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TWO left-Labour activists were told to “get the fuck out of Brighton now, scum,” by members of their own party, according to reports this weekend.
The London-based activists, who were on the south coast for a rally in support of Jeremy Corbyn on Saturday night, said they had faced “physical threats,” swearing and aggression from people purporting to be Labour members in a Brighton pub.
The verbal dust-up followed an extraordinary letter from the Labour leader of Brighton and Hove Council warning of a “takeover” of the local Labour Party by left activists.
Tottenham Constituency Labour Party secretary Seema Chandwani said two men had approached her and Michael Calderbank, who works as a trade union researcher in Parliament, at a pub where they were eating dinner after the packed rally.
She said: “One shouted: ‘Do you both work for fucking McDonnell?’
“They were right in our face, aggressively shouting: ‘Where the fuck are you from, why are you fucking here?’ — to which point we told them to ‘fuck off, we can go where we like.’
“They then started to threaten us with physical violence, now both right in the face of my comrade.
“He just told them to get out of his face but they continued shouting and threatening us.
“Security came over and had to throw them out … we weren’t scared, we didn’t even get up from our seats, we were just shocked these people were from the Labour Party.”
At the Brighton Labour Party’s annual general meeting on Saturday night, which took place after the rally in support of Mr Corbyn, candidates backed by left group Momentum swept the board after an astonishing 700 people turned up.
In a leaked email, Labour city council leader Warren Morgan had urged a group of members to attend the meeting to vote for candidates on the right wing of the party.
“Next Saturday our city Labour Party faces a takeover from a group of individuals from Momentum, Tusc, the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty and other fringe left-wing groups, including people who have repeatedly run against Labour candidates,” he said.
He said a left-led city party would undermine the work of Labour councillors and could lead to “deselections.”
“This party has faced down Militant before,” he said, referring to a Trotskyite group expelled from Labour in the late 1980s as part of an anti-left purge enthusiastically supported by then-leader Neil Kinnock.
All of the candidates Mr Morgan had recommended were defeated by Momentum-backed opponents however.
Mr Morgan did not respond to a request for comment from the Star.
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