Monday 21 November 2022


In a blow to Keir Starmer, hard left MP Ian Byrne has narrowly fended off an attempt to deselect him from the ultra safe seat of Liverpool West Derby.  His place on the Westminster gravy train was being challenged by two councillors, one of whom dropped out of the contest on the day of the vote.  Cllr Kimberley Whitehead, of Hyndburn Borough Council, withdrew hours before Sunday's vote and backed Cllr Anthony Lavelle for the seat.  This was surely a realisation (or a nudge from above) that the pair of them standing would split the vote and give Byrne an easy win.

It was the correct assumption, as Byrne ended up defeating the Liverpool councillor by the slender margin of just twelve votes.

The hustings meeting and subsequent vote is said to have been a tense affair, with security guards on the doors and claims that some members were 'barred from entry'.  Byrne had accused the Lavelle camp of 'intimidation' earlier in the campaign, claims which were furiously denied.  The MP had also been threatening 'legal action', presumably in the event that he lost the vote.

Byrne was congratulated upon his victory by many of his comrades in the Socialist Campaign Group, including Jeremy Corbyn, Zarah Sultana and Nadia Whittome.

Also congratulating Byrne was the member for Poplar and Limehouse.  Apsana Begum is thought to be the third hard left MP to face the threat of deselection, although there is still no news of challengers.  Her London colleague Sam Tarry was deselected last month.

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