Jez and John Strained Over “Succession Plan” mdi-fullscreen

Allies of Jeremy Corbyn note that John McDonnell has been cosying up to Momentum, cultivating suspicions that the Shadow Chancellor is working on a secret “succession plan”. The “People’s Momentum” is the grassroots Corbyn campaign base, though McDonnell’s involvement with the group has ramped up in recent weeks. It has not gone unnoticed that McDonnell has begun travelling to Momentum meetings across the country, with increasing regularity. He attended Momentum’s East Midlands conference at the beginning of March, hugely impressing the 400-strong audience in Corbyn’s absence. He attended another Momentum event at Labour’s Llandudno conference last month. And he has also taken a keen interest in Thurrock Momentum, where they are currently pressuring the Labour-controlled council to pass an illegal budget. Corbyn does not want this to happen, yet McDonnell has been urging them on.

While the two men remain close, multiple Labour sources say the relationship has strained over speculation that McDonnell covets the leadership. Momentum’s supporters will be a crucial demographic in any future leadership contest, so it isn’t a coincidence that McDonnell is trying to boost his personal standing with them. Corbyn however has absolutely no intention of agreeing to any form of coronation whereby McDonnell takes over to fight the election. Jezza fully expects to still be leader in 2020. Momentum sources insist there is no evidence of any split or attempt to build a separate base. They suggest they are seeing more of John simply because he has more spare time than Jez. A Labour leader and his chancellor falling out over a succession plan, who’d have thought it…

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