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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 May 2017

Union stops finance for anti-Corbyn Labour MP

The Socialist Party has been on the front line of the campaign to defend Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership from the right, photo Socialist Party

The Socialist Party has been on the front line of the campaign to defend Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity leadership from the right, photo Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Clive Walder, CWU union, Birmingham, Black Country and Worcester branch (personal capacity)

The Communication Workers Union (CWU) has withdrawn campaign funding from the right-wing Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, Jess Phillips.

Phillips has made a number of outspoken criticisms of the Labour left and Jeremy Corbyn in particular. Most famously she said of Corbyn: "I won't knife you in the back, I will knife you in the front."

The CWU donated more than 8,000 to her campaign at the last election. Despite Labour only gaining that seat at the last election, and despite it being a seat that could be lost to the Lib Dems, the union has decided that enough is enough.

Regional Secretary Kate Hudson said that Phillips' outbursts "contradict the positive message that the CWU are communicating to our members" and "now is not the time to be publicly relaying unconstructive messages, especially messages that may discourage our members to vote Labour."

Trade unionists and socialists should be encouraged that a major union which has been vocally backing Corbyn is prepared to confront right-wing Labour MPs in this way.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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