There is “no denying” an increase in the level of entryism from the far left into the Labour Party, deputy leader Tom Watson has said.
Watson has sent a letter outlining his views on the problem to Jeremy Corbyn, including a four-page dossier he cites as proof of entryism. Both the letter and the document can be read below.
He claims that there is evidence of entryism from the Socialist Party and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL) – groups that, under former guises Militant and Socialist Organiser respectively, were at the centre of struggles within Labour in the 1980s. Watson also claims that the methods used by Militant to take control of Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) 30 years ago are being used as a model by current far left factions.
The letter comes after a spokesperson for Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership campaign accused Watson of “peddling baseless conspiracy theories” for his claim that Trotskyists were attempting to use Labour as a “as a vehicle for revolutionary socialism”.
The row grew yesterday as Peter Taaffe, a prominent Militant member in the 1980s, claimed he would be welcomed back into Labour – which prompted derision among MPs – while a new NEC member told the AWL’s newspaper that she opposes “political expulsions”.
In his letter to the Labour leader, Watson asks Corbyn to confirm that he believes members of the Socialist Party and AWL should not be allowed to join Labour. He wrote:
“I assume that you still support the proscription of other political parties. If the position had changed, please just let me know because I think it would be useful to discuss this within the party.
“I am asking you to confirm that you believe members of the Socialist Party and the Alliance for Workers’ Liberty should not be allowed to be members of the Labour Party, given the proscription of these two groups (then called Militant and Socialist Organiser) by annual conference during Neil Kinnock’s leadership.”
You can read Watson’s full letter and attached document below: