Jeremy must be on the ballot

11 July 2016

As Angela Eagle launched her leadership bid, Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union, urged Labour Party members to rally behind party leader Jeremy Corbyn – and told MPs that Jeremy must be on the ballot paper.

He said: ‘We are disappointed that Angela is trying to unseat Jeremy, and destabilise the party, only ten months after he was elected leader in a stunning first round victory with 59.5% of first preference votes. Jeremy was way ahead of Andy Burnham (19%), Yvette Cooper (17%) and Liz Kendall, the uber-Blairite, who trailed in a distant last with just 4.5%. The Labour Party is a democratic party and Jeremy was overwhelmingly endorsed by Labour Party members.

‘If those who are trying to unseat Jeremy – and it has nothing to do with the referendum campaign, whatever they say, and very little to do with the nature of his leadership, because these people didn’t want Jeremy last year and have done everything to undermine him ever since – try to keep him off the ballot paper they will show themselves to be not just undemocratic, but anti-democratic, and utterly shameless to boot.

‘In fact, the rule book is quite clear; Jeremy has a right to be on the ballot. But even his most ardent opponent in the PLP must see that he has the moral right,too. At a time when people worry about the disconnect between politicians at Westminster and the people they represent in the country, the PLP must not make the fundamental mistake of ignoring the wishes of party members.

‘ASLEF remains full square behind Jeremy. We believe we should be turning our fire on the Tories and presenting a positive alternative to the failures of the last six years. Jeremy is the man to lead Labour, heal the divisions in our country,and help build a better Britain.’

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