Jeremy Corbyn’s left-wing supporters have been accused of carrying out an “aggressive purge” of centrist councillors to put up their own candidates in local elections next year.
Councillors across the country have been deselected in a vote of local members or have faced pressure not to contest their seats in May in favour of candidates more closely aligned to the cause of the Labour leader and the Momentum campaign that supports him.
Tensions in one London borough have become so bad that centrist organisers called for the regional party to take over the selection process. Tim Gallagher, a councillor from Haringey, north London, who decided to step down last week, said that he and colleagues were written off as “zombie Blairites”.
The divisions were laid bare as a US bank warned that a Corbyn government would threaten the UK asset market more than Brexit would. Graham Secker, chief European equity strategist at Morgan Stanley, was said to have told clients: “We could see the biggest shake-up in the political backdrop since the 70s. This is much more scary from an equity perspective than Brexit.”