Keir Starmer risks rebellion as Corbynistas plan to hijack vote and reject leaders ally

Labour will not form coalition with SNP says Keir Starmer

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Although Mr Evans was appointed in the spring of last year by Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the party since 2020, the position must be formally approved at a conference vote in the autumn.

Fans of Jeremy Corbyn, who was leader for Labour from 2015 to 2020 – and led the party to its worst general election since 1935, are planning to reject the general secretary, a move which could cause a crisis for the current leader.

Backers of Mr Corbyn, dubbed “Corbynistas” are set to reject Mr Evans’ appointment next month when a full vote takes place at the conference in Brighton.

The vote is a move spearheaded by The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy, which “fights for more power for Labour’s members and affiliates”.

They’ve accused David Evans of “stifling internal democracy”, and are asking representatives for the party to reject Mr Evans which will have a knock-on effect on Sir Keir’s leadership going forward.

The appointment of Mr Evans would provide an ally for Sir Keir, as he goes against those in the party who were supportive of Mr Corbyn.

Another group of Corbyn supporters known as Momentum also have plans for the vote. They are asking those attending the conference to pass a motion to turn Mr Evans’ role into a directly elected position.

But, supporters of the current Labour leader are still confident over the appointment due to shifting support in favour of Sir Keir following the departure of tens of thousands of Corbyn’s backers from Labour’s midst.

Since the appointment of Sir Keir, about 120,000 party members have left, at a rate of around 250 people a day. As of mid-July Labour’s membership figures were down to 430,000.

But, according to a YouGov survey of Labour members last month, the favourable view of Jeremy Corbyn fell by 16 percentage points since last year.

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Figures from January 2020 showed that 71 percent had a favourable view, which has dropped to 55 percent of members this year.

The proportion of members interviewed who have an unfavourable view of the former leader rose from 29 to 45 percent.

Mr Corbyn now has similar ratings of popularity to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, whom 55 percent of Labour members said they had a favourable view.

The loss of supporting Labour members has resulted in a loss of up to half a million pounds in monthly income for the party, according to reports.

The conference in September, where the vote for Mr Evans takes place, will be Sir Keir’s first opportunity to address the conference in person as party leader following the cancellation of last year’s due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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