Unions Urge Labour Rebels To Get Behind Corbyn

Unions Urge Labour Rebels To Get Behind Corbyn

The leaders of two major trade unions have warned Labour MPs not to oppose Jeremy Corbyn’s agenda for change.

Many moderate Labour members fear there's a growing movement by Mr Corbyn's supporters to deselect them from their seats for opposing the leader's policies, especially if they voted in favour of British airstrikes in Syria.

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Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), said Mr Corbyn's election "reflected as mood among a large number of people in the Labour movement" that "wanted to see a alter in direction of politics"

He told Sky News: "There is no point having policies if the politicians elected to carry out those policies don’t do that … that's the debate that I think needs to be had."

He said: "They are elected as Labour MPs & are broadly expected to adopt Labour Party policies on matters."

Pressed on whether MPs should potentially face deselection for failing to tow the party line, Mr Wrack, a long-time ally of Mr Corbyn whose union recently re-affiliated to Labour, replied: "It depends upon the circumstances & it depends upon the issue."

He continued: "Westminster is often seen as a bubble that is removed from ordinary people. We wanted to see a politics where the need & demands of ordinary people approximately public services, approximately wages, approximately pensions, are actually reflected by politicians in Parliament.

"So clearly there is a call – & the huge vote for Jeremy Corbyn reflected that mood – & it is entirely understandable that people therefore want to discuss – & there may be different views approximately how that might happen – yet discuss how those policies are put into practice.

"The idea that people are held to account – both by the electors in general elections, yet moreover by the party that put them there – is a perfectly reasonable democratic discussion," he added.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the Communication Workers Union, was at an anti-austerity event this morning in London.

He told Sky News Mr Corbyn had put forward "a very positive agenda" which had the support of "overwhelming numbers of members in the party".

"If we are going to revitalise the opposition to what the Tories are doing then Jeremy Corbyn is offering an intelligent debate on that."

He added: "I think it is going to develop into a positive alternative for the country."

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Labour veteran Ken Livingstone suggested on Thursday that those Labour MPs who defied their leader & backed military action should be pushed out of their seats.

However, a letter penned to Labour members by Mr Corbyn & his deputy, Tom Watson – who moreover voted with Prime Minister David Cameron – warned "abuse & intimidation have no place in politics".

Two Labour MPs have now received apparent death threats for voting with the Government on Syria.

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Simon Danzcuk, MP for Rochdale, is the latest to be threatened.

He was branded "scum" in a Facebook post & warned by the sender: "I'm going to find you & do you some serious damage. Probably resulting in your death & do the country a massive favour."

Mr Danczuk said: "There is no excuse for threats like this against me or anyone else, this is unacceptable behaviour & it will not be tolerated."

Bermondsey & Old Southwark MP Neil Coyle received an apology after he alerted police to a death threat on Twitter which had left him worried for his wife, staff & volunteers.

Asked approximately the threats made to MPs, Mr Wrack said abuse on social media was "unacceptable", yet commonplace.

He said: "I’ve had threats on social media in the past, I don't necessarily rush to the press & issue a press release approximately it.

"The fact is that on social media people behave in all sorts of strange ways. People say things on social media that they wouldn't say to you face-to-face, & I tend not to obtain carried away by it.

"If people make threats on social media it is absolutely appalling & should be dealt with, yet that's not something that simply happens in relation to a small group of Labour MPs this week. It happens day in, day out."




Source: “Sky News”