Hard left Labour MP Jon Trickett has suggested that a leadership challenge to Keir Starmer should not be ruled out. Trickett told Owen Jones: "People have formed a view about him, I think, that he's not trustworthy. I want to hear what the members views are. Now, if it comes to the question of a leadership challenge, I don't think we should rule it out". Trickett repeated his view about a potential challenge when he retweeted that section of the interview.
Many Corbynistas are desperate to avenge the indignation of the 2016 leadership challenge to Corbyn by staging one of their own against Starmer. However, there is a major stumbling block and that is the number of MPs who'd be willing to support a candidate from the left.
Despite the best efforts of Momentum to purge moderates from the Parliamentary Labour Party ahead of the 2019 general election, far left MPs make up just over 16 per cent of the current PLP. 20 per cent of Labour MPs would be required to nominate a challenger.
The Socialist Campaign Group of MPs consists of 34 members, but two of those are currently suspended (Corbyn and Webbe). Both Corbyn and Webbe are among members of the SCG meeting on Wednesday for an online 'Rally for Socialism'. The main topic of discussion is 'how the left should respond'.
We suspect that a leadership challenge, should it be attempted, will have to wait until the outcome of the Batley and Spen by-election. No date has yet been set for that by-election, but defeat would ramp up the pressure on Starmer exponentially.