Interesting times at Lambeth South/Croydon North [delete to taste] Constituency Labour Party, and for the Progress MP, Steve Reed OBE, who holds the seat.
Apparently attending a CLP meeting as a new member was Darcus Howe, the veteran civil liberties campaigner, writer and broadcaster.
Howe is among the 15,000 new members to sign up to Labour since Jeremy Corbyn stood for election as leader – and despite the efforts of Reed and his Blairite mates to prevent what they describe as “entryists” from reclaiming the party.
According to one attendee at the meeting, Howe “was fairly vocal”.
Given that Reed – the former leader of Lambeth Council – was a prominent backer of Blairite leadership candidate Liz Kendall, and given that Croydon North’s members nominated Corbyn in the leadership race, the arrival of vocal new members such as Howe could make for some intriguing meetings of the local Labour group.
At this week’s meeting, according to one member, “Steve Reed talked about his role in the shadow cabinet and all the great stuff he does for Croydon (yawn)”. Nothing like a bit of self-promotion… Before Corbyn was elected Labour leader, Reed had offended grassroots members and described his party’s prospects under the Islington MP as “unelectable”. And then Reed promptly accepted a job in Corbyn’s team.
The member who attended the CLP meeting observed, “Reed was keen to be part of a unified Labour Party but I can’t help feeling this is all about his career as an MP.”
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