Jeremy Corbyn faces a major row over moves to oust one of only two black women on the London Assembly after a fresh Left-wing takeover.
Florence Eshalomi, who represents Lambeth and Southwark, will have to fight in an open selection contest to keep her place as Labour’s candidate for the inner city heartland.
The move to oust her angered activists and MPs who tried to raise it last night at a meeting of the London party board. One told the Standard: “What kind of message does it send if one of the few black women representing Labour on London’s elected body is sacked by Jeremy Corbyn’s Left-wing supporters?”
Ms Eshalomi was targeted in what one local member called an “old fashioned stitch-up” when Left-wingers, now dominating Labour in Chuka Umunna’s Streatham constituency, called a meeting without telling her.
Shadow chancellor John McDonnell attended part of the meeting and is said to have remarked that it was “good to see democracy in action”. A party source said he made a speech on policies and played no part in the vote.
However, critics say that rules were changed to allow new members of just three months’ standing to vote, boosting the voting power of the Left. Across Lambeth and Southwark, Labour membership has soared from 2,500 to 12,400 since 2015 under Mr Corbyn.
Activist Stephanie Lloyd tweeted that the Streatham Labour Party was a “disgrace” for voting to trigger the deselection of “the first black woman to represent us in the London Assembly.”
The London Labour Party said: “Assembly Member candidate selection is an ongoing process … and we will see more progress after the European elections have taken place.”