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BLAIRITE MP Darren Jones has been accused of “spying” and using “legal intimidation” against local members in his reselection process, the Star has learned.
Local Labour sources say that the Bristol North West MP has asked members to attend trigger-ballot meetings in order to record what was said, so he can pass the details to a law firm.
Documents seen by the Star show that Mr Jones sent an email to his constituency’s executive committee which said: “I will have at least two volunteers at each meeting, one of whom will be there to note procedure and compliance.
“For your information, I have now instructed a law firm to work with those compliance volunteers should any issues arise.”
Mr Jones is regarded as being on the party’s right, being a supporter of Labour Friends of Israel and having previously worked on US Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination campaign. He is thought to be widely unpopular with local activists.
After being imposed as the constituency’s parliamentary candidate in the 2017 general election, his first major intervention came in 2018, when he attacked Labour’s commitment to renationalising industries.
He stated that public ownership would “drag the world back.”
He also named Tony Blair as one of his political heroes in July 2017.
He is a founding member of Tom Watson’s “Future Britain” faction, which was launched in March this year.
Bristol Momentum spokesman Kieran Glasssmith told the Star: “It’s really disappointing to see this lack of trust from our MP who we all campaigned for.
“He’s taking time and money which could have been spent on campaigning, and using it to hire law firms and spy on his members.”
A local party member who did not want to be named for fear of repercussions told the Star: “He’s basically emailed the people who like him and said, ‘can you come and spy on these trigger ballot processes for me?’
“It’s just typical of him, really. In 2017 he got in with a groundswell of support from Momentum activists.
“Then he just became any MP. He’s joined in with Tom Watson’s gang to undermine the party, he opposes our policies and is now spying on his members and using legal intimidation.”
Mr Jones has been contacted for comment.
Meanwhile in West Bromwich East, Labour’s deputy leader Tom Watson survived attempts by members on Tuesday night to deselect him as the party’s candidate at the next election.
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