Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green & Bow in Tower Hamlets is facing the threat of ‘trigger ballots’ organised by Tower Hamlets Momentum in an attempt to install a more Jezza-friendly face in the Labour safe seat.
In 2017 Ms. Ali was re-elected after winning 43,000 (71%) of the votes cast.
In 2015 Ms. Ali initially supported Jeremy Corbyn to be the leader of the Labour Party but by 2016 she had seen enough and called for him to step aside.
Not a fan then Rushanara?
A trigger ballot is where a local Labour Party branch “triggers” (holds) an open selection process if one third of party branches, or one third of affiliated branches (from trade unions and socialist societies), vote in favour, in contrast to automatically allowing the incumbent MP to stand.
Definitely not a plot
In Bethnal Green & Bow this means that an open selection will be triggered if a majority of members in three out of the nine ward branches vote to do so. If an open selection is triggered Ms. Ali would automatically be on the shortlist.
Tower Hamlets Momentum is very keen to deny any accusations that the move is in any way a plot to oust Ms. Ali, stating in its newsletter that “Voting to trigger an open selection is not a plot (by any section of the Party) to oust Rushanara Ali and foist someone else upon the membership.”
So that’s alright then.
This move by Tower Hamlets Momentum has to be seen in conjunction with the attempt to impose the Apsana Begum OWS (One-Woman Shortlist) in the other Tower Hamlets parliamentary constituency, Poplar and Limehouse, after Jim Fitzpatrick MP retires.