James Forsyth

What does Momentum’s NEC clean sweep mean for Labour?

What does Momentum’s NEC clean sweep mean for Labour?
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Perhaps, the most remarkable thing about Momentum’s clean sweep in Labour’s National Executive Committee elections was how expected it was.  If even two years ago, you’d have told people in the Labour party that Jeremy Corbyn would not only still be leader but have solid support in the shadow Cabinet and a majority on the NEC they’d have been shocked and fearful about the Corbynite left’s ability to rewrite the rules of this party.

So, what will the Corbynite left do with this power? There’s lots of speculation today about mandatory re-selection and a purge of moderate MPs. But I am sceptical as to whether this will happen anytime soon. At the moment, there’s limited resistance within the Parliamentary Labour Party to what Corbyn is doing. With Jon Lansman being canny about how and when Momentum’s power is deployed, I can’t imagine him wanting to back a bunch of controversial deselections which would give the moderates a casus belli. Also, the issue on which Labour MPs are most frequently—and publicly—taking a different line to the leadership is Brexit. But on this question, they might well be more in line with the opinion of the Labour membership than Corbyn himself. So, I suspect the Corbynite left will keep their powder dry for now.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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