'No amount of bullying, intimidation or anti-Semitism will remove centre-left from Labour', says Blairite activist

'No amount of bullying, intimidation or anti-Semitism will remove centre-left from Labour', says Progress

Labour's NEC has three new members from the hard left

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

"No amount of bullying, intimidation or anti-Semitism" will remove centre-left members of the Labour Party, the director of moderate campaign group Progress has said.

Labour's National Executive Committee has three new members from the hard left - Yasmine Dar, Rachel Garnham and Jon Lasnman, founder of pro-Corbyn pressure group Momentum. Their elections have increased Corbyn's hold on the party and some predict his supporters will now push for the deselection of moderate MPs.

Richard Angell, the director of centre-left Labour group Progress, told Mike Graham and Katie Perrior: "No amount of bullying, intimidation or anti-Semitism can get people like me out of the Labour Party despite what the current leadership might want."

Angell was speaking after pro-Corbyn commentator Paul Mason appeared on talkRADIO, suggesting that he and his fellow Corbynistas have no intention of pushing for mass deselections.

Despite these words of reassurance, Angell said: "Paul Mason is actively seeking to marginalise [the centre-left], so is people like Jon Lansman, but their bullying and harassment won’t work."

He added: "Sadly we have seen the surge of anti-Semitism happening in and around the Labour Party in the last two years.

"I think part of the reason why it is being done, why the likes of Ken Livingstone court controversy on a regular basis, is to make people like me think ‘oh I don’t want to be associated with this lot'."

Angell thinks many Labour MPs are "spending their time having to anticipate unpleasant meetings of local party members because of the likes of Jon Lansman and some of the people that he sends to these local meetings because they want to change the Labour MPs we’ve got, not change the number of Tory MPs this country has got."

He also thinks "most Momentum members, who slogged their guts out at the general election, would rather see his party focus on the absolutely appalling way the Government is ruining this country."

Listen to the full interview above