Seven Labour MPs Resign and Form “The Independent Group”

Seven Labour MPs have announced their resignation from the Labour party and the formation a new group called “The Independent Group”. The seven are Luciana Berger, Chuka Umunna, Chris Leslie, Angela Smith, Mike Gapes, Gavin Shuker and Anne Coffey. They have released a full ‘Statement of Independence’ explaining their decision…

Labour Split Imminent

After months and months of speculation about a Labour breakaway, it looks like today might finally be the day it happens, with a group of Labour MPs expected to make a statement on the “future of British politics” in the next few minutes. Speculation is rife about who the splitters will be – eight chairs have been set out at the launch event and there is a podium which has been covered up. Chuka Umunna and Chris Leslie look like the most nailed-on bets…

Corbynistas have named Angela Smith, Ian Austin and Mike Gapes as three other likely quitters, although Ian Austin has reportedly since denied that he is quitting the Labour Party. Other potential Labour exiteers include Luciana Berger, Owen Smith, Peter Kyle, Stephen Kinnock and Liz Kendall. Read Guido’s full defection watchlist here…

Momentum Tease Chuka with Valentine’s Video

Momentum have released a tongue in cheek video begging Chuka to stay in the party this Valentine’s Day. Ironic considering how quickly the deselection train is chugging his way…

Labour Member Leading Berger Deselection Attempt is Israel Conspiracist Who Called Her “Disruptive Zionist”

Labour’s anti-Semitism problem has risen to the fore again with Labour members in Luciana Berger’s Liverpool Wavertree constituency tabling a motion of no confidence against her. Incredibly, John McDonnell has responded by pointing the finger of blame at Berger herself, eliciting disbelief from other senior Labour figures. Chuka branded it “totally unacceptable” and Shadow Cabinet Minister Angela Rayner has given Berger her “full support”. Labour’s official responses so far have been woeful…

It now emerges that the local Labour member who proposed one of the (two) no confidence motions, Kenneth Campbell, goes on regular rants about “traitorous Blairites” on Facebook, saying it is “about time [Berger] was exposed for the disruptive Zionist she is” and even claiming that Israel supports ISIS. In another rant he menacingly said that Laura Kuenssberg’s days are “nearing there [sic] end”:

When is Labour going to get serious about rooting out the rot of anti-Semitism that has infested the party?

H/t Harry’s Place

UPDATE: Both motions of no-confidence have been withdrawn by the local Labour Party and the extraordinary meeting has been cancelled…

Chuka’s Local Party Seized by Corbynites in Mass Meeting

Corbynites succeeded in seizing control of Chuka’s local Labour Party in Streatham last night, with local members turning out in their hundreds to a mass meeting in order to vote to change the model for participation at meetings, so that any member can vote no matter how long they’ve been in the party or whether or not they hold a position. They won. This is a big win for Corbynites and a big step towards deselection for Chuka…

The meeting was reportedly chaotic, with heckling, intimidation, and general confusion throughout the meeting. The final tally saw 190 members voting to change the system and 183 voting against – a knife-edge result of 50.9% – 49.1%, with victorious Corbynites gloating using the #ChuckChuka hashtag. They are desperate for the symbolic victory of pushing him out before he jumps to his new centrist party…

Momentum strategically began their deselection moves last year against Brexit-backing Labour MPs like Kate Hoey, Frank Field, John Mann, and Graham Stringer, thereby bringing some fanatical remain-voting Blairites on board the deselection train. Now their revolution is eating their own…

Chuka’s Local Party Making Deselection Moves This Evening

Streatham Constituency Labour Party is this evening holding a special all member meeting to vote on whether future meetings should be switched from a delegate based ‘General Committee’ structure to an ‘All Member Meeting’ structure, whereby any member can vote – a move recommended by Corbyn’s ‘Democracy Review’. By switching to All Member Meetings with one member one vote, it will be a lot easier for the new influx of Momentum members to successfully move to deselect Chuka…

But local left wing members are worried that the Blairite controlled local party executive are deliberately not publicising the meeting so that they can keep the General Committee structure and keep pro-Chuka control of the local party.

The meeting was originally supposed to take place in November but was abruptly cancelled without a reason being given. Now the hard left are so worried that the meeting will be poorly attended by new Corbynista members that they have drafted in left wing websites and even Owen Jones to promote the new meeting. One to watch…

People’s Vote Bottle People’s Vote

The People’s Vote campaign’s shambolic week has culminated in this hilarious impromptu press conference outside Parliament with the usual Remoaner cast lining up SNP-style to sorrowfully explain why they won’t be tabling an amendment calling for a second referendum next week. “Great British Hero” Philip Lee’s face is a picture…

Predictably they are trying to lay the blame at the feet of Corbyn for refusing to back a second referendum, rather than their own incompetence, or the fact that there isn’t a majority for a second referendum in Parliament or in the country. Have they ever stopped to consider why Corbyn isn’t falling over himself to join up with a campaign run by Blair, Campbell and Mandelson which is teeing itself up to become a new third party….

