Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Mutiny in Labour!

In my last post I commented on the brutality of Labour's suspension of Phil Woolas. Today Labour MPs, in their own words, mutinied against their own leadership as a result. In a meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) the Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman, was heckled by her own MPs who were angered at the treatment of Mr. Woolas.

The thing is, Labour MPs don't normally do things like this. Unlike the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, Labour is boringly loyal to its leadership - for most of the time. Of course, Ed Miliband is on paternity leave following the birth of his son on Sunday. Meaning, Macavity-like, Mr. Miliband wasn't there to face the resentment of his party.

Although Mr. Woolas is still fighting the decision to remove him from parliament, there will be a by-election in his constituency as that decision cannot be overturned. All that Mr. Woolas can hope for is that the three year ban from standing for parliament, imposed on him by the court, can be lifted. If he wins on this point, Labour will have to make a difficult decision as to whether to readmit Mr. Woolas into the party and allow him to contest his own seat as a Labour candidate.

The problem for the leadership is that they'll look foolish if they let Mr. Woolas back into the party, but their own MPs will mutiny again if they don't.

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