Ian Lavery is now considering throwing his hat into the ring at the forthcoming Labour leadership contest as the grassroots movement to encourage the MP for Wansbeck to stand as the leading socialist candidate gathers pace.
While there is no official word from Lavery as to whether he will stand, having previously ruled himself out, Labour sources are now said to be growing in confidence that the former National Union of Mineworkers President will stand following a wide-ranging social media campaign from the left.
With Dawn Butler entering the contest to become Deputy Leader, it is believed that many see the combination as a “dream ticket” that will appeal to voters across the political spectrum should they both win their respective elections.
While many had expected the socialist grassroots of the party to fall in behind Rebecca Long Bailey as the so-called “continuity Corbyn” candidate, significant doubts have been raised about her suitability for the position, not least following her betrayal of Chris Williamson and Palestinian activists last year.
In 2018, RLB told the anti-socialist Jewish Labour Movement that Jeremy Corbyn had “lost the trust of the community”, declining to answer when the JLM told her “the best way to build bridges was for the Labour leader to resign” and also playing her part in throwing Chris Williamson under the bus when she said that he shouldn’t have been a member of the Party, adding that she didn’t know why he was still involved with Labour.
The questions surrounding RLB’s solidarity and strength of character continued to be asked when she refused to stand in solidarity with The Canary after coming under fire for an interview she gave to the left-wing website.
Lavery, in comparison, is being portrayed as a bruiser and a pit fighter, an individual willing and able to engage in the dirty fights with both Boris Johnson and Labour centrists that lay ahead.
Speaking to The Mirror on New Year’s Eve, Lavery seemingly made his unofficial pitch for a leadership run, stating that he supported Labour’s socialist manifesto and opposes a return to the centre.
“For some, that would be a neat conclusion allowing them to return to a bland centrism of 2015. But it isn’t true. Labour lost because of our Brexit position, infighting, a collapse of industry in our communities and a lack of trust in our ability to deliver.”Ian Lavery, The Mirror
The Sun and Blairite centrists have already turned their eyes toward Lavery as the Wansbeck MP emerges as a legitimate threat from the socialist left for the leadership and to their own anointed successor Sir Keir Starmer.
Neil Coyle, who has spent the best part of the past four years publicly undermining Jeremy Corbyn, has decided to get his guns on the table early, claiming that Lavery should be resigning, not standing for the leadership.
“Lavery should be resigning as chair, not thinking of a bigger role having reduced Labour representation to its lowest levels for a century.”Neil Coyle, Faux Labour MP
Toby Perkins, the MP for Chesterfield, seems to believe that the Lavery bid is not serious and a back door to presenting Rebecca Long Bailey as a more moderate left-wing candidate.
“Don’t be fooled by this. It’s purely an attempt to convince us all that RLB is not a far left choice. He won’t really stand, she will.”Toby Perkins, Faux Labour MP
However, Perkins isn’t known for his political insight, having once backed David Miliband for the leadership and later the hilariously inept campaign of Owen Smith. If that wasn’t enough to render his opinion on the future direction of the Labour Party moot, Perkins is both a member of Labour Friends of Israel and backs the Saudi Arabian genocide in Yemen.
While those that engineered the 2019 defeat such as Coyle and Perkins believe that they have some innate right to behave as wreckers for years and then claim a high ground, the truth is that they remain inherently unrepresentative of the views of the grassroots and out of touch with the direction and will of the party at large.
The left is behind Ian Lavery, not as a stooge candidate for Rebecca Long Bailey, but as a serious candidate for the leadership.