FIFTEEN from Camden are among the 500 councillors who have signed a public letter calling for Jeremy Corbyn to step aside as the party leader. It all adds to the pressure on the Islington North MP amid talk that he could be on the brink of resigning. If he doesn’t, a challenge is inevitable.
“It has now become clear hat he [Corbyn] is unable to command the confidence of the whole party nor of many traditional Labour supporters we speak with on the doorstep,” the letter from the anti-Corbyn councillors warns. “Our country is facing a crisis – and the neighbourhoods we represent are on the front line. We urge Jeremy Corbyn to make way for the new leadership that our communities so desperately need.”
There aren’t too many surprises among the make-up of the Camden contingent in there, as none of them were on the list of councillors who supported Corbyn in the first place last summer. Furthermore, some of them are tweeting criticism of Corbyn almost once an hour right now and so have made no secret of their desire for change. In signing, they join the high profile local Labour politicians Keir Starmer, Tulip Siddiq and Frank Dobson in the demand for a leadership contest in the wake of the Brexit vote.
They councillors who signed are: Rishi Madlani, Pat Callaghan, Maeve McCormack, Richared Olszewski, Julian Fulbrook, Georgia Gould, Adam Harrison, Abdul Quadir, Abi Wood, Danny Beales, Lady Kelly, Theo Blackwell, Sarah Hayward, Jonathan Simpson and Phil Jones.
While the line-up follows a familiar group dynamic, some members were not entirely nailed on as to where Abdul and Julian stood on the issue. In Julian’s case, he represents Camden’s so-called ‘political deep south’ which has thrown up contrary results in the past, although he personally backed Yvette Cooper last summer. His fellow ward councillor in Holborn and Covent Garden, Sue Vincent, is among six Camden councillors who have signed a public letter taking the contrasting view, that Corbyn should get their backing.
Those who signed the pro-Corbyn letter are: Roger Robinson (one of the few Labour councillors who supported leaving the European Union), Maryam Eslamdoust, Thomas Gardiner, Doug Beattie, Lorna Russell and Sue. Last year, eleven councillors publicly declared their support for Corbyn before he won the vote of members and won the leadership against Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.