Jeremy Corbyn ally Chris Williamson accused of encouraging deselection with Christmas video

Chris Williamson is widely regarded as one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies

Chris Williamson is widely regarded as one of Jeremy Corbyn's closest allies

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

One of Jeremy Corbyn's most prominent supporters has been accused of encouraging the deselection of moderate MPs with his 'Christmas message'

Chris Williamson's satirical video, filmed against the background of Buckingham Palace and intended as a parody of the Queen's Speech, says members are charged with "selecting candidates who support the progressive agenda".

Williamson, the MP for Derby North, also says that the interests of the members - who have swept Corbyn to power in two successive leadership elections - must be observed by MPs.

The video is adorned with images of hard-left Labour figures such as Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, and these "comrades" are thanked in the closing credits along with fellow Corbynistas Barry Gardiner, Dawn Butler and Rebecca Long-Bailey - as the socialist Red Flag anthem plays in the background.

Williamson tells members that "Maintaining the momentumn behind the epic shift that swept the country last summer rests on your shoulders. Change won't happen unless you take responsibility by getting involved.

"To develop policy and selecting candidates who support the progressive agenda that won Jeremy two Labour leadership victories.

"Remember, the Parliamentary Labour Party's job is to articulate and deliver the policies that values that matter to you, the members."

Labour MPs, he says, must "use 2018 to embrace the vibrancy of this movement and welcome greater democracy to this party."

The video has been roundly praised by supporters but condemned by critics, who view it as further evidence that Corbyn's inner circle, backed by hard-left pressure group Momentum, are planning a purge of moderate MPs in favour of their own staunchy socialist allies.

One Labour MP cited by Politics Home said Williamson's message was "creepy", adding that he should "chill out and enjoy Christmas."