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  1. ITV Report

Bristol MP 'not welcome' at campaign office

Labour MP, Thangam Debbonaire. Photo: PA

A strong statement from the Communication Workers Union office has been issued withdrawing financial support from Bristol's three Labour MPs, saying Bristol West MP Thangam Debbonaire is 'not welcome back' at the campaign base.

The union say that they've issued a vote of no confidence, following the Labour MP's 'support for an attempted coup' against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Credit: PA

Representatives from the Communication Workers Union office on Church Road, Lawrence Hill, voted on proposals to censure the Bristol MPs Kerry McCarthy, Karin Smyth and Thangam Debbonaire, and back Jeremy Corbyn this week.

They say all three MP's seeming 'lack of support' for the leader, is 'such a slap in the face'.

Thangam Debbonaire MP, Karin Smyth MP and Kerry McCarthy MP outside Temple Meads station in 2015. Credit: ITV News

These MPs will no longer receive financial support from the CWU Branch. The branch's secretary said the decision was made at an 'angry' meeting this week.

Our representatives met this week and agreed unanimously that none of the Bristol MPs who have supported this undemocratic attempt the oust Jeremy should have any support from our Branch in future.

There was a lot of anger at the meeting that the mandate of a quarter of a million labour party members who voted for Corbyn – some of them postmen and women – could be ignored by these people.

If someone wishes to stand against the leader there is a process for that – and there will be an election, which is entirely fair. We would expect Jeremy to be returned with an increased mandate.

These MPs did not bother to meet with their local parties or supporting trade unions before getting involved in this failed coup, who would have overwhelmingly opposed such action. This is such a slap in the face for Jeremy who visited Bristol several times and clearly won a lot of votes for Labour in the Mayoral election.

– Rob Wotherspoon, Branch Secretary
Thangam outside the CWU office in Lawrence Hill. Credit: CWU

The news follows outrage from other Corbyn supporters who allegedly verbally attacked the Bristol MP because of her refusal to continue to back the Labour leader.

In response to the statement issued by the Union, a spokesperson for Ms Debbonaire who recently stepped down from her role on Jeremy Corbyn's front bench as Shadow Arts and Culture Minister, said she is adamant the party need a 'competent, well-led' leader.

This year alone the Post Office is facing 2000 job losses and the closure of its pension scheme. It is clear that Postal Workers desperately need a Labour government, and in order for that to happen we need a competent, well-led Labour Party.

Opinion is divided on Labour’s leadership - 61% of CWU members think that Jeremy Corbyn is doing badly. The coming leadership election will give Labour members and supporters the opportunity to decide whether he is able to lead a successful opposition to the Tories.

Thangam has made her own view on the matter clear. But her energy is focussed on serving her constituents – whether that be helping individuals via surgery appointments, or in campaigning for an end to homelessness in Bristol.

– spokesperson for thangam