CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Battle won, battles to come…

Labour celebrate party’s surprise general election success, but then comes the question: What next?

22 June, 2017 — By John Gulliver

A jubilant Tulip Siddiq on election night, celebrating with Sir Keir Starmer

HUNDREDS of Labour Party members were in a back-slapping mood over their election success on Thursday.

The key speakers, Derby MP Chris Williamson and National Executive Council member Christine Shawcroft, led triumphalist speeches at the rally at London University in Bloomsbury.

But then came the question: What next?

Many in the audience, it seemed, were members of the ginger group Momentum who had canvassed for the Labour victor in Hampstead, Tulip Siddiq.

A member of the Hampstead party branch thought Tulip could have passed as an “independent” candidate considering there was no mention of Jeremy Corbyn in her leaflets.

Ms Siddiq was also criticised for supporting critics of Jeremy Corbyn who insist there is an anti-Semitic strand in the party – a view that appeared to upset the audience.

The party hierarchy of full-time officials also came in for stick – they were blamed for being “negative” and “defeatist” in their election strategy and of having given up on gaining certain seats as unwinnable when in fact they could have been won.

A member in the audience said because some canvassers had ignored “head office” and canvassed in Battersea they’d been able to win the seat!

A warning was made that “head office” would try and limit delegates to the coming national conference in September to politically “safe” delegates.

Signs are that the schisms in the party won’t go away and that further battles lie ahead over the future of the National Executive Council, the decision-making body for the party.

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