The divided Labour Party could see its first defection to the Conservatives since 1977, with three MPs reportedly considering crossing the floor over despair at their party’s leadership.
The Mail on Sunday claims three unnamed MPs have already decided to “open lines of communication” with the Tory whip, responsible for party discipline and voting in the House of Commons, about making the move.
The left-wing lawmakers are said to have become disillusioned with the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer and for his part in failing to improve public opinion of Labour in the polls. They are also said to have become dissatisfied after Angela Rayner, the deputy leader, unrepentantly called Prime Minister Boris Johnson “scum”.
The last time a Labour MP had crossed the floor and become a Conservative was in 1977 when Reg Prentice defected following in-party battles with leftists in his constituency. Mr Prentice went on to be elected as a Tory MP in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher returned the Conservatives to the government.
The British parliament’s website explains that crossing the floor — so called because the party of Government is sat on the right in the Commons chamber and the Opposition on the left, meaning that changing parties can literally mean ‘crossing the floor’ — does not always trigger a by-election in the MP’s constituency, though the lawmaker may opt to voluntarily hold the election in his seat after changing political alliance.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the party must be “proud” of Tony Blair’s “record in government”, and no longer keep the Iraq War architect’s legacy at “arm’s length” https://t.co/020DLaoDxU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 7, 2021
The possible defections would be a major blow for Starmer’s party after a week of headlines from the Labour conference depicting a left-wing party in turmoil over identity politics rather than working to reclaim the vast swathes of Red Wall voters it has lost in the December 2019 General Election under the leadership of socialist Jeremy Corbyn.
The loss of the working class vote over Corbyn’s anti-Brexit stance resulted in the Conservative Party winning an 80-seat majority, having its biggest victory since the Thatcher era and taking support from Labour, with a study later declaring the Tories the party of the working class.
Last week’s Labour conference saw figures lecturing attendees on there being “too many white men” wanting to speak, while Deputy Leader Angela Rayner called Boris Johnson “scum” and refused to apologise, claiming that was just how working-class northerners like her spoke.
Fractures between members and lawmakers were seen when, after Shadow Defence Secretary John Healey said that a Keir Starmer-led Labour government would commit to international alliances and forge new ones, members voted in favour of a motion that declared the new British-American-Australian defence and security alliance AUKUS a threat to “world peace”.
But it was the infighting between feminists and trans-ideology extremists that saw the most conflict in the fracturing party, with Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield criticising colleagues for abandoning her for saying that only women can have cervixes, a statement of biological fact that prompted such vitriol from the far-left-progressive wing of the party that Ms Duffield cancelled her appearance at the main conference event over safety concerns.
Struggling for Relevance, Woke UK Labour Leader Demands Female James Bond https://t.co/pS35zdBTxU
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 30, 2021