The 172 Labour MPs who want Jeremy Corbyn to resign the party leadership have been taunted by one of his leading supporters – for their apparent inability to organise a coup or a leadership election. James Schneider, national organiser of the pro-Corbyn pressure group Momentum, told the BBC: “The way they have managed this in the past week – their inability to have their coup after ten months of plotting, which was all planned out – I’m not convinced they would run a good leadership election. If they can’t run this coup and they ran three bad election campaigns last summer, I’m not convinced they would run a good campaign.”
The Labour Party has gained 60,000 new members during the current leadership crisis. According to Mr Schneider, 60 per cent of the first 13,000 to sign up volunteered the information that they were joining to back Mr Corbyn against those who want him out, although there is no requirement for applicants to give a reason for joining. He also claimed that a large number had made their applications via Momentum’s web site.
Mr Schneider, who voted for the Green Party in last year’s general election, and joined the Labour Party soon afterwards, has risen rapidly to prominence through his involvement with Jeremy Corbyn’s successful leadership campaign and the pressure group Momentum, for whom he has proved to be an articulate spokesman.
Aged 28, he was educated at Winchester, the £13,350 a year private school of which Jeremy Corbyn Director of Communications, Seumas Milne, is also a former pupil.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Schneider dismissed any suggestion that Mr Corbyn might resign after heavily losing a vote of no confidence by Labour MPs earlier in the week.
He claimed: “The coup plotters are now flailing about because they have had 10 months to plot this coup and it seems it has failed.
“Jeremy Corbyn has shown incredible steel in staying there, on behalf of the principle of democracy in the party. They are trying to subvert democracy in the party. If they are unhappy with Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, they need to find a candidate and they need to go for it – but they don’t have a candidate who can beat Jeremy Corbyn.”