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Labour party holds annual conference with showdown looming?

September 24, 2017 -

September 24-27, 2017, UNITED KINGDOM, A jubilant and divided Labour Party returns to the seaside city of Brighton for its annual conference. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s efforts to steer the party farther to the left might trigger a showdown.

The Financial Times notes that Corbyn, a man once derided as an out-of-touch throwback, is now a cult figure who embodies many voters’ desire for change.

The year between the conferences exposed big divisions in Labour over Corbyn’s leadership. His supporters see Labour’s unexpected near win in June’s snap election, one source of the jubilation, as an indisputable argument for both his leadership and his hard-left approach. His supporters are reported to be aiming to cement the left’s grip on the party.

Another source of the jubilation is that Labour membership has soared since the vote.

The Independent reports that Labour’s right wing has launched a new plan to rein in Corbyn’s power. The newspaper explains that his opponents have issued a battle plan to activists that would water down his influence on the party’s powerful executive by drafting in extra members likely to be hostile to him.

The newspaper notes that the competing plans set the scene for a major showdown at the conference despite Corbyn’s hopes that the whole party would now swing behind him.

Labour is split over Brexit, Britain’s exit from the European Union, but the sides can agree that the governing Conservatives will be blamed for any painful fallout from the departure, and that blame translates into votes for Labour at the next election.

Winds in Hastings favour a Labour victory at next election (FT Jul 2017)

Labour in chaos as Corbyn campaign chief suggests moderate MPs could be purged (Telegraph Jul 2017)

Labour's right wing draws up new plan to undermine Jeremy Corbyn (Independent July 2017)