Rebel yell The push for a Corbexit
QWhat is the idea? AThe
priority for Labour rebels is to unseat Jeremy Corbyn, getting someone new in time for a general election that could be called later this year.
However, the way they plan to do that – with a “no confidence” vote tomorrow – is not binding, leaving it up to Mr Corbyn to decide whether he will step down.
Given Corbyn allies have indicated he will stay put and replace ministers who have resigned, there are now plans for the moderates to effectively create a “party within a party”.
QHow would it work? AThe
vehicle for the move would be the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP), which is made up only of Labour MPs – the vast majority of whom did not vote for Mr Corbyn as leader.
The idea is for the PLP to elect a new leader, create its own shadow cabinet and effectively begin operating as a distinct Labour Party totally separate from Mr Corbyn.
Crucially, Labour rebels believe they would have control of “short money”, the public funding given to political parties for organisation.
It would create technical difficulties within Parliament, such as who leads Prime Minister’s Questions. Some experts have suggested John Bercow, pictured, the Commons Speaker, would decide who the official Opposition leader is in such circumstances.
in it for the rebels? AThe
move would rob Mr Corbyn’s team of funds, make clear he lacks the support of MPs and set out a moderate vision that they believe would appeal to floating voters.
The possibility of a snap general election after the Tories pick a new leader has focused minds and forced MPs to think about drastic measures to change the party and save their seats.
Being able to make absolutely clear to the electorate that Mr Corbyn does not speak for Labour and lay out an alternative prospectus would, some believe, help win voters.
“The position is to stop the Labour Party collapsing at the next election. That is the only goal. The EU referendum was a gamechanger,” one MP told The Daily Telegraph. QWill it actually happen? AFor now, the plan is merely a backup and does not have support from all. Many Labour rebels believe it is untenable for Mr Corbyn to stay as leader when a majority of MPs have made clear he does not have their confidence. Should he not go of his own accord, there is another means of triggering a contest – getting the signatures of 51 Labour MPs and MEPs supporting a single candidate.