Tom Watson says he wants to “put the band back together” after Saturday and encourage “all the talents” to return to the Shadow Cabinet and serve under Corbyn. Words of unity from the deputy leader. Someone should tell his girlfriend Steph Peacock, who unfortunately walked into shot during the Guardian’s trip round Birmingham with Owen Smith, revealing she’s been helping his campaign. Ooops…
UPDATE: A Corbyn ally gets in touch: “Everyone knows that Owen Smith is just Watson’s “useful idiot”, unfortunately for Watson he hasn’t lived up to the useful part of the phrase.” Miaow!
25 April: Chuka Umunna tweets the above image attacking the Leave campaign for wanting to quit the single market. He posed alongside the word “seriously“.
22 August: Chuka Umunna tells HuffPo we should be prepared to quit the single market in order to secure control of borders.
Two-faced Chuka finds a new, original way to divide the Labour Party…
H/T Steve Hawkes
Labour Friends of Israel have signed up some interesting characters as it rebrands ahead of conference, none more so than Rupa Huq. The Labour MP has hardly been a friend in the past – earlier this year she was caught telling an extreme pro-Palestine group that Britain should apologise for helping create the State of Israel:
“1948, that happened under a British government. To my mind, an apology – yes. You could do one. A Labour Government could probably get that through.”
She later retracted her comment.
Her record on anti-Semitism isn’t great either. Huq defended Naz Shah, arguing she “did not write any anti-Semitic tracts”. (Shah had written about “Jews rallying”.) Huq also bizarrely claimed that tweeting a graphic of Israelis being transported out of the Middle East was the same as tweeting a funny photo of Boris Johnson on a zip-wire. She never apologised. A curious choice to be LFI’s new star supporter…
WikiGuido uncovers a plot to take over the Labour compliance unit in the new issue of Spectator Life:
The leader’s office believes the compliance unit is a key asset of the moderates because it has rooted out and expelled so many pro-Corbyn entryists. John McDonnell suggested abolishing it entirely, but when that idea was dismissed the Corbynistas came up with another plan: to install Lansman’s son in a key role. Max Lansman, a lawyer in his twenties who shares many of his father’s political views, was seen as the perfect candidate to keep an eye on things. Labour sources describe this as a ‘coup attempt’ and say it was a plot to undermine the compliance unit from within. The plan might have succeeded if not for one problem. As a student just a few years ago, Max was the treasurer of a political party at Leeds University. Unfortunately, it was the Green party, not the Labour party. Turns out the man the Corbynites wanted to put in charge of combating entryism was himself an entryist.
Read the full profile of the man behind Momentum here…
Ross Hawkins is reporting that Labour HQ staff have written to the NEC demanding places for staff on the party’s ruling committee:
“It is disappointing that while the Tory prime minister has promised worker representation on company boards that Labour Party workers are currently unrepresented on their own executive.”
The Cobynistas, with some justification, believe that Labour HQ is the last redoubt of New Labour holdouts. They would like to clear out some of the old guard to make way for new comrades. In truth many of the old guard are happy to go so long as they get generous redundancy pay-outs. They can see the writing on the wall…
Ironically, even though Corbyn is usually dogmatically opposed to compulsory redundancies, this week depressed staff demanded in an email to Corbyn that he send“a message of solidarity and support for unionised Labour Party workers in the face of any attempts to ‘purge’ or ‘clear-out’ hard-working staff”. All Corbyn would commit to in writing is that “at this stage” no staff changes are planned. Classic non-denial.
Corbyn’s ex-wife Jane Chapman tells BBC 5Live she voted for Owen Smith. She says he’s younger and more flexible. Are they going to interview one of Owen’s many ex-girlfriends for balance?
Are you a Jew who loves Jez? Then the Corbynistas want you! Corbyn-supporting Labour NEC member Rhea Wolfson has asked members of the Young Jewish Left Facebook group if they’re “willing to be filmed talking positively about the Labour Party” for a new PPB. Appropriately, Rhea says “you don’t have to be a member”.
A “Jews For Jez” video. Perhaps not the subtlest message…
Benji Wegg-Prosser, Peter Mandelson’s aide who is now his managing partner at Global Counsel, the advisory and lobbying operation set up to cash in on the corporate contacts of the Prince of Darkness, is one of the funders of Owen Smith’s leadership bid.[…]
New footage has emerged of John McDonnell telling another one of his famous jokes. At a rally in 2010 the now Shadow Chancellor revealed his violent thoughts towards the Coalition government:
“I sat opposite that today and I tell you, sometimes you feel like physical force.
Labour MPs are shunning their party’s conference in Liverpool this weekend after deciding there is not much point in being there. Guido has spoken to some Labour MPs who aren’t even bothering to make the trip at all, and several more who only plan to show their face for a day.[…]
Momentum’s denials that they want to deselect moderate MPs are even less believable after this footage from Dispatches. “We will unseat him… you’re in the way. Get out the way…”[…]
A top Corbynista can be revealed as a convicted criminal who was given a suspended sentence for his role in a violent bank attack. Aaron Bastani, who runs Jeremy Corbyn’s favoured ‘new media’ outlet Novara Media, has had a string of brushes with the law.[…]
The chairman of the Brexit select committee will be a Labour MP and so far Hilary Benn is the only candidate. There are no challengers – yesterday Margaret Hodge told colleagues to let Benn take the job. There is however growing opposition from Labour Leavers.[…]