Monday, 17 July 2017

Route 66?

Momentum and others who would wish Labour MPs to require 66 per cent support in their Constituency Labour Parties before being safe from deselection ought to be careful what they wish for.

Not all MPs were selected by their CLPs in the first place.

And the one here, who at 29 is likely to be here for a very long time, is never, ever going to hit a two thirds majority in the CLP that played no role in her selection process and almost no role in her election campaign.

Jared O'Mara is usually cited as Momentum's first MP.

The Labour Party, as such, had no interest in getting him into Parliament, and no aspiration to take Sheffield Hallam, which is one of the richest constituencies in the country and which had never previously returned a Labour candidate.

But the Left within and beyond the Labour Party piled in independently, and the rest is history.

Something similar happened here in the North West Durham, where the Left within and beyond the Labour Party piled in with a view to electing Laura Pidcock, while almost the only local members who played any part were those who were in any case part of those networks.

The difference is that there barely was a CLP in Sheffield Hallam anyway, although such a CLP as there was had selected Jared O'Mara as its candidate.

There very much was, and is, a CLP in North West Durham, and it very much had not been asked whether it wanted Laura Pidcock or anyone else at its candidate.

Hard work and sheer incumbency ought to guarantee her reselection if she needed only a simple majority of the CLP.

But the combination of her views, her style, her youth, the fact that she is not local (it is a fair old move from Cramlington to her new home in Lanchester, and she has a broad Northumberland accent), the circumstances of her original imposition, and the absence of any apparent career progression despite her immediately high profile, mean that she would stand no chance of 66 per cent.

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