Did the Labour machine deliberately move resources away from winnable seats?
A worrying report on the Skwawkbox website claims that Labour’s HQ, in stark contrast to the energetic and attacking strategy pursued by Jeremy Corbyn, deliberately adopted a defensive approach to the general election, which may have cost Labour several seats.
Senior apparatchiks in the Party vetoed meaningful resources being allocated to Tory marginals – and even to some narrowly-held Labour seats.
“In and around Merseyside were two extremely marginal constituencies,” Skwawkbox says. “One, Wirral West, had an excellent Labour MP… The other, Weaver Vale, was held by a poor Tory MP with a strong Labour challenger. Labour’s north-west region ‘whipped’ all Labour’s city councillors in nearby Liverpool – against the protests of some – to help – not in either marginal seat but in the safe seat of Progress director Alison McGovern.”
In Bolton West – Tory majority in 2015 801 votes – Labour’s Julie Hilling “received so little support that she had no funding even for Labour garden stakes.” An activist there rang Regional HQ, who refused to put him in contact with the local campaign and told him to go door-knocking elsewhere. Hilling lost by 936 votes.
Meanwhile in Derby, Corbyn-supporting Chris Williamson, seeking to win back a seat he lost by 41 votes, saw vital resources diverted to Margaret Beckett’s neighbouring constituency. Happily, Williamson was re-elected despite this.
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