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Labour right seeking to take over in Enfield, left councillors say

NEWLY elected councillors have been bombarded with phone calls seeking to enlist their support to oust the leader who led Labour to its best ever result in last week’s local elections, the Morning Star has heard.

Although on the “moderate” wing of the party, Enfield councillor Doug Taylor’s inclusive leadership style has made him popular among local party members.

But a source told the paper that a majority of outgoing council cabinet members were under pressure to replace him.

The leadership vote takes place next Monday.

Ayfer Orhan, who is the outgoing Cabinet member for education, told the Star: “I am aware that people are phoning around.

“There is a concern, in my view, that there is a coup to oust a moderate leader, who has been extremely successful because we have won a number of marginals that we had no hope of winning before.

“There is also a clear indication of activity by the right to oust the Cabinet members as well, myself included.”

The new candidate for council leader is believed to be Nesil Caliskan née Cazimoglu, reportedly close to Labour MP for Enfield North Joan Ryan.

During last year’s general election campaign, Ms Ryan issued a leaflet to constituents declaring that many people “have more confidence in Theresa May as prime minister than they would have in Jeremy Corbyn.” She is also the MP who was recorded in discussion with Israeli diplomat Shai Masot discussing a £1 million fund to send Labour Party members to Israel.

Ms Orhan continued: “Ms Caliskan has never had a Cabinet position or been an officer.

“I struggle to understand why a large cohort of inexperienced councillors within their first two weeks are wanting Cabinet positions having not seen how the council works or sat on scrutiny committees.”

Ms Caliskan also oversaw the selection of all 63 Labour candidates in her capacity as secretary of the Local Campaign Forum (LCF).

A number of councillors were deselected, including all five of Enfield’s sitting black councillors – four of whom were women – to be replaced by candidates who are understood to be supportive of her leadership bid.

The Caribbean, Somali and Nigerian associations in Enfield wrote to the Party’s Regional Director, Neil Fleming, urging him to intervene.

Mr Fleming ruled that the process was “robust.”

Ms Caliskan said that it would be “inappropriate to comment on an internal election before the deadline for nominations today.”


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