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How do you solve a problem like Jeremy?

August 16th, 2015

If Labour MPs want to remove Corbyn, they need to stop Corbyn having a honeymoon or polling bounce.

If as expected Jeremy Corbyn becomes leader, then those inside the Labour party looking to depose Corbyn as leader before the  next general election might want to have a word with the Barrow & Furness MP, John Woodcock, who also is Liz Kendall’s campaign manager and remind him of his pre-election pledge.

As the above clip shows, during the election when the Tories were playing up the prospect of a Labour/SNP coalition that would not replace the Trident submarine nuclear deterrent, he made this promise to his constituents

“We know that people have been worried about the lies the Tories have been saying about the shipyard. So I’m making clear today that I am so confident of a future Labour Government building four boats here in Barrow, that I’m saying I’d resign if that didn’t happen. Now it’s an easy pledge for me to make, because we will build four.”

With Corbyn recently reaffirming his plans for the United Kingdom to engage in nuclear disarmament, any Corbyn led government, with or without the SNP will not be building any replacement submarines for Trident. This may provide John Woodcock with an opportunity to trigger a by-election because of the election of Corbyn without looking like a sore loser, Woodcock is after all honouring a pre-election pledge.

The replacement of Trident has a major impact in the Barrow & Furness constituency because it is the site of the BAE Systems nuclear submarine and shipbuilding operation, thus the replacement for Trident will be a boost for the local economy. It was said that the reason Labour lost the seat in 1983 was because of Labour’s then policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament.

In the constituency itself, Labour have a majority of only 795 over the Tories, so a Labour hold in a by-election might be very difficult in these circumstances. 2015 was Labour’s worst electoral performance, in terms of seats, since the 1980s, if Labour start losing seats they held in May to the Tories, Independent Labour or other parties, that might focus the minds of the Labour party and make removing Corbyn easier a lot easier.

Some Labour MPs may have to sacrifice their seats and careers for the greater good, especially if there is a fear among moderate Labour MPs that they will be purged by ‘aggressive factional nutters’ on the left (although that has been denied.)

It should be remembered, the likes of Michael Foot, Iain Duncan Smith, William Hague and Ed Miliband all led in the opinion polls at one stage or another, who is to say Corbyn won’t join them? If the first few days and weeks of Corbyn’s leadership is dominated by MPs resigning, Labour losing those seats and Corbyn not being able to fill shadow ministerial positions then it is unlikely he nor Labour will get a polling boost, which is good for those who want an early end to Corbyn’s reign as it becomes it difficult to remove a leader who is leading in the polls.

TSE