Kezia Dugdale departure could shift Labour balance of power in favour of Jeremy Corbyn, says former Scottish Labour MP

'Moderate MPs won't criticise Corbyn now because he's in a strong position' says former Scottish Labour MP

Tom Harris spoke to Julia about the Labour Party in the wake of Kezia Dugdale's resignation

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The departure of Kezia Dugdale as Scottish Labour leader could spark a major power shift at national level in favour of Jeremy Corbyn, says a former member of the party.

Tom Harris, who once stood for the Scottish Labour leadership, said "no-one will know for sure" whether or not Dugdale resigned of her own volition, but she was "probably more popular than her party" and would have had its "full-throated support" had she wished to stay.

Some have suggested Corbyn's supporters will now try to seize control of the Scottish wing of the Labour Party by pushing one of their preferred candidates in succession to the moderate Dugdale.

Harris, a long-time critic of Corbyn, says they may have a tough job as Scotland has "always turned its back on that radical Marxist doctrine that's so beloved of some Corbynite supporters."

However he agreed whole-heartedly with Julia's suggestion that, if a Corbynista is elected, that will tilt the balance of power on Labour's ruling National Executive Committee in favour of Corbyn.

"He will get his way on a whole range of issues," Harris said. "the stakes are very high. 

"I just feel in my waters that the fight has gone out of the moderates."

Harris also suggested many moderate Labour MPs opposed to Jeremy Corbyn are staying quiet because they want to complicate any de-selection process.

He said the Corbynite supporters will have no choice but to de-select MPs as "if there was a snap election and Corbyn became leader, he’d be the leader of a party the majority of whom don’t support and wouldn’t support the policies he wants to implement. 

“The reason why moderate MPs are being quiet is because they want to make it as difficult as possible for them to be removed.

"They will not say anything or raise any criticism of the leader because he’s in a very strong position at the moment.

"It’s all about saving their own seats and jobs, and while I sympathise with that, my personal point of view is the future of the country is far more important than the careers of even 100 Labour MPs."

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