Finally, the Labour coup is about to begin. Or at least, Labour MPs are talking about the fact that the Labour coup is about to begin, after weeks of threatening it. After talks between the party’s Deputy Leader Tom Watson and Labour’s trade union backers broke up today, Angela Eagle has said she will launch her leadership challenge to Jeremy Corbyn on Monday. The talks broke down because Corbyn would not resign and the parliamentary Labour party would not accept his leadership after voting overwhelmingly in favour of a motion of no confidence two weeks ago, and so there was no possible compromise to reach.
Corbyn’s camp are confident that they have the support of Labour members. Labour MPs are upbeat that many of their formally Corbynite members have voted against him in local motions of no confidence, though others are also facing serious difficulties with their local parties as a result of that no confidence vote. But there was no going back once the frontbench resignations had started. And even if Corbyn wins in a second leadership contest, the rebels say there is no going back. They think that perpetual leadership challenges would be less damaging to the party than Corbyn continuing at the helm. Either way, Labour’s bloody battle is about to get a lot worse – not least because the party is very unused to these sorts of defenestrations, unlike the Tories and Lib Dems.