The St Helens branch of a leading builders union have thrown their weight behind Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn - bringing them into direct conflict with at least one of the town’s MPs and many councillors.
The local branch of the Union of Construction, Allied Trades and Technicians (UCATT) branded the challenge to Mr Corbyn’s leadership as a “coup” and condemned St Helens North MP Conor McGinn’s support for challenger Owen Smith.
And at a recent meeting of the branch, local members voted to support a motion backing Mr Corbyn’s continued leadership.
Branch secretary Terry Brough said: “The branch condemns the coup against the proud trade unionist and socialist, Jeremy Corbyn - the democratically elected Leader of the Labour Party; and we find the evidence to support the accusation that Jeremy is an electoral liability to be flimsy at best!
“Under his leadership, Labour has won four Parliamentary by-elections with an increased share of the vote in three. Labour was victorious in mayoral elections in Bristol, Liverpool, London and Salford.
“Labour’s, English Local Government election results outpolled the Tories and matched the high point achieved by Ed Miliband, five years ago. Only in Scotland has Labour failed. For the cause of that, one needs to look to New Labour’s Blairites, who from 1997 to 2010 managed to lose five million Labour voters!
“The branch believes that the reason for the attacks on Jeremy is not his supposed unelectability - but the fear of his Labour Party being elected - ditching neo-liberalism (not before time) and starting on the long road to socialism, which is an apocalyptic vision for the Blairites in the Labour Party.
“For Labour to really win for working people, it has to be bold. It has to align itself with progressive policies such as the public ownership of the railways and the utilities; which of themselves have majority public support. With Jeremy’s continued leadership - Labour can become that government!”