Chuka’s Staffer Admits Defeat

Morale has clearly taken a hit among the People’s Voters following their hammering from all sides last night. Even Chuka Umunna’s staff have been having trouble not letting their heads drop, with his Campaign Assistant Tom Wilson crafting this masterful tweet celebrating some of the most crushing political failures of recent times:

At least he sets a pretty low bar for People’s Vote to clear. Has Chuka double-checked to make sure he’s not a Lib Dem with this sort of happy-to-just-be-involved attitude?

Chuka Slams 2nd Referendum

Watch this clip for a prime example of why people don’t trust politicians. Here is second referendum evangelist Chuka Umunna speaking at a Fabian Society/NCS event at the Labour Conference Fringe in 2016. He even posted the video on his own Facebook page, including this segment where he slams the idea of a second referendum:

“I’m sorry, I’m not one of those people who thinks we should be calling for a second referendum. I think that would just look like, the referendum was fought under rules we agreed to, a result was delivered, because we don’t like it we now want to replay it again – which will simply entrench a view that we’re some elite, who don’t want to pay any attention to the people.”

Guido couldn’t put it any better himself…

h/t @Change_Britain

People’s Vote Infighting

Whilst most of the media is focused on Tory infighting and Corbyn’s incoherent and contradictory strategy the People’s Vote crowd are escaping attention. It will be no surprise when Guido tells you there is lots of infighting there too…

The main split is between those Labour MPs like Chris Leslie and Angela Smith who want to use it as reason for walking away from the Labour Party and setting up new party and those who want to try and win McDonnell and Corbyn over to the cause as the best way of getting a second referendum and stopping Brexit. They all despise Tom Baldwin who serves effectively at the pleasure of Alastair Campbell, who along with Blair is the real overlord of the whole thing. The Blairites are very definitely pulling the strings.

Baldwin is obsessed with polls and many on the campaign suspect he got the multi-millionaire Julian Dunkerton, who co-founded the Superdry fashion label, to make the weird precondition of his £1 million donation that it all be spent on polling. Good for YouGov’s profits, with the result that the campaign has an overload of pointless polls telling them nothing really new, which they can’t even turn into stories now the media narrative is all about the shenanigans in parliament.

Some Labour MPs think Baldwin and Campbell are trying to make it all about them and cutting them out. Chuka is especially irked so now sends out his own press releases implying they are from the official People’s Vote – though they are definitely not.

Money is a sensitive subject, because the People’s Vote campaign is at war with Best for Britain, who refused to join the remain coalition. Best for Britain are funded by Soros so have cash but are politically clueless and “p*ssing it up the wall” on Facebook according to People’s Vote insiders.

Every time Best for Britain get attacked in The Telegraph Soros writes another cheque. This infuriates the People’s Vote campaign who consider Best for Britain to be amateurs and political novices – the Lib Dem B-team and third sector campaigners.

Even Best for Britain co-founder Gina Miller quit the organisation to set up her own group ‘End the Chaos.’ This seems to double as a personal Gina Miller photography and publicity campaign, pouring resources into taking pictures of her standing on cliffs and on roads, staring into the middle distance. End the chaos indeed…

Labour Furore Over Chuka’s £150,000, £451-an-hour Jobs

The fight for social justice is arduous, those who are called to wage the war on poverty have to make sacrifices. So respect to Chuka Umunna for taking up the fight. At an hourly rate of £451…

He is topping up his MP’s salary of £77,379 with another £65,040 a year for chairing a new social justice think-tank for 12 hours a month. Which combined with his media fees will take him well over £150,000-a-year. That is more than the PM is paid, the hourly rate of Chuka’s fight for social justice is more than 60 times the national minimum wage. The twitterati’s social justice warriors have flipped out with the likes of Owen Jones and Matt Zarb-Cousin gleefully highlighting his avarice. That he would accept such a position, knowing the furore it would invoke whilst still serving as an MP, surely signals that he is giving up on future advancement within the Labour Party…

Chuka’s Big Centrist Party Hints

Chuka’s appearance on This Week last night was chuk-a-block with hints about his rumoured new centrist ‘People’s Party’. He refused to say whether he was politically closer to Theresa May’s or Jeremy Corbyn’s conference speeches, kept referring to the Conservatives and Labour as the “two old parties”, and called our two party favouring electoral system “anachronistic”.

He said that “whether or not there are new parties or not is a question for the leadership… do they still want the social democratic centre-left tradition to be part of the Labour Party or not?” He’s essentially saying ‘deselect me and you’ll find yourself having to deal with a new party’…

Chuka: Labour is Institutionally Racist

Chuka tells Sophy Ridge that it is “beyond doubt” that the Labour Party is “institutionally racist”. Astounding to hear this coming from the mouth of a sitting Labour MP…

Chuka says he isn’t leaving Labour but refuses to rule it out in the future…

Hypocrisy of Chuka and Labour’s EEA Rebels

Remoaner Labour MPs led by Chuka Umunna are rebelling against the leadership with a doomed amendment this afternoon attempting to keep us in the EEA. This is what Chuka used to say about the EEA model during the referendum: it “pays into the EU budget, accepts free movement, must obey EU laws with no say” and “would hurt the UK”.

