MPs’ Anger At Jeremy Corbyn’s Plans To ‘Make Three Black MPs Scrap Over Tottenham’ In Order To Keep His Islington North Seat

In a packed meeting on Tuesday Labour MPs expressed anger over the party’s boundary proposals, which would allow Jeremy Corbyn to keep his seat of Islington North at the expense of other MPs and the number of winnable seats in London.

According to a Labour source, senior MPs said the plans would be “laughed out of court” and asked “Aren’t we meant to be winning more seats?”. One said the proposals would make “three black MPs scrap over” Tottenham. 

Corbyn was due to move to the new seat of Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington following changes drawn up by the Boundary Commission. However Labour’s counterproposals for London would keep his current seat, but endanger other senior MPs.

Labour’s two options for South London would also leave it with fewer winnable seats than the Boundary Commission would, reducing their number from 15 to 14.

During the meeting, which was not attended by Corbyn, or supporters Diane Abbott and Emily Thornberry, a senior MP asked “Aren’t we meant to be winning more seats?”

Another MP said the plans ran counter to the rules of drawing up constituency boundaries, and said: “I want to support it but I can’t. I fear we will get laughed out of court.” 

According to a source, a third “asked pointedly why Islington North was being protected” under the party’s counterproposals, but “received no real reply”, and was told simply that “these are the options on the table”.

“Tottenham is as old as the Roman Road. At the time it is being rebuilt after the London riots, why are Labour’s proposals splitting it right across the middle and making three black MPs scrap over what remains?”, the MP said.

But a representative of Thornberry, who is the MP for Islington South, said she “was prepared to fall on her sword” in order to keep Islington North.

In the meeting, which according to a Labour source “remained very calm”, MPs also expressed concern for MP Mike Gapes as well as the newly elected MP for Tooting Rosena Allin-Khan, as the new proposals would put them at risk of deselection.

Fears of deselection have been mounting among Labour MPs since the Boundary Commission released plans to cut the number of constituencies from 650 to 600.

Those opposed to Corbyn have said allies of the Labour leader are using the threat of reselection to try and silence their criticism.

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