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The 48 welfare rebels demonstrate the ‘Miliband effect’ on the Labour party

21 July 2015

9:13 AM

21 July 2015

9:13 AM

One in five members of the Parliamentary Labour Party voted against the party whip last night. Although the second reading of the government’s Welfare Bill passed, it shows that the party is divided. I’ve been through the list of the 48 rebels are there are two trends amongst the rebels: many nominated Jeremy Corbyn for leader and the majority entered Parliament in the last few years.

In the leadership contest, 18 of the rebels backed Corbyn for leader, compared to 15 for Andy Burnham, nine for Yvette Cooper and just one Liz Kendall supporter. Five of the rebels didn’t back anyone. Burnham is clearly spooked by this, judging by a statement posted on his Facebook page about how ‘we cannot simply abstain on a Bill’, despite abstaining on the vote last night:

‘Whilst we may have lost the vote tonight, that doesn’t mean the battle has to be over. Tonight I am firing the starting gun on Labour’s opposition to this Bill. If I am elected leader in September, I am determined that Labour will fight this regressive Bill word by word, line by line.’

But what is most significant is how many of the rebels are newer members of the Commons. 21 of the Labour MPs who voted against the bill entered the Commons either at the 2015 election or through by-elections preceding it. 18 alone were elected at the most recent general election. The 2010, 2005 and 1997 intakes all brought in roughly half a dozen rebels, while nine came from elections before that — notably including Jeremy Corbyn in 1983, the only leadership candidate to break the party whip.

This shows what might be termed the ‘Miliband effect’ on the Labour Party — something that could turn out to be his most damaging legacy. By encouraging a more left-wing cohort to join the parliamentary Labour Party, his term as leader has made the task of holding the party together for his successor much harder.

David Blunkett, the former home secretary, said on the Today programme this morning that Labour is in ’emotional trauma’ and it is a party ‘divided, bewildered what to do next.’ The makeup of the rebels who went against the party whip last night proves his point.

 Rebel MPs Year first elected Leadership candidate
Richard Burgon 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Peter Dowd 2015 Andy Burnham
Margaret Greenwood 2015 Andy Burnham
Louise Haigh 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Carolyn Harris 2015 Andy Burnham
Sue Hayman 2015 Yvette Cooper
Imran Hussain 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Gerald Jones 2015 Andy Burnham
Clive Lewis 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Rebecca Long Bailey 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Rachael Maskell 2015 Andy Burnham
Kate Osamor 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Marie Rimmer 2015 Yvette Cooper
Paula Sherriff 2015 Yvette Cooper
Tulip Siddiq 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Cat Smith 2015 Jeremy Corbyn
Jo Stevens 2015 Andy Burnham
Daniel Zeichner 2015 Yvette Cooper
Liz McInnes 2014 Andy Burnham
Andy McDonald 2012 Andy Burnham
Debbie Abrahams 2011 Andy Burnham
Dawn Butler 2010 Jeremy Corbyn
Mary Glindon 2010 Andy Burnham
Ian Lavery 2010 Andy Burnham
Ian Mearns 2010 Andy Burnham
Grahame Morris 2010 Jeremy Corbyn
Teresa Pearce 2010 Andy Burnham
David Anderson 2005 Andy Burnham
Helen Goodman 2005 Yvette Cooper
Sadiq Khan 2005 Jeremy Corbyn
Madeleine Moon 2005 Yvette Cooper
Iain Wright 2004 Andy Burnham
Rob Marris 2001 N/A
David Lammy 2000 Jeremy Corbyn
Geraint Davies 1997 Yvette Cooper
Helen Jones 1997 Yvette Cooper
John McDonnell 1997 Jeremy Corbyn
Graham Stringer 1997 N/A
Kelvin Hopkins (Teller) 1997 Jeremy Corbyn
Roger Godsiff 1992 N/A
Diane Abbott 1987 Jeremy Corbyn
Paul Flynn 1987 Liz Kendall
Ann Clywd 1984 Yvette Cooper
Jeremy Corbyn 1983 Jeremy Corbyn
Sir Gerald Kaufman 1970 N/A
Michael Meacher 1970 Jeremy Corbyn
Dennis Skinner 1970 Jeremy Corbyn
David Winnick 1966 N/A

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