September 22, 2019
Emily Thornberry has slammed Labour chiefs allowing members to oust MPs as a general election looms large. 
Emily Thornberry Slams MP Trigger Ballots As Election Looms
The shadow foreign secretary said the party’s rank and file should cease “fighting” and be more “outward-looking”. 
It comes as some local parties are trying to push through trigger ballot processes to get rid of their MP in so-called trigger ballots.
Speaking to HuffPost UK at the Labour Party conference in Brighton, Thornberry also hit out at the hard left who, she said, had to “get with the project” when it came to feminism.
She said: “It is the timing, it’s the timing. We have to be moving on and looking at the prize which is a general election.”  
Stressing she was not against giving members the right to remove their MP as election candidate in principle, she added: “We should be taking it to the Tories. There’s this phrase isn’t there, that the first rule in politics is knowing how to count. But I think the other perhaps the second rule in politics is to know what time it is.
“And, and the question really is that, given that we may be facing a general election in two months, what we don’t want is for local parties, instead of being outward looking knowing they’re fighting.” 
She said the election means members should be “engaging the public” and asking for their trust, winning them over”, but added: “Labour are instead turned in on themselves and involved in a trigger ballot.” Thornberry was asked about a row in Harriet Harman’s Camberwell constituency, where members have threatened to oust her over her bid to replace John Bercow as Commons Speaker. 
Harman has refused to back down after the party passed a motion drawn up by Nick Wrack - who once stood against Harman as a Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate - arguing that Camberwell would lose a voice in Parliament and raising the prospect of challenging her as MP. 
Given her constituency is a safe seat, it is Labour Policy to introduce an all-women shortlist. 
Thornberry refused to comment directly on the row, but said some on the hard left had failed to recognise women’s role in the party. 
She said: “The Labour Party has changed and they need to change with the party, you know ‘get with the project’, and so if anybody has kind of historic ‘don’t worry about feminism dear, when the revolution comes you will be equal’ and all of this nonsense. 
“I don’t mean to be unfair and caricature but sometimes you felt a bit like sometimes you felt a bit like that, you know, ‘your feminism is getting in the way of socialism’ kind of thing, really.” 
Thornberry did not give a full-throated defence of Tom Watson after a motion by Momentum founder Jon Lansman to the party’s ruling National Executive Committee called for his post of deputy leader to be scrapped. 
She said it was not “right to launch conference” with bid to oust the deputy, but added: “I don’t think I’m telling any secrets out of school. Tom and I don’t exactly see eye to eye.”
Thornberry was also asked whether she would be willing to run as a candidate for ‘second deputy’, a position which Corbyn believes the party should consider creating. 
The shadow foreign secretary, who often fills in for Corbyn at the high-profile Prime Ministers Questions slot, said she has “lots of roles” that “keep her busy” but did not rule it out, adding: “Let’s see.” 
Turning to Boris Johnson, the Labour frontbencher who for two years shadowed the PM when he was foreign secretary said the way to win against him was to be on top of the facts. 
Criticising Johnson’s handling of the Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe case, Thornberry said: “From two years of shadowing him we know that he is lazy, glib, couldn’t be bothered to read his brief, thought a good turn of word would do it.
“The way to beat him is to be a girly swot.”Related... Labour Cannot Decide Brexit Stance After Election, Says Emily Thornberry McCluskey Tells Pro-EU Shadow Ministers To Back Corbyn On Brexit Or 'Step Aside' Labour Can, And Should, Leave Conference As A Pro-Remain Party
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