Even by his standards, it is the height of hypocrisy for Chuka and co to now be backing EEA membership.

Labour Students Get #PayUpChuka Hashtag Trending

After Chuka Umunna was slapped down by Jeremy Corbyn for seeking an unpaid intern, and then doubled down and insisted he was right to offer the year-long placement, young Labour members have started a #PayUpChuka hashtag. Which was soon trending on Twitter last night…

Other MPs have been in touch with Guido to say Chuka is wrong that IPSA don’t allow paid interns. “He is not telling the truth. I have a paid intern at the moment,” one texts. Guido also hears whispers that other Labour MPs have been using the same unpaid students scheme as Chuka, contrary to Labour’s manifesto and orders from the Leader’s Office to pay interns. If you are or have been an unpaid Labour intern, get in touch in confidence… 

Corbyn Slaps Down Chuka Over Unpaid Interns

This morning Guido reported Chuka Umunna was seeking an unpaid intern to work in his office for a year. This afternoon Corbyn’s office has emailed all Labour MPs warning them that it is against Labour Party policy to employ unpaid interns:

Afternoon Briefing: Thursday 31 May

Colleagues,

Please see below a message from the Leaders Office:

This is a reminder to all MPs that it is against Labour Party policy to employ unpaid interns. As part of our 20-point plan for security and equality at work, set out in the 2017 General Election Manifesto, we have pledged to ban unpaid internships.

Chuka has doubled down and insisted he is right to offer the unpaid placement as it is part of a supported university scheme:

“Unfortunately, IPSA do not provide additional resources for MPs to recruit interns on a paid basis, though the Parliamentary Labour Party has always argued strongly for them to do so. I strongly believe that interns should be paid and, for that reason, I do not have any unsupported interns working in the office despite the many requests received. For many years, my office has only accepted students undertaking work experience as part of supported university schemes, or short work experience placements from the schools in my constituency.”

Clearly Jezza doesn’t agree…

Chuka Seeking Unpaid Intern For a Year

This email has been sent round students at the University of Leeds (h/t Kane Emerson), seeking “an enthusiastic placement student to join his London-based office” for a year. The job requires real work including research, preparing letters and briefings, casework and select committee work. While students’ years in industry are usually paid, the email says “Please note, this placement is unpaid”. Chuka is a former employment lawyer and it seems he is using the loophole that his year-long intern is not “under obligation” to work to get around minimum wage law. Come on Chuka, pay your interns…

Jewish Groups Dub Labour a Racist Party, Plan Parliament Protest and Call For National Demonstration

Jewish groups have dubbed Labour a “racist party”, announced a protest against Jeremy Corbyn at parliament tomorrow and called for a national demonstration against the Labour leader. In remarkable developments today, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Board of Deputies announced a protest in Westminster tomorrow at 5:30pm where they will deliver a letter of condemnation to the Parliamentary Labour Party:

“The leadership of the Jewish community will be delivering a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party in advance of its meeting at 6pm. We call on members of our community and all those who oppose antisemitism to join us in Parliament Square at 5:30pm to show solidarity.”

Separately, the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism said they would be organising a national demonstration to take place in London on 8 April. They declared Labour under Corbyn a “racist party”:

“We accuse the Labour Party, its MPs and institutions, of complicity with and promotion of antisemitic racism. In particular, most Labour MPs, with heroic exceptions, have merely wrung their hands and spoken fine words without at any point acting or putting themselves at risk. We are at an historic moment: there is no hiding place for them any longer. The Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn is now a racist party and to be silent now is to condone.”

Corbyn meanwhile is reportedly set to bottle tomorrow’s PLP meeting. Three Jewish groups have announced protests against Corbyn and still Labour moderates do nothing…

UPDATE: Chuka making a brave statement here:

Chuka’s Champagne Donor Toasts Brexit

A Remain-backing wine and champagne wholesaler that gave a £45,000 donation to Chuka Umunna is boasting about how its global business has been boosted by Brexit. Chuka flaunted his champagne socialist credentials by accepting the huge wedge from Farr Vintners this month. The company’s latest accounts boast:

“The fall in the value of Sterling against the US $ has resulted in a substantial increase in demand from both the Far East and the United States, which we believe will continue into the current year. Our sales to the Far East which are handled by our Hong Kong office continue to be strong.”

Cheers!

Chuka on Seumas

Chuka Umunna on Seumas Milne re Russia:

“Have read the comments of the Leader of the Opposition’s spokesperson. Mr Milne’s comments do not represent the views of the majority of our voters, members or MPs. We’ll get abuse for saying so but where British lives have been put at risk it is important to be clear about this.”[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

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Quote of the Day

Ken Livingstone deployed a corker on TalkRadio this afternoon…
“I joined the Labour Party 50 years ago this month and in all that time I have never heard a single anti-semitic comment.”

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