Naturally, today is not a good day if you’re a Labour moderate. The Blairites’ troubles have been well publicised, but the old right, or moderate, wing of the party, represented by Labour First, is licking its wounds too. The faction did see Tom Watson elected Deputy Leader (which shows firstly that Watson and Corbyn are not from the same part of the party at all, and secondly that ‘moderate’ is quite a wide term), but it tried to encourage members to fight Corbyn every way they could, particularly by blocking him using second and third preferences.
Labour First is now trying to stop the Corbynites taking control of the policymaking process in the party. In an email, seen by Coffee House, the group’s secretary Luke Akehurst writes:
‘Tactically, we do not have time just to mourn, we need to continue to organise now because the left may seek to capitalise on their victory at the Annual Conference in just two weeks’ time with rule changes that strengthen their position (such as converting all the £3 supporters into full members who can vote in selections and NEC elections) and policy proposals on contentious issues like Trident.’
The group is now trying to ‘expand our network around the country’ and establish contacts in every constituency party who can ‘feed back intelligence to us’ as part of its fightback. It’s going to be a long fight.