A stormy meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party this week has led to Corbyn-supporting local members making fresh calls for the deselection of Hove MP Peter Kyle.
Mr Kyle was quoted in several national newspapers pleading with the Labour leader to come up with a clear plan on Brexit in the wake of the party’s disastrous European election results during this week’s meeting of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP).
This prompted Damian Wylie, a former officer in the party’s Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide Branch, to call again for his deselection, and he claimed there are enough local members to force through a trigger ballot.
He tweeted yesterday: “Peter Kyle is a disloyal backstabber who has been closely involved in the coup against the twice-elected leader of the Labour party.
“A trigger ballot in Hove and Portslade will be called before the next election to replace this destructive, ill-disciplined individual.
“We only need one third of branches to vote Kyle out with a trigger ballot. We’ve got the numbers.”
Mr Wylie, who boasts that his Twitter account is “probably one of the most highly engaged 8k follower accounts on Twitter globally”, garnered almost 30 likes for the tweet from users as far afield as Los Angeles.
However, several local Labour members were less impressed. One, Ryan Bogle, said: “Please think twice. Young people I know at BHASVIC think he’s absolutely great, don’t betray them.
“If you want to steam ahead with ideological dogmatism then beware of the consequences in that you’ll likely end up with no Labour MP at all.”
Another, Joy Robinson, who stood as a candidate in Brunswick and Adelaide last month, said: “In a constituency with 70% Remain voters, one of our less cheerful members threatens our brilliant MP, co-author of the Kyle/Wilson amendment, with a trigger ballot. Unbelievable.”
However, the threat didn’t phase Mr Kyle, who tweeted: “Luckily he’s blocked me so I don’t have to see his yawn-inducing threats anymore.
“The community I work for know full well that keyboard-cowards won’t keep me from putting their interests first morning, noon and night and every second between.”
Meanwhile, Brighton Kemptown Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle had to delete a tweet he made about fellow MP Margaret Hodge following comments she made at the same PLP meeting.
Mr Russell-Moyle attacked Mrs Hodge for calling for newly elected Peterborough MP Lisa Forbes to apologise for signing a letter opposing the party’s adoption of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-semitism, as well as liking anti-semitic posts on social media.
The letter, dated last August, was also signed by a number of local Labour members, including newly elected councillor Nikkie Brennan, who campaigned outside Hove Town Hall when Brighton and Hove City Council also adopted the IHRA definition of anti-semitism.
Yesterday, Mr Russell-Moyle said: “I’ve had vile anti-semites rightly kicked out locally. But to call someone an anti-semite on base of concern with IHRA or liking a photo/video with text and abuse them in public, after they say they sorry and want to learn, is wrong.”
However, he had to delete the tweet after it emerged he had quoted someone who had previously been kicked out of Labour for anti-semitism.
When this was drawn to his attention, he apologised and deleted the tweet. Mrs Hodge later invited him to discuss the issue over coffee, which he said he would be happy to do.
Mr Russell-Moyle told Brighton and Hove News: ““After Margaret aggressively attacked a new member for little justifiable reason and went on to publicly support austerity and say that anti austerity and the socialist message was a lie, I tweeted Margaret condemning some of her last actions.
“I reposted some tweets with spelling corrections and to remove any link to a person who was operating an anonymous Twitter account but has been chucked out of Labour.
“Margaret and I have agreed to have drinks on Monday to put to bed these issues and I hope she can return to supporting the party and leadership in the quest to form a government and I supporting all colleagues’ legitimate concerns and attempts to stamp our actual cases of anti-Semitism of which there are far too many ”