 2016

Schadenfreude, New Labour Edition

As if the Labour coup could not get any more pear shaped, his opponents are now at Each Other's throats:
The Labour party has been engulfed by a fresh bout of infighting as the camps of the two potential “unity candidates” set to fight Jeremy Corbyn for the leadership embarked on their own war of words.

On the eve of a pivotal week for the future of the party, one MP supporting Angela Eagle accused rival Owen Smith of using “sneaky tactics” to manoeuvre himself into being the sole challenger.

Meanwhile, a senior MP supporting Smith claimed there was an overwhelming consensus that only one candidate should emerge, and warned that currently supportive MPs would not give Eagle their nomination if she did not swiftly recognise the situation.

“Angela needs to be very careful,” said the source. “It is not a question of who deserves to be leader; it is about the best possible candidate to beat Jeremy.”

The row blew up following Smith’s public declaration in a BBC interview on Friday that Corbyn should be presented with just one challenger. The formal window for MPs to declare their support for a leadership candidate starts on Monday and finishes on Wednesday.

Smith suggested in his interview that either the deputy leader, Labour’s national executive committee or the parliamentary party could devise a process to whittle the two challengers down if they both had the required 51 nominations to go on the ballot paper.

However, sources close to Eagle immediately dismissed that suggestion, pointed out that the candidate who won the fewest nominations became leader last year and that she was “in it to win it”.

One angry MP backing Eagle described Smith’s suggestion as an attempt to “bully Angela into some sort of corner”.
The circular firing squad metaphor app is even more apropos for Labour than it is for the Democratic party.


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