The anti-Corbyn coup just rebounded and hit Theresa May in the face

May and Corbyn
James Wright

There are now various signs that the ongoing anti-Corbyn coup has rebounded and hit Theresa May in the face.

1. More Labour members

Analysis suggests that Labour membership rose by about 10,000 during August. It now stands at 540,000. On social media, people reported joining the party in response to “dreadful bias” in the mainstream media:

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2. Labour gains 4% lead in latest poll

In the most recent poll, Labour has a four-point lead over May’s Conservatives:

It’s also worth noting that Survation was the most accurate polling company during the 2017 election.

3. Corbyn supporters win clean sweep on Labour’s ruling body

Supporters of Corbyn also won a clean sweep on the National Executive Committee (NEC) on 3rd September. That is very important because the NEC controls matters vital to internal party policy. Currently, that can include who gets to run to become a Labour MP, for example. But the upcoming vote on ‘open selection’ wants to hand that power predominantly to party members. Who controls the NEC holds critical sway over such outcomes.

The smear campaign

None of this is good news for the prime minister. And the boosts for Labour come despite what director Ken Loach calls a “well-organised, relentless campaign against Corbyn”. The Labour leader has faced accusations that he’s an antisemite from Blairite MP Margaret Hodge, hard-right former chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and the group the Campaign Against Antisemitism. The latter is currently facing a Met police investigation over accusations it has incited death threats to Corbyn.

But none of them have provided any contextualised evidence that Corbyn has ever said anything antisemitic. Nor do they cite any quotes from Corbyn that you could describe as antisemitic, because the smear campaign relies on misrepresentation.

That’s not to say there aren’t genuine instances and genuine concerns about antisemitism in Labour. There are. A Jewish study into antisemitism in 2017 puts the debate into perspective. While the report from the Institute for Jewish Policy Research emphasised that antisemitism is prevalent across society, including on the left, it concluded that:

On the political spectrum, levels of antisemitism are found to be highest among the far-right

In short, what’s predominantly a cynical attempt to add weight to an anti-Corbyn coup is backfiring. Labour has an increased membership, is ahead in the polls and Corbyn has internal support from the NEC.

It seems the more the establishment smears Corbyn, the stronger he becomes. That’s beautiful to watch.

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Featured image via 10 Downing Street/ YouTube and Chris McAndrew/ WikiCommons

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James Wright