Battle for Labour's future is about to intensify

20 March, 2017, 20:54 | Author: Oscar Goodwin
  • Labour deputy leader Tom Watson branded the plot'entryism and said it was an attempt by the left-wing faction to take over the party

The veteran-left winger is gathering his top team at a union headquarters in the capital to discuss how to revive the party's dire performance, despite facing criticism that he is obsessed with a metropolitan agenda.

He suggested it could take another two years for signs of improvement to emerge - doubling his previous estimate for seeing an improvement.

He also took aim at Mr Lansman's focus on party control rather than helping Labour win the next General Election.

Watson warned Momentum's founder, Jon Lansman, was plotting to take control of Labour by striking a secret deal with the Unite union boss Len McCluskey.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has backed Jeremy Corbyn despite reports that a group of his supporters are planning a power seizure.

Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson have agreed to "strengthen" Labour Party unity after "robust and constructive" shadow cabinet talks at Unison's headquarters in London on Monday (20 March). Dragging the party into this is disappointing'.

Christine Shawcroft, a member of Labour's national executive committee and an ally of Lansman, said the recorded comments were "a non-story", and were primarily "a concerted attempt to interfere in the internal election in Unite for general secretary".

The tape of Mr Lansman's remarks, said to have been secretly recorded at a meeting of a Momentum branch in Richmond, south west London on 1 March, was obtained by The Observer.

"We've seen over the last few hours a quite shocking attack on the leader by leading lights of organisations like Members First, Progress and so on", she said.

"I regard this as a battle for the future existence of the Labour party". This is high stakes. "What Jon Lansman has outlined is a plan with Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, to take control of the Labour party".

In a joint statement issued on Monday afternoon, Corbyn and Watson said the shadow cabinet had "agreed on the need to strengthen party unity".

"We will deny a voice to no one", he said.

"We have a mass membership now and it wants its voice to be heard", she told Today.

On Sunday, the group insisted it had no plans to affilliate with Unite and said it had not received any funds from them.

"Len McClusky has to show responsibility, too", he added.

"And what we need to do next is a number of things to change the nature of the Labour party".

She accused the deputy Labour leader of being part of an "unprecedented pattern of interference" in the Unite leadership contest.

He also discusses an affiliation with the Unite union, the largest trade union in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

'It is not a question of anyone disaffiliating from the Labour Party and affiliating to Momentum instead'.

"I think this is so serious, I think it's vital that ordinary members of Unite are made aware of this plan, that they know what's going on inside their union and they take action to block it". "If you succeed you will destroy the Labour Party as an electoral force, so you have to be stopped", Watson told Lansman over Twitter.

'It's no threat to the position of the Labour Party and the strength of the Labour Party.


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