Corbyn reportedly addressed an unofficial CLP meeting in Angela Eagle's constituency
Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) are meeting informally in halls and pubs, defying a decision by the National Executive Council to suspend CLP meetings for the duration of the leadership contest.
The NEC said its decision was a result of security fears, amid worrying levels of violence and intimidation of Labour MPs and leadership candidates.
Both Angela Eagle and Jeremy Corbyn have been receiving death threats, and a brick was thrown through the window of Eagle’s constituency office.
However, critics believe that the suspension of CLP meetings is an attack on internal party democracy, implemented to prevent Corbyn-backing local branches from voting no confidence in their MPs.
‘With Labour branch meetings suspended until after the leadership election, grassroots Labour members will continue to meet as planned to support Jeremy Corbyn,’ said James Rosen, a member of Brentford Labour.
Rosen attended an informal meeting of 41 Brentford and Isleworth Labour members, held in a local pub after the offical CLP meeting was cancelled with four hours notice.
The branch was due to debate a motion in support of Corbyn which, at the unofficial meeting, was unanimously passed.
Isleworth Labour member Salman Shaheen said:
“We want to reiterate our confidence in Jeremy and the principled values he stands for. We see him as our next prime minister. He will lead us towards achieving a fairer, kinder, more equal society.”
It’s believed that Corbyn himself addressed the meeting by speakerphone, supporting a meeting held in contravention of his own NEC’s ruling.
For all wings of the Labour Party, the suspension of CLP meetings is a worrying sign.
As Mark Brophy writes on Left Foot Forward ‘for all the evident bad blood, if members cannot sit in the same room with each other without resorting to violence then the party is finished anyway.’