Conservative Canterbury City councillors have tabled a motion to the Council defending MP Rosie Duffield’s position against racism within the Labour party.
The motion, submitted by Councillors Stephen Bartley and Stuart Walker, comes after the left-wing campaign group Momentum, backed by supporters including film director Ken Loach, called for the Canterbury MP to be deselected for her criticism of Jeremy Corbyn.
Last month a handful of Labour MPs, including Ms Duffield, joined hundreds in protest outside Parliament against anti-Semitism. Many believed Jeremy Corbyn had not done enough to stop it within the Labour Party.
Loach is a high-profile supporter of Momentum and the Labour leader. He played a key role in the Labour election campaign last year.
Speaking earlier this month, he told a meeting of Labour and Momentum supporters that MPs who protested against anti-Semitism must be “kicked out”, because they are “undermining” Jeremy Corbyn.
Cllr Bartley said: “Ms Duffield and I would likely disagree on a great many things but joining this protest took courage. Her record of campaigning against racism is unquestionable, and deserves our full support.
“De-selection comes during an election, when local people decide who becomes their next MP. It’s not the decision of hard left groups like Momentum.”
Cllr Walker added: “Conservatives will be campaigning for a new MP for Canterbury at the next general election. But in the meantime Labour supporters must not be allowed to deselect the local MP because she took a principled stand against Jeremy Corbyn.”
The text of the motion reads:
"This Council supports MPs of all Parties in their public condemnation of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party. Furthermore, this Council calls on the Labour Party to confirm it will not use attendance at the anti-Semitism protest in Westminster on 26th March as grounds to deselect Rosie Duffield or any other MP."
The Council will vote on the motion on 26 Apr 2018.
Cllrs Bartley and Walker are hoping for cross party support to tackle anti-Semitism, and all forms of racism, within the Labour Party.