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Crossing the floorReg Prentice and the crisis of British social democracy$
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Geoff Horn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088698

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088698.001.0001

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Retribution in Newham

Retribution in Newham

(p.96) 6 Retribution in Newham
Crossing the floor

Geoff Horn

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses the events and issues surrounding Prentice‘s deselection by his local party in Newham North East. It examines in detail the context within which this local challenge occurred, including the causes of the leftward shift that took place amongst Labour‘s grass-roots activists and the movement for greater party democracy. This movement was initiated in response to the growing frustration of the Left that its influence over the Party‘s main policy-making forums, such as the NEC and Conference, had not translated into control of government policy, largely due to the continued dominance of the Right within the parliamentary leadership. The deselection of a serving Cabinet minister gave public prominence to the growing gap between the views of the moderate majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) and the views of the extra-parliamentary party of left-wing activists in the constituencies. The subsequent political storm gave added focus and publicity to deep party divisions, and the significant strains that this placed on the maintenance of Labour‘s Left-Right coalition.

Keywords:   deselection, Newham North East, grass-roots, party democracy, Left-Right coalition

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