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Anti-Corbyn MPs fail to block local bids to hold them to account

LABOUR leftwingers are “calling time” on anti-Corbyn MPs after John Spellar and Lucy Powell lost votes to restrict the power of local party members last night.

Mr Spellar, a longstanding rightwinger in the labour movement, lost a vote in his Warley constituency 176-114 to activists who wanted to switch party meetings from a delegate system to an all-member meeting.

Ms Powell also lost her vote to keep a delegate system in her constituency of Manchester Central by 110-98.

Local members have complained that Mr Spellar held control in his local party by having allies control the delegate system for decades.

However Ms Powell introduced the system in 2015 in a more open attempt to stop new left-wing Labour members from winning command of her local party.

The votes in both constituencies were pushed by activists from within the pro-Corbyn groups Momentum and Campaign for Labour Party Democracy.

In a statement released yesterday evening, Manchester Momentum said: “This is a massive victory for the left.

“Congratulations to everyone who turned out to restore democracy in our CLP.”

It is anticipated that the defeat of Ms Powell, who was involved in the summer 2016 “chicken coup” against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, could lead to her deselection in the trigger balloting processes expected to take place this summer.

However the future of Mr Spellar is less clear.

An insider in Manchester told the Star: “The change is indicative of what’s going on across the country, really.

“Look at how the right have treated the membership for so long, they’ve treated us like idiots.

“Well we’re not idiots and we’re calling time on them and their antics.”

The Star asked a party activist from Smethwick if the claim, made by the Skwawkbox news blog, that  Mr Spellar was visibly unhappy was correct. They said: “Well, he certainly wasn’t having the best time of his life.”

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