UK Labour plan to split in two if Corbyn is returned as party leader

The reason this is both fascinating and relevant is because New Zealand Labour are in the same position, albeit with less pressure at this stage of the electoral cycle.

More than 150 Labour MPs are plotting to form a breakaway party codenamed ‘Continuity Labour’ if Jeremy Corbyn wins the leadership battle – with Stephen Kinnock tipped to head it.

The Mail on Sunday understands a group of leading anti-Corbyn MPs are poised to make approaches to Labour’s top 50 donors to fund the new party if the Labour leader fends off challenges from Angela Eagle and Owen Smith.

The plot emerged as this newspaper also established that Mr Kinnock, the son of former Labour leader Neil Kinnock, has held secret talks with former Liberal Democrat leader Paddy Ashdown about ‘safeguarding the interests of our country’.

Lord Ashdown denies that the discussions included the formation of a new centre-ground party.

Mr Corbyn was plunged into the leadership contest after losing a confidence vote among Labour MPs by 172 votes to 40, followed by dozens of resignations from his frontbench team. Ms Eagle, the former Shadow First Secretary of State, and Mr Smith, the former Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, have both since announced leadership bids.

With Mr Corbyn still commanding a strong following among ordinary party members, most moderate MPs accept the party will split if he hangs on to the leadership in September’s vote.

Strategically, there is actually room for a union-Labour party and a non-union-Labour party.  One would simply be the parliamentary arm of the unions, and they will push union-friendly policy.  This frees up the other Labour to appeal to the centre voter. 

A senior source said: ‘If Corbyn wins, the party is finished in its current form. There are at least 150 MPs who would break away, and many are already discreetly sounding out donors about what they are calling ‘Continuity Labour’. Stephen is central to the plans. The plotters have calculated that they could start a new party, debt-free, while leaving Corbyn’s rump mired in financial problems.’

Last night, Labour’s largest individual donor, John Mills, who has given more than £1.6 million to the party, said: ‘I am aware of these sorts of discussions, but I am very reluctant to get involved in the plots and schemes. Splitting the party would be a disaster under the first-past-the-post electoral system because it would make it harder to win.’

In the New Zealand situation, the unions can fund the union-Labour party, whereas donors would flock back to a non-union-Labour that pushes middle-of-the-road policies that are business friendly, free-trade friendly, immigration friendly and socially pragmatic.


Grant and Jacinda when then found out Andrew Little had won the leadership contest


– Daily Mail

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