Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Clegg must make a Left turn to save the Lib Dems from disaster (Daily Telegraph)

The party’s voters won’t allow a deal with the Tories in 2015 – it’s time to make eyes at Labour, says Mary Riddell.

2. Why exit is an option for Germany (Financial Times)

After another reminder of a miserable marriage, a separation might be better, writes Martin Wolf.

3. Council tax: the easy way to make mansion-dwellers pay (Guardian)

Adding further bands to this locally raised tax would be fair and effective, says Simon Jenkins. But our politicians lack the guts.

4. Talk to the Taleban or risk a messier Vietnam (Times) (£)

After November, America must offer a ceasefire and genuine negotiations, says Anatol Lieven. The alternative is savage civil war.

5. Has Mr Mitchell lost control of his fate? (Daily Mail)

It is the damage-limitation exercise that threatens to cause more damage than the original offence, says a Daily Mail editorial.

6. Modern conservatives make plebs of us all (Financial Times)

We have a self-serving echelon that believes in nothing except itself, writes Philip Bond.

7. Can Clegg exploit the gap in the market? (Independent)

The task for today is to be the voice of moderation, to appeal to the thoughtful centrist, writes Mary Ann Sieghart.

8. The coalition's phoney war is an exercise in political fraud (Guardian)

The Lib Dems play at opposition while driving through austerity, writes Seumas Milne. Pressure for an alternative must come from outside

9. Let’s break up BAE – or sell it to the US (Daily Telegraph)

The proposed merger with EADS threatens to undermine Britain’s industry and security, writes Bernard Jenkin.

10. Britain's aid promise must not be broken (Independent)

There is an obvious moral imperative, but we also act out of self-interest, says an Independent leader.

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Stella Creasy targeted for deselection

Organisers on the left believe the Walthamstow MP is the ideal target for political, personal and geographical reasons.

Stella Creasy, the high-profile MP for Walthamstow and defeated deputy Labour leadership candidate, is the first serious target of an attempt to deselect a sitting Labour MP, the New Statesman has learnt.

Creasy, who is on the right of the party, is believed to be particularly vulnerable to an attempt to replace her with an MP closer to the Labour party’s left. Her constituency, and the surrounding borough of Waltham Forest, as well as the neighbouring borough of Leyton and Wanstead, has a large number both of new members, inspired either to join or return to Labour by Jeremy Corbyn, plus a strong existing network of leftwing groupings and minor parties.

An anti-bombing demonstration outside of Creasy’s constituency offices in Walthamstow – the MP is one of around 80 members of Parliament who have yet to decide how to vote on today’s motion on airstrikes in Syria – is the latest in a series of clashes between supporters of Creasy and a series of organized leftwing campaigns.

Allies of Creasy were perturbed when Momentum, the grassroots body that represents the continuation of Corbyn’s leadership campaign, held a rally in her constituency the night of the Autumn Statement, without inviting the MP. They point out that Momentum is supposedly an outward-facing campaign supporting Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour party towards the 2020 general election and the forthcoming local and European elections. Labour holds 27 out of 27 council seats in Creasy’s constituency, while Creasy herself has a majority of 23,195 votes.

“If you look at the seat, there is nothing to win here,” said one Labour member, who believes that Momentum and other groups are planning to depose Creasy. Momentum has denied any plot to remove Creasy as the MP.

However, Creasy has come under pressure from within her local party in recent weeks over the coming vote on bombing Syria. Asim Mahmood, a Labour councilor in Creasy’s constituency, has called for any MP who votes for bombing to face a trigger ballot and reselection. Creasy hit back at Mahmood on Facebook, saying that while she remained uncertain of how to vote: “the one thing I will not do is be bullied by a sitting Walthamstow Labour councilor with the threat of deselection if I don’t do what he wants”.

Local members believe that Mahmood may be acting as the stalking horse for his sister, the current mayor of Waltham Forest, Saima Mahmud, who may be a candidate in the event of a trigger ballot against Creasy. Another possible candidate in a selection battle is Steven Saxby, a local vicar. Unite, the recognized trade union of the Anglican Communion, is a power player in internal Labour politics.

Although Creasy has kept her own counsel about the direction of the party under Corbyn, she is believed to be more vulnerable to deselection than some of the leader’s vocal critics, as her personal style has led to her being isolated in her constituency party. Creasy is believed to be no longer on speaking terms with Chris Robbins, the leader of the council, also from the right of the party.

Others fear that the moves are an attempt by Creasy’s local opponents to prepare the ground for a challenge to Creasy should the seat be redrawn following boundary changes. The mood in the local party is increasingly febrile.  The chair of the parliamentary Labour party, John Cryer, whose Leyton and Wanstead seat is next to Creasy’s constituency, is said to fear that a fundraiser featuring the shadow foreign secretary, Hilary Benn, will take an acrimonious turn. Cryer was one of just four shadow cabinet ministers to speak against airstrikes in Syria.

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.